(CN) – An Internet security software company can’t be sued under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 for offering programs that delete malicious software, the 9th Circuit ruled.
A three-judge panel affirmed dismissal of a 2007 lawsuit filed by online media company Zango against Kaspersky Labs, accusing it of deleting its ad-serving software and thus interfering with its business relationships.
The panel ruled that Kaspersky, as an “interactive computer service,” is entitled to protection under the Communications Decency Act’s “good Samaritan” clause, and is thus immune to lawsuits for creating technical means to restrict objectionable material.
Zango contended on appeal that Congress intended immunity to apply only to Internet content providers, not to companies that provide filtering tools.
But in its decision, the Seattle-based appellate panel emphasized that the “statute plainly immunizes from suit a provider of interactive computer services that make available software that filters or screens materials that the user or the provider deems objectionable.”
Judge Rymer continued: “A provider of access tools that filter, screen, allow or disallow content that the provider or user considers obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable is protected.”
Zango is an Internet company that offers access to online videos, games and music to viewers who agreed to watch ads while browsing the Internet. It offers four downloadable software programs: Zango, Seekmo, Hotbar and Spam Blocker Utility.
Kaspersky Labs created content-filtering software called Kasperky Internet Security and Kaspersky Anti-Virus.