My reading of HiQ Inc v LinkedIn Corp, No. 17-16783 D.C. No. 3:17-cv-03301-EMC. This is an important case, especially to those in the recruiting and sourcing world who count on sourcing tools to locate potential candidates. Many of which use advanced tools such as custom search engines to scrape (scan, search and record) sites such as LinkedIn to locate the candidate pool for their next search. I am giving you fair notice that this is a long read at just over an hour. It does go in to some great background detail on the laws LinkedIn hoped to use to back their case. In the end, it was the evaluation of those laws that proved HiQ to be the victor. Thanks HiQ.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Edward M. Chen, District Judge, Presiding
Today’s reading is the full US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit No 17-16783 decision in the HiQ Labs Inc v. LinkedIn Corporation case. Ultimately, this decision was 18 months in the making and District Court Judge J. Clifford Wallace (specially concurring), wrote that he concurred in the majority opinion. He wrote separately to express his concern about appealing from a preliminary injunction to obtain an appellate court’s view of the merits.
I emphasize that appealing from a preliminary injunction to obtain an appellate court’s view of the merits often leads to “unnecessary delay to the parties and inefficient use of judicial resources.” Sports Form, 686 F.2d at 753. These appeals generally provide “little guidance” because “of the limited scope of our review of the law” and “because the fully developed factual record may be materially different from that initially before the district court.” Id.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Edward M. Chen, District Judge, Presiding. Argued and Submitted March 15, 2018 San Francisco, California. Filed September 9, 2019 Before: J. Clifford Wallace and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges, and Terrence Berg,* District Judge. Opinion by Judge Berzon; Concurrence by Judge Wallace.
Preliminary Injunction / Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction forbidding the professional networking website LinkedIn Corp. from denying plaintiff hiQ, a data analytics company, access to publicly available LinkedIn member profiles.
Using automated bots, hiQ scrapes information that LinkedIn users have included on public LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn sent hiQ a cause-and-desist letter, demanding that hiQ stop accessing and copying data from LinkedIn’s server. HiQ filed suit, seeking injunctive relief based on California law and a declaratory judgment that LinkedIn could not lawfully invoke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, California Penal Code § 502(c), or the common law of trespass against it.
The Courts Opinion starts on page 5 and the conclusion begins on page 37.
We AFFIRM the district court’s determination that hiQ has established the elements required for a preliminary injunction and remand for further proceedings.