Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Adblock Plus trademarks · 2013-12-03 16:20 by Till Faida

Adblock Plus is free and open source. So, not only can users download our software without a fee but we also publish the source code behind it in a public place. That is to say we let everyone look at our code, modify it, contribute to our development or even create other products based upon Adblock Plus.

To us this is just natural, because we are – just like many of you – deeply ingrained in the open source culture. The idea and practice of it has a long history, and you likely know many of the other adherents to the philosophy … like Mozilla, Linux or Wikipedia. We prefer open source for a variety of reasons. Observing source code means it can be better understood and improved, and any improvement helps developer and user alike. It can also lead to completely new uses or directions for existing ideas. In addition, open source means open knowledge.

In Adblock Plus we have created a very successful product with our open source community, which has garnered a huge amount of attention: at present our extension has been downloaded over 250 million times. Most of that attention is great, but recently we’ve encountered a growing number of people mimicking our logo and our look and feel, basically pretending to be us – sometimes even in order to push out malware or worse. For instance:

  • Fake ABP downloads, which are often malware
  • Extensions based on our code with a name and/or logo similar to ours, which in some cases might even contain mal- or spyware
  • Extensions based on other code, but with a name and/or logo very similar to ours, also in some cases containing mal- or spyware

In order to address these issues, we must protect our “brand.” This not only helps our users distinguish between our product and others, but it also protects our users from the possible ill content lurking behind said others.

So we will now be taking steps to secure our trademark in order to prevent you from being taken in by a counterfeit.

Our trademarks include – among other names – Adblock Plus®, ABP™, Acceptable Ads™, Eyeo™ as well as the respective logos, most importantly the ABP logo with the red stop sign. This means that while you have considerable freedom to redistribute and modify our software, you cannot use any names or logos which look or sound similar to our trademarked names and/or logos.

Comment [1]

  1. Feladora · 2013-12-21 02:27 · #

    I think it was time you started doing this. It is ridiculous how addons like adblock edge use your code and image without adding anything useful and get praised like the second coming of Jesus -I don’t say they shouldn’t be allowed to take your code as-is an make an addon, but at least they shouldn’t get so much credit for it.

    The problem is, the moment you start enforcing your brand on softwares like this one, people will start all over again talking shit about abp. I think the best you could do is offer an alternative to adblock plus with acceptable ads disabled by default, and tell haters to download that version instead of the main one if it is so difficult for them to remove a checkbox.

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