Culture Secretary John Whittingdale slams adblocking ‘protection racket’

Ben Parfitt
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale slams adblocking ‘protection racket’

The government has said it would consider taking action against the providers of adblockers in an attempt to protect the press.

The Guardian reports that culture secretary John Whittingdale has said that the technology poses very real threat to the global media, and that he intends to organise a roundtable involving publishing houses, social media groups and adblock providers.

Quite simply – if people don't pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist,” he explained. And that's as true for the latest piece of journalism as it is for the new album from Muse. Ten years ago, the music and film industries faced a threat to their very existence from online copyright infringement by illegal file-sharing or pirate sites.”

Furthermore, the government seems willing to intervene if needed.

The newspaper industry brought this to my attention and did not understate the severe consequences if this trend continues,” he added. My natural political instinct is that self-regulation and co-operation is the key to resolving these challenges, and I know the digital sector prides itself on doing just that. But government stands ready to help in any way we can.”

The minister cited numbers claiming that in the 12 months ending June last year adblocking had grown by 82 per cent in the UK and 48 per cent in the US.

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