• 180Solutions Drops Suit Against Zone Labs
  • February 17, 2006
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Advertising software maker 180solutions has ended its lawsuit against Zone Labs, two months after it accused the Web security company of unfairly classifying its software as "high risk."

    As reported in the December 12, 2005, issue of [email protected], late last year, 180solutions sued ZoneLabs to try to force it to change the classification and the wording of warnings to customers that 180solution's software monitored their keystrokes and mouse movements.

    A spokesman for 180solutions suggested that the lawsuit served its purpose, as Zone Labs has since altered the classification of 180solutions' software from "high risk" to "suspicious," and changed its warning to say that 180solutions' software "may be" monitoring keystrokes and mouse movements. "The reason we ultimately dismissed the suit isn't because we agree with the labeling as it now stands," the spokesman said. "It's still over the top and fear-mongering in its nature. But the slight change in labeling, combined with the shrinking relevance ... of the ZoneAlarm application has allowed us to move forward with a handful of business deals that the original labeling prevented."

    Zone Labs denied that it relented on any of 180solutions' demands, and asserted that it told 180solutions executives that it intended to change its classifications before the lawsuit was filed.

    Significance: Anti-spyware companies for years have accused adware companies of unethical practices, such as burying download disclosures in lengthy legalese; installing software surreptitiously through Web browser security holes; and making it difficult to uninstall the pop-up programs. Recently, adware companies such as 180solutions have been aggressively striking back, contending that they've gone too far. The changes made by ZoneLabs suggest that the lawsuit was effective in getting ZoneLabs to back off from its earlier stance.