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9/7/2006
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Brief: Court Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Adware Maker

Embattled adware maker Zango crows, says it proves the case was without merit, and touts its growing sales.

Adware maker Zango said Thursday a lawsuit charging that it distributes spyware has been dismissed, and claimed a victory for the way it spreads software.

The class-action lawsuit, which was filed last year in an Illinois federal court, alleged that Zango, then called 180solutions, slipped spyware onto users' computers without their approval. "Defendants deceptively downloaded harmful and offensive 'spyware' to Plaintiff's computer," the original complaint read. "The spyware tracked Plaintiff's Internet use, invaded his privacy, and damaged his computer."

The case was dismissed Wednesday, said Zango in a statement, in the same U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that it was filed in nearly a year ago.

"We have maintained from its inception that this case had no merit. The dismissal vindicates that position," said Ken McGraw, Zango's general counsel in the statement. "[This] serves to confirm that Zango's desktop advertising software is not spyware in any shape or form and that our business model is entirely legitimate," he added.

Zango has clashed repeatedly with critics of its adware practices, most recently in July when a researcher blasted the Seattle-based company for using the popular MySpace social network to distribute its software.

Wednesday, it didn't pass up the opportunity to take a swipe at its detractors.

"Despite occasional distractions like this unfounded lawsuit and the background noise of a small group of fixated critics, I'm very proud of the fact that our desktop advertising business continues to grow," said Keith Smith, Zango's chief executive, in the same statement.

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