US judge favors MySpace in $30m teen lawsuit

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the social networking Web site MySpace filed by the family of a 13-year-old girl who says she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man she met online, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the $30 million lawsuit accused the site of having no measures to protect children who use it.

The lawsuit also named MySpace's parent company, News Corp., and the 19-year-old, whose criminal case has not yet gone to trial, the Associated Press report said.

In a ruling, US District Judge Sam Sparks said MySpace is protected under the Communications Decency Act and cannot be expected to verify the age of every user because that 'would of course stop MySpace's business in its tracks,' the report said.

The Associated Press report said the decency act cited by Sparks generally grants immunity to interactive computer services such as MySpace so that they are not liable for content posted by users.
Without immunity, companies such as MySpace 'would be crippled by lawsuits arising out of third-party communications,' Sparks wrote.

An attorney for the girl and her family said they will file an appeal, the report further said.