FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital Publishers Put Brave Software on Notice for Substituting Ads
April 7, 2016
Arlington, Va. – Today, 17 member companies of the Newspaper Association of America sent a letter to Brave Software, Inc. notifying the company that its well-publicized plan to replace publishers’ ads on the publishers’ own websites and mobile applications with Brave’s own advertising is blatantly illegal. The signatories of the letter represent more than 1,200 newspapers in the United States.
Brave Software has announced that it intends to launch a browser and mobile applications that will display publishers’ content but replace publishers’ advertising with advertising that Brave sells for its own profit. The company has indicated that publishers should find this approach acceptable because Brave will give publishers a certain percentage of the revenue from ads it sells for profit and will permit customers of Brave to make Bitcoin donations to publishers.
“Brave’s 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,” said NAA CEO, David Chavern.
The publishers’ letter states, “Our sites and mobile applications provide news reporting, photojournalism, video content and feature writing that is researched, reported, edited and produced an extraordinary cost. Our industry spends more than $5 billion per year on reporting in the United States alone. We distribute that reporting online for free or at highly subsidized rates, in no small part due to revenue from online ads.”
“Brave should feel free to create its own content on its own platforms,” said David Chavern, “but it cannot illegally launch its own advertising business on the backs of our journalists, editors, technologists and other staff.”
The letter outlines ways in which Brave’s business model violate publishers’ rights to protect their trademarks and copyrighted content, and the remedies for such violations.
NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today’s newspaper industry: public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience development across the medium’s broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. Information about the association and the industry also may be found at www.newsmedia.com.