I would like to achieve to get rid of the advertisement in this application. You can't seem to get rid of this mandatory ad displayed everytime you start it.

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Would asking for a practice to remove advertisements from application be considered a proper, on-topic question for Super User?

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If it's legal, yes; otherwise, no. –  Tom Wijsman Sep 30 '12 at 21:08
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If it's legal where? –  Michael Kjörling Oct 1 '12 at 11:46
    
@TomWijsman Is it illegal anywhere? –  Anderson Green Oct 10 '12 at 4:50
    
@MichaelKjörling: Read the legal link at the bottom of the page, an US country this site originates from. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 10 '12 at 12:00
    
@AndersonGreen: Basically, you're turning a free advertisement based application into something people would pay money. Agreed that it wouldn't be redistributed (sometimes it is), but this act still requires reverse engineering of the application which on its own is often listed as one of the things not to do. That's enough to not make it legal in every case... –  Tom Wijsman Oct 10 '12 at 12:02
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5 Answers 5

I think it smells fishy, like you're trying to get something for nothing, and those things don't usually go over well (along with the likes of Hackintoshes and averting IT security policies at your work place, etc.).

If you're going to try, then ensure you provide all the details you can about the program, and what efforts you've already put into stopping the ad, and what your results were.

If you make it technically challenging/interesting enough it might last past the people who may think you're simply a free-loader, asking for a way to subvert your EULA.

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I'm pretty sure the awfulness of that particular picture will outweigh any ill will from subverting the EULA. Those people are way too excited about their 1GB free storage... –  Tanner Oct 3 '12 at 14:43
    
You are assuming the user is NOT within their rights to block ads. An EULA might have anything in it (you cannot do this, this and this...) - but its legality and enforceability depends on the laws of the land. It's likely that sticking to the EULA is actually illegal. –  DeepSpace101 Oct 7 '12 at 20:08
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@Sid, this is dubious at best. I think it's clear intent that you not modify closed-source programs, especially their bread and butter. I definitely think it's fishy. –  Alex Nye Oct 7 '12 at 21:12
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Removing ads from (anywhere) an application is a "Human Right". Being subjugated to advertisements is far from my cup of cake. I don't care whose EULA it might be. If it comes to the point where I can't legally (pay to) remove the adds and where I can be legally punished for removing them, I'll rather find another application. –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 9 '12 at 18:16
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@ЯрославРахматуллин, + 1 million upvotes for far from my cup of cake –  James Hill Oct 11 '12 at 17:25
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haha, that's what happens when you you a foreign language and try to sound native with cool expressions :) –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 11 '12 at 17:33
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I'll hazard a guess that the original poster is familiar with removing adverts from webpages, for example with adblock, and is just wondering whether you can do the same with applications. I don't think there's any malicious intent behind this request.

Perhaps it's best to explain why tampering with a program is a different matter (among other things you don't have to agree to an EULA when you visit a website). Of course this particular program looks like it's just displaying HTML so it might be possible to do something without firing up a disassembler.

In short: I think the question is fine, but the honest and legal answer is "no".

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I think yes, if it is not just "Please send me the patch" and you showed some efforts about reaching this yourself.

Expect workaroundish methods like blocking network addresses or messing with windows to be discussed here, not de-compiling or patching the program (unless there is some patch already available).

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I would say it depends on the reason the application is showing ads in the first place.

If it's an ad-supported app that has an option to pay to get rid of the ads, then definitely not — just pay the fee.

If it's a for-pay app where you already paid, with no mention of popup ads before you paid, and the company is now changing the deal and spamming you (cough Parallels Desktop) I'd say those ads are completely fair game for removal and discussion of methods should be allowed.

Apps that are ad-supported and don't offer an option to pay to go ad-free are more of a grey area — the author is surely allowed to make that choice, but on the other hand, it's reasonable to want to nuke in-app ads, particularly if they're insanely annoying.

Perhaps the best option here would be to find an alternative and see if the fall-off in users convinces the author to offer an ad-free option — but I would favour being allowed to discuss removal methods in this case, too.

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Apps that are ad-supported and don't offer an option to go ad-free are not a grey area! The author obviously intends the adds to appear, possibly even gets revenue from them being displayed! Stripping them out is as bad as free-loading! –  HaydnWVN Oct 9 '12 at 14:35
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That's why I suggested the best way is to find an alternative app. However, if an app starts with non-intrusive ads (like from the Deck network) then switches silently to giant blinking popup monstrosities, I would have no qualms about blocking them, especially if on a platform like iOS where reverting to an earlier version isn't particularly feasible. If an author treats me with contempt, he shouldn't be surprised to be treated the same way, after all. –  John Yeates Oct 9 '12 at 14:48
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Surely if an app 'starts with non-intrusive adds then switches silently to giant blinking popup monstrosities' then the correct and ethical response is to simply stop using the app. That seems pretty clear-cut to me. –  PhantomDrummer Oct 10 '12 at 7:29
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@PhantomDrummer: unfortunately, dropping an application is not always possible. Even if there is a functionally equivalent application available, migrating the user data may not be easy... –  thkala Oct 10 '12 at 22:25
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I say go right ahead and ask the question already! I'm getting curious myself.

The image name on the IMQQ webpage is "QQi_v1.5_350x344.jpg", so maybe you could try to search for that file name on your computer and delete it if found, or replace it by a white block JPG with the same file name?

Otherwise, if it is fetched in real time from the web, maybe you can find a way to deny that specific request, with a firewall, or you could edit your hosts file and redirect the image address to localhost?

That's a few suggestions to start with, anyway. It doesn't appear to be open source, so handling it that way would probably be rather complicated.

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Meta is more for discussions about something, not for the actual answer to the OP's hypothetical question. –  slhck Oct 12 '12 at 9:44
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