Judge tosses Zango lawsuit against Kaspersky

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Much maligned online media company Zango suffered its second court defeat in a week when a Washington state district judge threw out a lawsuit alleging that software from a leading anti-virus provider illegally blocked Zango programs.

Judge John Coughenour ruled that Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, with U.S. headquarters in Woburn, Mass., was protected under the federal Communications Decency Act, which bars the company from being held liable for placing "good-faith" restrictions on material it deems inappropriate.

Zango, however, said today in a statement to SCMagazineUS.com that it plans to challenge the ruling.

"Zango believes last week's…decision in its lawsuit against Kaspersky is erroneous on a number of levels," the statement said. "Zango is carefully evaluating its options and will provide further updates on its course of action as it deems appropriate."

The ruling comes just days after Bellevue, Wash.-based Zango, formerly known as 180solutions, agreed to drop a similar case against PC Tools.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission accused Zango of offering customers free web content, such as screensavers, games and peer-to-peer file-sharing software, without telling them it also contained adware. The adware, provided by third-party affiliates, allegedly monitored the consumers' browsing habits in order to display targeted pop-up ads, the agency said.

Zango settled for $3 million and was barred from downloading adware without users' consent.

Zango sued anti-virus manufacturer Kaspersky from blocking Zango's "potentially undesirable programs," according to a Kaspersky statement this week.

Steve Orenberg, Kaspersky Lab USA president, said in the statement: "We are thrilled with the outcome of this case because it supports the key message of the information security industry – consumer protection comes first."

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