Well, this is huge, so I'd like to attract people's attention to what's happening right now. This is a very dangerous precedent, and it concerns every ad blocker user.

Brief introduction into ad blocking

To understand better what's happened, you should first learn a bit more about ad blocking. Every ad blocker work is based on using so-called filters lists, which are maintained (mostly) by volunteers. That said, whichever ad blocker you use, credits for actual blocking ads belong to the filters lists maintainers. The most popular filters list is called EasyList and this story is about it.

Got it, so what happened?

Yesterday a strange commit landed in the EasyList repo. The "functionalclam.com" domain was removed with a comment "Removed due to DMCA takedown request".


An ad server was unblocked by all ad blockers due to a DMCA request. Let that sink in for a moment.

A small research was conducted by the community in the comments section of that commit. It appears that the story began 23 days ago with a comment by a freshly registered Github account to the commit, that added "functionalclam.com" to EasyList. @dmcahelper threatened with "the file or repository disruption," but his threats were not taken seriously that time.

Note: we don't know what happened in between as the original DMCA request is not yet published. I will update this post once we learn more.

The domain in question hosts an image describing its work as "used by digital publishers to control access to copyrighted content in accordance with the DMCA and understand how visitors are accessing their copyrighted content".


However, further research showed that this domain hosts the code of an anti-adblocking startup Admiral, so we can assume that it is the company we should blame for this. Where did they get this glorious idea? The wording of the original comment from 23 days ago awfully reminds me of this post claiming that DMCA can be applied to ad blockers.

Why should I care?

This might set a very important precedent of an advertising company exploiting DMCA to force people to see their ads, and can lead to ridiculous consequences if left unnoticed.


EasyList is a community project and may not be able to protect themselves from such an attack. I am calling on other ad blockers developers, you people and everybody else concerned about people's rights (EFF, please) to stand up to this threat and protect ad blocking.


Article source


EasyList: Ad-serving domain removed due to DMCA takedown request