Fracas over iDownload C&D Letters

iDownload has been sending C&D letters to people who have characterized iSearch software as “malware” or “spyware.” See postings at Spyware Warrior and CastleCops. I’ve blogged on the misclassification problem before, and I remain deeply troubled that valuable software functionality will be prevented from coming to market in an overzealous pursuit of “spyware.” On the other hand, these C&Ds strike me as completely inappropriate. First, there are no well-accepted definitions of “spyware” or “malware.” Second, these characterizations may be protected opinions. See, e.g., Search King Inc. v. Google Technology, Inc., No. CIV-02-1457-M (W.D. Okla. Jan. 13, 2003) and Search King Inc. v. Google Technology, Inc., 2003 WL 21464568 (W.D. Okla. 2003). iDownload might consider spending its energies educating consumers rather than trying to conform discussion to meet its standards.

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