A federal appeals court ruling in a case involving an adult publisher appears to have delivered broader legal protections for online service providers against lawsuits claiming privacy violations and other illicit behavior by their users.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit released its 26-page opinion that upholds a number of lower-court findings against the adult-oriented Web site, Perfect 10, in a lawsuit against a family of companies including Web hosting service CWIE and credit card processing firm CCBill.