AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR SUBMISSION, THE FOLLOWING MUST APPEAR:
By returning my submission to the Third Writing Assignment, I hereby certify and affirm that I have
neither given aid to, nor received aid from, any members of my Section of LAW 2221, the other Section
of LAW 2221, or anyone else, on this assignment. I further certify and affirm that, if I use any external
source(s), other than the materials that Dr. Ames has provided, used, an/or and cited, I will provide fair
and understandable attribution to the author(s) and source(s) of that material.
We Take Anything
) operates an internet platform. Most of its revenue comes from
website operators that use
platform for their websites and who make revenue from advertisers
that place their adds on the various websites. The website operators then pay
20% of the
advertising revenue that they earn from the advertisers.
Do not staple this document to your submission.
Future writing assignments will be made up of bonus points.
The number of times that a website is accessed along with an ad is the calculation that is used to
compute the advertising revenue that the advertiser pays the website operator and from which the 20%
share is paid to We by the website operator. If the number of times that a website is accessed, but the
ads do not accompany the access, the amounts paid by the advertisers decrease. The website
operators, therefore, make less revenue and
also experiences a loss because of the decrease in
revenue from which its 20% share is computed.
Internet advertising is quite lucrative and, therefore, all companies in the chain of advertising revenue
tend to profit quite handsomely.
A new company has entered the world of “ad-blocking.” That company’s name is: Blocker Plus
(hereafter “Blocker”). It has a reputation for being very aggressive and for cornering the market on ad-
blocking. It has a stated mission of putting out of business advertisers that inundate consumers by using
unwanted internet advertising. It claims that unwanted ads consume a consumer’s bandwidth and that
many ads now present security concerns because they distribute malwear. This malwear issue occurs
when attackers purchase legitimate ad spots on legitimate websites, but secretly embed malware into
the code of the ads that they supply to be posted on the website. Furthermore, Blocker argues that
advertising networks frequently collect, involuntarily from users, information regarding their browsing
habits, etc. Therefore, Blocker claims that it is doing a public service by providing ad-blocking which is
what customers/users want.
Blocker’s system that it sells to consumers who want ads blocked functions by reading from a filter list
that lists what elements of a website to block. Blocker advertises that its system comes preconfigured
to read from a well-balanced and popular filter list so that it is fully functional upon initial installation
without the need for additional configuration. However, the system can also be customized so that,
with a few keystrokes, blocking of a multitude of additional ads can occur. Blocker’s system monitors
every content request to be downloaded to a user’s browser and decides whether the download will be
passed to the user or blocked. When Blocker’s system sees a request that matches an item on the filter,
it denies the request so that the content of the ad is never downloaded and it never shows up on the
user’s system. What the consumer gets is the website scrubbed of the identified ad content.
Because there are some ads that consumers want, Blocker has developed a “Clean List” that it uses, in
conjunction with its “Acceptable Ads Policy” to allow those ads to not be blocked, but to be downloaded
to the user’s browser. Blocker charges those advertisers a considerable premium fee to be on the Clean
List and to have their ads reach the consumers.
has tracked its advertising revenue stream. Since Blocker was developed and aggressively marketed,
revenue stream has decreased considerably.
CEO has come to you, as its Marketing Manager
and asked if there are any legal theories that
could assert in contemplated litigation against Blocker.
She specifically cites the Supreme Court’s development of the commercial speech doctrine under the
First Amendment and the Court’s clear recognition of the value of the free flow of commercial
information to a functioning democracy.
IT people have advised you that the ads blocked by
Blocker can be identified and the identities of companies that are blocking them. What advice do you
give? Are there any additional facts that you would need to know to respond to her inquiry?
Advertisers constantly monitor the websites using Blocker and other ad-blockers to determine when their ads
accompany, or do not accompany, the downloads of the websites.
Provide the legal issue that come from this fact pattern. Identify any legal rules and principles that you
would use to analyze the issues that you have identified. If you identify more than one issue, pick one
issue and analyze it in the context of the legal rules and principles that are applicable to that issue.
you need additional facts, identify them and tell me why they are relevant to your assessment of the