Brave Software, the company that recently purchased and rebranded Link Bubble, has a plan to make the Internet a better place by stripping out bad ads and replacing them with good ones.
But there's a problem. According to The Wall Street Journal, 17 major US newspaper publishers want nothing to do with the idea. They've sent a cease-and-desist letter to Brave, calling the company's ad-blocking software illegal.
They don't only take issue with Brave's ad-blocking. They disapprove of the company's broader ambition. Brave strips away publishers' ads and replace them with ads sold by Brave. The company says it will share a higher percentage with publishers than what third-party ads usually provide. The arrangement would leave the newspapers with 70% of the revenue.
The newspaper publishers view this approach as stealing their content. Brave disputes this, saying the browser doesn't technically republish anything.
"We expressly decline to participate in any way in Brave’s supposed business model. We explicitly reject any compensation or consideration Brave plans to offer to us as part of its ad-blocking and ad-replacing scheme, and we refuse to accept any ‘site wallet’ that you propose to create for our supposed benefit."
— Cease-and-desist letter sent to Brave Software
The groups signing the letter collectively publish around 1,200 daily newspapers. Big names such as The New York Times and Dow Jones (owner of The Wall Street Journal) make the list.
These are heavyweights and some of the most visited sites on the web. Brave has barely entered the ring. Let's see how hard it's willing to fight.