We have noticed an American operation who is using a browser that replaces the ads on any website. Legally this is comercial copyright infringement. This is violates US law, Canadian law and most likely other jurisdictions as well.
We are already working on countermeasures to deal with this copyright infringer. We should mention we are expert web developers and we have much experience here with miscreants.
The infringing brower wants to pay in bitcoins. We do not want bitcoins, we use dollars. We are paid from existing advertisers in dollars. Bitcoins are down 75% so they are worthless.
There is also trademark issues with the copyright infringement. The infringer holds out to be us but we have not granted any permission which can assure will not be provided. The slippery slop of violations is very steep.
Modifying a work is copyright infringement plain and simple. Infringement is intentional tort liable. Every post on the site has a MD5 hash, which is used to tell Google if a page has changed. Blocking ads, changes the MD5 so this violates the copyright by making a modified copy of an original work.
The Newspaper Association of American also categorically rejects the infringer. The proposed business model crosses legal and ethical boundaries, and should be viewed as illegal and deceptive by the courts, consumers and those who value the creation of content.
The infringing browser denies stealing which will fail legally. Their attempt to hijack our current business model is also illegal. We get 100% of any earnings now, the infringer offers 55% which means dilutive earnings.
Section 38 of the Canadian Copyright Act calls for $5,000 for a non commercial infringement per work. Commercial infringement carries $20,000 per work. Section 38 is not the final sanction which can be much higher at trial.
This site has thousands of posts so it would be very expensive for the infringer, We already are preparing to sue the browser developer for copyright infringement in addition to possible criminal sanctions.
While we are at it, we are also intending to sue Mozilla, Google and Microsoft etc for distributing ad blocking tools which is contributory copyright infringement. Precedents are abundant to force their hand.
Americans may not think a court order from Canada is of any force, but make no mistake, reciprocal agreements are already in place to enforce such orders.