DMCA, Easylist, Adblock, Copyright Access Control & Admiral: 10 Things To Know

Admiral asked Easylist to remove functionalclam[.]com from their filters and here’s why:

  1. functionalclam[.]com is not an adserver.
  2. That domain is part of the DMCA copyright access control platform Admiral provides publishers so they can engage visitors in a transparent way on the value exchange for their copyrighted content, instead of resorting to surprise ad reinsertion the way some of our competitors advocate but visitors and advertisers dislike.
  3. Circumventing a publisher’s paywall or copyright access control technology is not OK and we don’t believe it’s core to the mission of AdBlock Plus and EasyList.
  4. We’ve shared this with EasyList and ABP through multiple direct communications over the past year.
  5. We asked them 24 days ago to remove functionalclam[.]com on the original commit.
  6. Their response seemed to indicate they would only take action if GitHub agreed.
  7. Therefore, we followed GitHub’s Guide to Submitting DMCA Takedown Notice that they require be used for “Code [that] ... is used to circumvent access controls.”
  8. We specifically requested a solution that protected the repository from disruption — removing Admiral’s domain from the filter. In the spirit of transparency, we’ve included that request below.
  9. GitHub contacted EasyList about not circumventing Admiral’s platform.
  10. EasyList, ABP and other adblockers stopped circumventing functionalclam[.]com yesterday and further clarified in comments that “If it is a Circumvention/Adblock-Warning adhost, it should be removed from Easylist even without the need for a DMCA request.”

We agree and appreciate the collaboration to get this figured out. Admiral remains committed to collaborating with EasyList, ABP and other adblockers in the future to resolve misunderstandings like this. We are all trying, in our own ways, to create a sustainable web for future generations. Transparent engagement between publishers and visitors is a critical piece of that.


DMCA Request re:Admiral DMCA Copyright Access Control platform

*Submission Date: August 1, 2017

Are you the copyright owner, 17 U.S.C. § 1201-1203 injured person or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf?


Please provide a detailed description of the original copyrighted work that has allegedly been infringed. If possible, include a URL to where it is posted online.

The code in question attempts to circumvent copyright access controls to copyrighted content on the site listed in the title of this commit ( ) by adding functionalclam[.]com to code in the repository.

GitHub’s DMCA Guide recommended this process for handling this specific situation: “Code [that] may be alleged to infringe, not because it is a direct copy, but because it is used to circumvent access controls.”

Pursuant to § 1201(a)(3)(B), a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if, “in the ordinary course of its operation, it requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.” The copyright access control platform employed by the copyright owner in this case does exactly that, allowing access to copyrighted content on a site only once a visitor has met the terms of access authorized by the copyright owner to gain access to the content. There are multiple parts to the copyright access control platform, including but not limited to, code on the domain functionalclam[.]com, called as part of the technological measure to effectively control access to the content.

Pursuant to § 1201(a)(3)(A), to “circumvent a technological measure” includes “to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner”. The infringing code listed below is designed or produced to circumvent the copyright access control platform described above, by specifically avoiding, bypassing, removing, deactivating or impairing calls to functionalclam[.]com so users of the circumvention can access copyrighted works without the authority of the copyright owner.

What files should be taken down? Please provide URLs for each file, or if the entire repository, the repository's URL:

The file is
but we don’t believe a full repository takedown should be necessary to fix this. See below.

Have you searched for any forks of the allegedly infringing files or repositories? Each fork is a distinct repository and must be identified separately if you believe it is infringing and wish to have it taken down.

Yes. This request is specific to this file. If we identify further circumvention attempts, we may follow GitHub’s recommended process for those as well.

Is the work licensed under an open source license? If so, which open source license? Are the allegedly infringing files being used under the open source license, or are they in violation of the license?


What would be the best solution for the alleged infringement? Are there specific changes the other person can make other than removal?

Full repository takedown should not be necessary. Instead, the repository owner can remove functionalclam[.]com from the file in question and not replace with alternative circumvention attempts.

We recommended this change through a direct request to the repository first, but our request was unsuccessful. We are hopeful this can be resolved in a collaborative way with the solution we’ve proposed. GitHub’s notice process is helpful in correcting 17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(5) accidental or innocent violations and assuring there is no confusion or ignorance about DMCA copyright access control circumvention going forward.

If further circumvention attempts are reported for the file or repository, we may follow GitHub’s recommended process for those as well at a file, repository or repeat infringer account level as described in GitHub’s DMCA Policy Section E:

Do you have the alleged infringer's contact information? If so, please provide it:

We do not have contact information for the repository owner. We have details on the commit submitter who uploaded the circumvention, but we cannot confirm if they are the repository owner. It would be helpful to obtain repository owner contact information and consent to jurisdiction from GitHub’s DMCA process to resolve items like this collaboratively in the future.

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, or its agent, the 17 U.S.C. § 1201-1203 injured person or the law. I have taken fair use into consideration.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner, the 17 U.S.C. § 1201-1203 injured person or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

I have read GitHub’s Guide to Submitting a DMCA Takedown Notice:


Thanks for reading this far down.

For more information on how Admiral can help your site protect its copyrighted content, please Contact Us.

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