By ET Bureau - September 17, 2019 2 Mins Read
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled in Enigma Software’s case against Malwarebytes Inc. that the immunity protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act are “not limitless.” In its Opinion, the Court reasoned that a company may not engage in anticompetitive practices aimed at a competitor and then claim immunity under Section 230 from liability for the harm it unlawfully caused. The Court further ruled that Enigma Software’s allegations of anticompetitive practices undertaken by Malwarebytes to harm Enigma Software were sufficient to support Enigma Software’s legal claims against Malwarebytes. The Court rejected Malwarebytes’ position that it could unilaterally block any software it chose for any reason under the “otherwise objectionable” language of Section 230 and never have to account to anyone for the harm it causes – and the Court reversed the prior dismissal of the case and remanded it to the trial court for further proceedings.
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Enigma Software originally filed suit because of Malwarebytes’ predatory, anticompetitive blocking of Enigma Software’s independently tested, award-winning, certified program that has protected millions of users from cybersecurity threats worldwide. As set forth in the allegations of the lawsuit, Malwarebytes targeted Enigma Software precisely because Enigma Software is a successful competitor whose safe and effective anti-malware tool is popular with users. As also described at length in the lawsuit, Malwarebytes’ anticompetitive blocking practices have specifically harmed consumers by depriving them of the right to use the security software of their choice, as well as the right to choose to have multiple layers of anti-malware protection on their devices to better protect against ever-increasing malware risks and cybersecurity threats.
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