Publisher Declares War on Ad Blocking Software

Publisher Mind’s Eye Fiction launched a new system to ensure that readers actually see banner ads on the Web — and to deny readers access to content if they don’t display banners.

Calling the move “an escalation of the banner ad technology race,” Mind’s Eye said its technology enables users to read the latest stories by modern authors for free, but only if the reader will put up with the site’s banner ads. A JavaScript program prevents users from reading for free if ad blocking software is running.

“Banner ads are the economic engine behind today’s Web,” said Ken Jenks, editor-in-chief of Mind’s Eye Fiction. “The few tenths of a penny we earn from each ad impression — multiplied by millions — adds up to a steady revenue stream that we can use to pay royalties to our authors.”

The site also allows readers to read stories and novels without seeing ads, for as little as 16 cents per story using a pay-per-view e-commerce system. Jenks says, “I think it’s important to provide an alternative to banner ads for people with non-graphical browsers and for people who just don’t like ads.”

“I have contractual responsibilities to our authors. I pay them royalties for every reader. People who use banner ad blocking software are picking my pocket,” Jenks said.

“Further technological escalation is possible,” said Jenks. “Our software detects the action of blocking software, kind of an electronic counter-countermeasure. It’s possible for banner ad blocking software to fool our software into thinking that a banner has been displayed. If that happens, we have other techniques we can deploy.”

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