You're viewing Docket Item 1 from the case hiQ Labs, Inc. v. Linkedin Corporation. View the full docket and case details.

Download this document:




1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
*Affiliation noted for identification purposes only.
34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
C. Brandon Wisoff (State Bar No. 121930)
[email protected]
Deepak Gupta (State Bar No. 226991)
[email protected]
Rebecca H. Stephens (State Bar No. 299234)
[email protected]
Jeffrey G. Lau (State Bar No. 281629)
[email protected]
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
Telephone: (415) 954-4400
Facsimile: (415) 954-4480
Laurence H. Tribe* (State Bar No. 39441)
Carl M. Loeb University Professor and
Professor of Constitutional Law
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-1767
Pro hac vice pending
Attorneys for Plaintiff hiQ Labs, Inc.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
hiQ Labs, Inc.,
Plaintiff,
vs.
LinkedIn Corp.,
Defendant.
Case No.
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY
JUDGMENT UNDER 22 U.S.C. § 2201
THAT PLAINTIFF HAS NOT
VIOLATED: (1) THE COMPUTER
FRAUD AND ABUSE ACT (18 U.S.C. §
1030); (2) THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM
COPYRIGHT ACT (17 U.S.C. §1201);(3)
COMMON LAW TRESPASS TO
CHATTELS; OR (4) CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 502(c);
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF TO ENJOIN: (1)
INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH
CONTRACT AND PROSPECTIVE
ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE; (2) UNFAIR
COMPETITION (CAL. BUS. & PROF.
CODE § 17200); (3) PROMISSORY
ESTOPPEL; AND (4) VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA FREE SPEECH LAW;
AND RELATED MONETARY RELIEF
Plaintiff hiQ Labs, Inc. (“hiQ”), by its undersigned counsel, hereby brings this action Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 1 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 2 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
against Defendant LinkedIn Corporation (“Defendant” or “LinkedIn”) and alleges as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1.This is an action for declaratory relief under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28
U.S.C. § 2201 and 2202, and for injunctive relief under California law. hiQ seeks a declaration
from the Court that hiQ has not violated and will not violate federal or state law by accessing and
copying wholly public information from LinkedIn’s website. hiQ further seeks injunctive relief
preventing LinkedIn from misusing the law to destroy hiQ’s business, and give itself a competitive
advantage through unlawful and unfair business practices and suppression of California
Constitutional free speech fair guarantees. hiQ also seeks damages to the extent applicable.
2.hiQ is a tech startup which collects and analyzes public profile information on
LinkedIn in order to provide its clients – mostly large companies – with insights about their
employees, such as which employees are likely to be poached by a competitor or which skills its
employees have. hiQ does not analyze the private sections of LinkedIn, such as profile
information that is only visible when you are signed-in as a member, or member private data that
is visible only when you are “connected” to a member. Rather, the information that is at issue
here is wholly public information visible to anyone with an internet connection.
3.LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 500 million
members. LinkedIn has abruptly, unlawfully and without cause denied hiQ access to the portion
of the LinkedIn website containing wholly public member profiles. hiQ relies on that public data,
available nowhere but LinkedIn, for its data analytics business that serves clients including eBay,
Capital One, and GoDaddy.
4.On May 23, 2017, LinkedIn sent hiQ a cease-and-desist letter ordering hiQ to stop
accessing LinkedIn and stating that hiQ’s continued access to the website would violate the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and California Penal Code §
502(c) and constitute common law trespass to chattels. This came as a shock to hiQ, as LinkedIn
has been aware of hiQ’s activities for several years and never once objected to hiQ’s use of this
public information.
5.LinkedIn asserts as pretext that it needs to protect LinkedIn member data even Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 2 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 3 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
though LinkedIn members have expressly made that information public and LinkedIn has
identified no harm to itself or its members. LinkedIn publicly acknowledges on its own website
that the public profile data belongs to LinkedIn members, not to LinkedIn, and that each member
is free to choose the level of public disclosure allowed for his or her own information. LinkedIn
members can choose to (1) keep their profile information private; (2) share only with their direct
connections; (3) share with connections within three degrees of separation; (4) allow access only
to other signed-in LinkedIn members, or (5) allow access to everyone, even members of the
general public who may have no LinkedIn account and who can access the information without
signing in or using any password. It is only this fifth category of information – wholly public
profiles – that is at issue here: hiQ only accesses the profiles that LinkedIn members have made
available to the general public.
6.hiQ uses that information for data analytics that LinkedIn members’ employers in
turn use to retain employees and to create better career and internal mobility paths for such
employees. Thus, far from harming LinkedIn members, hiQ’s access promotes precisely the type
of professional and employment opportunities that lead LinkedIn members to make their profiles
public in the first place. Yet, LinkedIn is now threatening hiQ with legal action based on the
above described theories if hiQ accesses this information which is otherwise publicly available to
everyone else on the planet with an internet connection.
7.The Court should enjoin LinkedIn from denying hiQ access to its website because
LinkedIn’s real motivation is obviously anticompetitive: to prevent anyone but LinkedIn from
being able to use public information for data analytics. LinkedIn for years has known about hiQ
and its business, has attended data analytics conferences at hiQ and has even accepted awards
from hiQ at these conferences. But LinkedIn has now made some public statements about
entering the data analytics business, and has abruptly (as of May 24, 2017) decided to terminate
hiQ’s access.
8.LinkedIn’s entire stated complaint is that hiQ “copies” the data its members have
made public, but LinkedIn has asserted no copyright or other exclusive propriety interest in the
data and it clearly has none. Moreover, hiQ does not collect all (or even a substantial proportion) Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 3 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 4 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
of the member profiles on LinkedIn, nor does it compete with LinkedIn by creating a substitute
social network or job posting forum. Rather, hiQ pulls data for a limited subset of users – usually
its client’s employees – and uses scientific methodology to analyze the information. hiQ then
provides its clients with this new data that it produced in a form that is by necessity very different
from the public profile pages on LinkedIn.
9.Because LinkedIn has no legitimate copyright claim, it has instead threatened to
sue hiQ under federal and state laws pertaining to hacking and unauthorized computer and
network access in order to intimidate hiQ and force it to stop accessing these public profiles. But
LinkedIn cannot use those laws for an improper purpose to obtain exclusive proprietary control
over wholly public data in which it otherwise has no exclusive interest and which hiQ, and anyone
else, can freely access on the world wide web with no log-in credentials or password. Indeed,
LinkedIn would not have that data on its website in the first place but for its promise to LinkedIn
members that they can publicly disclose that information on LinkedIn for all the world to see and
use.
THE PARTIES
10.Plaintiff hiQ is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in San
Francisco, California.
11.On information and belief, Defendant LinkedIn is a Delaware corporation with its
principal place of business in Sunnyvale, California.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
12.The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1331
because Plaintiff’s first and second claims for relief seek a declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C. §
2201 and 2202 that Plaintiff has not violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §
1030, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C § 1201.
13.Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, the Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s
third through eleventh claims for relief because they arise out of the same common set of facts and
conduct as Plaintiff’s federal claims for relief.
14.This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant LinkedIn in this action Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 4 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 5 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
because, on information and belief, LinkedIn’s corporate headquarters and principal place of
business is within this judicial district, and LinkedIn has engaged in substantial business within
this district.
15.Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1) and (2) because
Defendant LinkedIn conducts substantial business within this District and a substantial part of the
acts or omissions giving rise to Plaintiff’s claims occurred in this District. Venue is further proper
in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1400(a) because this action relates to copyrights and
Defendant LinkedIn resides in this District.
INTRADISTRICT ASSIGNMENT
16.Pursuant to N.D. Cal. Civil Local Rule 3-2(c), this case is an intellectual property
action appropriate for assignment on a district-wide basis.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
About hiQ Labs and its Services
17.hiQ was formed in July 2012 and has raised $14.5 million in two rounds of
funding. It presently has 24 employees, the majority of whom are in its San Francisco office, and
11 of whom have advanced degrees, including several PhDs. hiQ sells Fortune 500 clients
“people analytics” – i.e. insights to their workforce – that it deduces by performing computerized
analyses of the public profile information available on LinkedIn. hiQ provides its customers two
specific analytics services: (a) “Keeper,” which tells employers which of their employees are at
the greatest risk of being recruited away, and (b) “Skill Mapper,” a summary of the breadth and
depth of aggregate or individual skills possessed.
18.hiQ uses the public profile section of the LinkedIn website as raw data for its
analysis and has historically used a variety of software and manual means to gather this
information. hiQ does not analyze the private sections of LinkedIn, such as profile information
that is only visible when you are signed-in as a member, or member private data that is visible
only when you are “connected” to a member. hiQ does not republish the information it collects
from LinkedIn, but instead applies analytics to create new business intelligence for its clients.
hiQ’s services thus do not impair or impede the value of the LinkedIn social network. Rather they Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 5 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 6 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
make it more valuable to have such a profile – an employer using the “Keeper” product might give
an employee a “stay bonus” or a career development or internal mobility opportunity, or
SkillMapper may demonstrate that its workforce lacks depth in a particular skill area, which could
lead the employer to offer its employees free training to make up for that deficit.
The LinkedIn Professional Network and The Public Member Profile Portion of the Website.
19.The core of LinkedIn’s business is a professional network that aggregates the
profile information of about half a billion professionals, their interrelationships, their posts, and
their cross-endorsements. LinkedIn states that the purpose of the service is to “promote economic
opportunity” and provide a place for professionals “to meet, exchange, ideas, learn and find
opportunities….” See Exhibit 1 (LinkedIn User Agreement).
20.LinkedIn member profiles contain resume information such as education, skills,
publications, certifications, and employment history. Members can connect their LinkedIn
profiles to those of colleagues around the world. LinkedIn’s collection of profiles is a one-of-a-
kind resource. It is the single largest, most up-to-date and authoritative repository about the
world’s professional community. There is no comparable data source anywhere else in the world.
21.LinkedIn admittedly does not own the data that its members decide to share
publicly on LinkedIn’s website. LinkedIn explains to members that “you own the content and
information that you submit.” See Exhibit 1 (LinkedIn User Agreement) at 3.1. LinkedIn is
unequivocal that members control their profiles: “You control the visibility and reach of your
LinkedIn profile.” See Exhibit 2 (Public & Private Profiles | LinkedIn Help). LinkedIn gives
members the ability and right to specify which portions of their profiles will be visible to their
direct connections, their network (those within three degrees of separation), all LinkedIn members,
and the “public.” The “public” setting (which is at issue here) gives access to “[a]ll LinkedIn
members as well as others who find you through search engines (e.g. Google, Bing) or other
services.” Exhibit 3 (showing public profile settings). Public profiles may be reached via third-
party services (e.g. Google and Bing) and directly via a web address (URL) that LinkedIn creates
for its members. Thus, LinkedIn acknowledges that a public setting will permit access for anyone
in the world with an internet connection. The User Agreement explains that “Members and/or Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 6 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 7 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
Visitors may access and share your content and information, consistent with your settings and
degree of connection with them.” Exhibit 1 (LinkedIn User Agreement).
22.LinkedIn has effectively become a public forum where professionals can meet and
exchange ideas, information, and news articles. LinkedIn describes itself as a “community” and
users are able to post publicly, share other members’ posts, and comment on other members’
posts. As discussed more fully herein in the Eleventh Claim for Relief, LinkedIn cannot –
consistent with the free speech clause of the California Constitution – selectively exclude hiQ
from this “public” forum, even if LinkedIn’s servers are considered “private” property. The
California Supreme Court has definitively interpreted these constitutionally guaranteed free speech
rights as precluding an owner of private property from prohibiting such access when the property
has been opened to the public and constitutes a public forum. The United States Supreme Court
has in turn upheld this California constitutional right as against a challenge that it amounts to a
“taking” of private property under the United States Constitution. LinkedIn cannot have it both
ways even on its own web servers: promising a public forum and public access on the one hand,
and then selectively excluding members of the public on the other.
23.Since its founding in 2002, LinkedIn has created numerous successful revenue
streams, including selling services to corporations that help with their recruiting and sales
processes. As of hiQ’s launch in 2012, LinkedIn’s annual revenues were on the order of nearly $1
billion, a number that had nearly quadrupled by the end of 2016. In late 2016, LinkedIn was
purchased by Microsoft Corporation.
LinkedIn’s Surprising Cease and Desist Letter To hiQ
24.LinkedIn has known of hiQ since at least 2015 when it started participating in
hiQ’s annual Elevate conference. The hiQ Elevate conference was designed to build a community
around the emerging field of people analytics and has provided a regular forum for participants to
share insights and disseminate best practices. LinkedIn has sent representatives to each iteration
of that conference since hiQ’s founding. hiQ has spoken freely about its public data collection
from LinkedIn at Elevate, so LinkedIn has always understood what hiQ does. Over the years,
LinkedIn has itself participated regularly in hiQ Elevate events. At a 2016 Elevate conference, Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 7 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 8 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
LinkedIn employee Lorenzo Canlas received special recognition and accepted the hiQ Elevate
“Impact Award.”
25.Given LinkedIn’s awareness of hiQ over the years and its seeming support of the
business, hiQ was surprised when on May 23, 2017, without any forewarning, LinkedIn’s legal
counsel emailed a letter to hiQ, stating that hiQ was improperly “access[ing] and copy[ing]”
LinkedIn public profile information. The letter demanded that hiQ “[c]ease and desist accessing
or attempting to access or use LinkedIn’s website, computers, computer systems, computer
network, computer programs, and data stored therein.” See Exhibit 4 (Cease-and-Desist Letter) at
2. LinkedIn’s letter stated that hiQ was in violation of the LinkedIn User Agreement, state
trespass law, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, California Penal Code 502, and the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act. Id. The letter also stated that any further access to the site would be
“without permission” and “without authorization.” Further, LinkedIn stated it has implemented
“technical measures” to block hiQ from the site. Id.
26.The LinkedIn User Agreement does not even apply to members of the general
public who access LinkedIn’s website without an account or sign-in credentials. Moreover,
LinkedIn itself ignores many of its own user terms, selectively allowing access and copying when
it wants and purporting to enforce terms only when it is advantageous to LinkedIn. Thus,
LinkedIn user terms tell members that they control who can see and use their public profiles, but
LinkedIn is here deciding that hiQ is excluded from that otherwise public access. In addition,
other for-profit companies, including Google and Bing, by necessity copy and index large portions
of the public portions or LinkedIn’s website and display that information in their search engine
results for all the world to see.
27.After receiving the cease-and-desist letter, hiQ promptly retained counsel who
contacted LinkedIn to explain hiQ’s belief that it had a right to access public pages, that its
business is synergistic to LinkedIn, that the effect of LinkedIn’s letter would devastate hiQ, and to
understand whether LinkedIn believed it was being harmed in any way. LinkedIn’s counsel was
unable to point to any interference or impairment with LinkedIn’s servers from hiQ’s accessing
the site, and conceded that various other commercial enterprises, including Google and Yahoo! are Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 8 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 9 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
permitted to use automated software to access the LinkedIn site. When hiQ asked counsel for
LinkedIn whether LinkedIn is planning to offer services to compete with hiQ’s Keeper and Skill
Mapper analytics, he stated that he did not know the answer to that question. When asked what
copyright or propriety interest LinkedIn is claiming in the public data displayed by members, he
stated clearly that LinkedIn is asserting no copyright claim.
28.LinkedIn is thus improperly using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act and related state penal code and trespass law, not as a shield – as
intended by those laws – to prevent harmful hacking and unauthorized computer access, but as a
sword to stifle competition and assert propriety control over data in which it has no exclusive
interest. In other words, LinkedIn recognizes it has no valid propriety or copyright interest, so it
claims only that it has a propriety interest to control access to its website, treating that digital
realm as though it were physical real property. Not only is the analogy inapposite, but LinkedIn
ignores that the public profile data of members would not reside on its website in the first place
but for its express promise that the date would be public for all to see and use. Thus, while
LinkedIn can certainly prevent abusive access to its website, it should not be allowed to pervert
the purpose of the laws at issue by using them to destroy putative competitors, engage in unlawful
and unfair business practices and suppress the free speech rights of California citizens and
businesses as alleged more fully herein.
29.On May 30, 2017 counsel for hiQ sent a letter, attached as Exhibit 5, to LinkedIn
asking that hiQ be permitted to access the public profiles portion of the LinkedIn website, at least
in the interim while the parties discussed the possibility of a mutually amicable resolution. As of
this date, LinkedIn has not responded.
Recently Uncovered Evidence Suggests That LinkedIn Is Developing Its Own Analytics
Offerings Based On Public Profile Data.
30.In hiQ’s investigation in connection with these proceedings, it discovered that
LinkedIn has started building its own offerings based on public member profiles. In a February
2015 earnings call, several years after hiQ’s launch, LinkedIn’s CEO announced, “This year, we
plan to enter a new category with products allowing companies to utilize LinkedIn in the Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 9 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 10 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
enterprise by leveraging content and data that members are already sharing publicly.” When
discussing this “new category” of products, LinkedIn’s CEO explained:
[T]here’s an opportunity for LinkedIn to create value within an
enterprise, within an organization leveraging information that’s
already public. So by way of example, our public profile
information, which particularly at larger organizations, you see some
of those companies turning to LinkedIn to look up someone with
their own company, because of how robust that public profile
information can prove to be.
So there’s examples of content or information that’s already
publicly available, and we’re trying to think about ways in which we
can better leverage that to create value within an organization.
A page on the LinkedIn website states that it is also investing in its own data science projects. See
<<https://engineering.linkedin.com/data>> (accessed 6/7/17).
31.LinkedIn is aware that its denial of access by hiQ to these public profiles will
jeopardize hiQ’s existing contracts and prospective economic advantage and threaten hiQ’s very
survival. hiQ has explicitly made LinkedIn aware of existing contracts with eBay, Capital One,
and GoDaddy, and prospective relationships with Bank of New York Mellon, Chevron, Groupon,
Honeywell, IBM, Visier, and Jobvite. Exhibit 5 (Response to Cease-and-Desist Letter) at 3. hiQ
has also informed LinkedIn of current financing negotiations that are imperiled by its threats. Id.
LinkedIn has nevertheless refused to revoke its unlawful cease and desist demands and has never
identified any actual harm to itself or anyone else from hiQ’s continued access to purely public
profiles, access that is freely available to this day to anyone else in the world with an internet
connection.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Declaratory Judgment that hiQ Has Not Violated And Will Not Violate the Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act 18 U.S.C. § 1030, By Accessing LinkedIn Public Profiles
32.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
33.Under the Declaratory Judgment Act, courts may “declare the rights and other legal Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 10 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 11 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
relations” of parties “to a case of actual controversy.” 28 U.S.C. § 2201.
34.An actual controversy exists between hiQ and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, through its
cease-and desist-letter and threats of litigation, is attempting to use the law for an improper,
anticompetitive purpose and to give itself a competitive advantage. LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist
letter alleges that hiQ’s continued access of LinkedIn’s website would violate the Computer
Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. LinkedIn has also threatened hiQ with
litigation if it does not stop accessing LinkedIn’s website, and complying with LinkedIn’s
demands would essentially destroy hiQ’s business. Indeed, LinkedIn has already threatened hiQ’s
business by implementing technical measures to prevent hiQ from accessing, and assisting others
to access, LinkedIn’s site. hiQ thus has a real and reasonable apprehension that it will be subject
to liability if it continues to access LinkedIn’s website. Moreover, this apprehension was caused
by LinkedIn’s actions—namely, LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist letter and its implementation of
technology to block hiQ from accessing its site.
35.Plaintiff seeks a declaration that it has not and will not be in violation of the CFAA
by continuing to access and copy data from the public member profile sections of LinkedIn and
that LinkedIn cannot use the provisions of the CFAA for an improper purpose in a way that leads
to independent violations of California law and infringes on Plaintiff’s rights.
36.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Declaratory Judgment that hiQ Has Not Violated And Will Not Violate the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1201, By Accessing LinkedIn Public Profiles
37.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
38.An actual controversy exists between hiQ and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, through its
cease-and desist-letter and threats of litigation, is attempting to use the law for an improper,
anticompetitive purpose and to give itself a competitive advantage. LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist
letter alleges that hiQ’s continued access of LinkedIn’s website would violate the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §§ 512, 1201) (“DMCA”). LinkedIn has also threatened Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 11 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 12 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
hiQ with litigation if it does not stop accessing LinkedIn’s website, and complying with
LinkedIn’s demands would essentially destroy hiQ’s business. Indeed, LinkedIn has already
threatened hiQ’s business by implementing technical measures to prevent hiQ from accessing, and
assisting others to access, LinkedIn’s site. hiQ thus has a real and reasonable apprehension that it
will be subject to liability if it continues to access LinkedIn’s website. Moreover, this
apprehension was caused by LinkedIn’s actions—namely, LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist letter and
its implementation of technology to block hiQ from accessing its site.
39.Plaintiff seeks a declaration that it has not and will not be in violation of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act by continuing to access and copy data from the public member profile
sections of LinkedIn and that LinkedIn cannot use the provisions of the DMCA for an improper
purpose in a way that leads to independent violations of California law and infringes on Plaintiff’s
rights.
40.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Declaratory Judgment that hiQ Has Not Committed and Will Not Commit Common Law
Trespass To Chattels By Accessing LinkedIn Public Profiles
41.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
42.An actual controversy exists between hiQ and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, through its
cease-and desist-letter and threats of litigation, is attempting to use the law for an improper,
anticompetitive purpose and to give itself a competitive advantage. LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist
letter alleges that hiQ’s continued access of LinkedIn’s website would constitute a trespass to
chattels under California common law. LinkedIn has also threatened hiQ with litigation if it does
not stop accessing LinkedIn’s website, and complying with LinkedIn’s demands would essentially
destroy hiQ’s business. Indeed, LinkedIn has already threatened hiQ’s business by implementing
technical measures to prevent hiQ from accessing, and assisting others to access, LinkedIn’s site.
hiQ thus has a real and reasonable apprehension that it will be subject to liability if it continues to
access LinkedIn’s website. Moreover, this apprehension was caused by LinkedIn’s actions—Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 12 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 13 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
namely, LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist letter and its implementation of technology to block hiQ from
accessing its site.
43.Plaintiff seeks a declaration that it has not committed and will not commit trespass
to chattels by continuing to access and copy data from the public member profile sections of
LinkedIn and that LinkedIn cannot use common law protections against trespass to chattels for an
improper purpose in a way that leads to independent violations of California law and infringes on
Plaintiff’s rights.
44.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Declaratory Judgment that hiQ Has Not Violated And Will Not Violate California Penal
Code § 502(c) By Accessing LinkedIn Public Profiles
45.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
46.An actual controversy exists between hiQ and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, through its
cease-and desist-letter and threats of litigation, is attempting to use the law for an improper,
anticompetitive purpose and to give itself a competitive advantage. LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist
letter alleges that hiQ’s continued access of LinkedIn’s website would constitute a violation of
California Penal Code § 502(c). LinkedIn has also threatened hiQ with litigation if it does not
stop accessing LinkedIn’s website, and complying with LinkedIn’s demands would essentially
destroy hiQ’s business. Indeed, LinkedIn has already threatened hiQ’s business by implementing
technical measures to prevent hiQ from accessing, and assisting others to access, LinkedIn’s site.
hiQ thus has a real and reasonable apprehension that it will be subject to liability if it continues to
access LinkedIn’s website. Moreover, this apprehension was caused by LinkedIn’s actions—
namely, LinkedIn’s cease-and-desist letter and its implementation of technology to block hiQ from
accessing its site.
47.Plaintiff seeks a declaration that it has not and will not be in violation of the Cal.
Penal Code § 502(c) by continuing to access and copy date from the public member profile
sections of LinkedIn and that LinkedIn cannot use the provisions of the California Penal Code for Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 13 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 14 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
an improper purpose in a way that leads to independent violations of California law and infringes
on Plaintiff’s rights.
48.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Intentional Interference with Contract
49.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
50.hiQ has valid, current service contracts with each of its clients, including without
limitation eBay, Capital One, and GoDaddy.
51.LinkedIn has and had knowledge of hiQ’s valid customer contracts. hiQ has
informed LinkedIn of its base of clients such that it is aware of these contracts. hiQ has also
provided notice to LinkedIn of a pending financing, as well as potential deals with Bank of New
York Mellon, Chevron, Groupon, Honeywell, IBM, Visier and Jobvite. All of these contracts and
prospective economic relationships are endangered by LinkedIn’s conduct.
52.LinkedIn was aware of the harm to hiQ that would result from denying hiQ access
to its public member pages but chose to proceed anyway. hiQ gave LinkedIn oral and written
notice that its customer relationships stood to be destroyed if its ability to access public profile
pages was denied. In response to LinkedIn’s cease and desist letter, hiQ wrote that it has
“millions of dollars’ worth of business that now hangs in the balance because of LinkedIn’s
wrongful bait and switch.” hiQ further wrote that it was “presently in the midst of a financing
round, which is now endangered because of your letter.”
53.LinkedIn’s conduct will disrupt or require breach or termination of these contracts.
hiQ’s entire business is premised on applying data science to information gathered from LinkedIn
public profile pages. Preventing hiQ from accessing this data will necessarily mean that hiQ can
no longer perform under the contracts with its clients.
54.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
suffer damages including but not limited to lost business and potential bankruptcy. Unless
LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will suffer severe, Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 14 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 15 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate the contracts with its clients and may be
forced out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that unless
the court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its website or
prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
55.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages will not afford
adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to continue
operating.
56.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
57.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
58.As detailed in Plaintiff’s fifth claim for relief above, LinkedIn intentionally
interfered with hiQ’s contracts.
59.LinkedIn committed an independently wrongful act when it revoked access to
public profiles for three reasons: (1) LinkedIn breached its express promises that members control
access to these pages, LinkedIn has only a non-exclusive license, and visitors may access and use
these pages; (2) LinkedIn has violated California’s Unfair Competition Law as detailed in
Plaintiff’s seventh through ninth claims for relief; and (3) LinkedIn has impermissibly interfered
with California free speech protections. LinkedIn should not be allowed to intentionally and
wrongfully disrupt hiQ’s contracts and prospective business dealings by revoking its access to
avowedly public material.
60.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer damages including but not limited to lost business and potential bankruptcy.
Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will suffer severe,
irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate the contracts with its clients and may be
forced out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that unless
the court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its website or Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 15 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 16 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
61.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages will not afford
adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to continue
operating.
62.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Unfair Competition in Violation of Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.
63.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
64.Absent injunctive relief, hiQ will suffer loss of money or property and an economic
injury in fact, specifically being forced to terminate contracts with its customers and likely close
its business and lay off its employees, and thus has standing to seek relief under section 17200.
65.LinkedIn’s access denial violates the policy or spirit of antitrust law. LinkedIn is
using its dominant presence as the world’s largest professional networking platform to assume
exclusive proprietary control over data that is owned not by LinkedIn, but by its members, and
which those members have explicitly designated as public. Indeed, LinkedIn promises members
the ability to control public access to their profiles precisely to incent members to join LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s recent and threatened actions thus suppress competition and violate the core principles
and spirit of the antitrust laws.
66.Likewise, antitrust law has long recognized the “essential facilities” doctrine, which
precludes a monopolist or attempted monopolist from denying access to a facility it controls that is
essential to its competitors. Such anticompetitive conduct threatens the extension of the
monopolist’s control from one stage of production to another, or from one market to another.
67.LinkedIn’s member public profiles is such an essential facility because there is no
viable alternative to LinkedIn’s dominant 500 million member database to obtain data relevant in
the field of employee data analytics. Even if it were theoretically possible to create another
competing networking platform and database, that is not a reality given LinkedIn’s undeniable
dominance. There is no technical barrier or subsequent cost to LinkedIn providing access. Until Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 16 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 17 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
recently, LinkedIn has been providing access to hiQ without burden or complaint. hiQ seeks non-
discriminatory access that others, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, already enjoy.
68.The impact of LinkedIn’s actions on hiQ is obvious and devastating; hiQ’s very
business model and prospects, as well as its employee relationships, are threatened beyond repair.
LinkedIn’s purported justification – protection of member data – is by contrast obviously
pretextual as hiQ accesses only data that LinkedIn members have explicitly made public.
LinkedIn allows all major search engines to access, copy and display portions of this member
public data without complaint. LinkedIn has never hinted at any concrete harm that hiQ’s access
has caused to LinkedIn or its members. LinkedIn has repeatedly complained about hiQ’s
“copying” of public data but does not contend that it has any copyright or ownership interest in the
data. It simply wants to lock down website access to public data in which it has no independent
legal right in order to create propriety control where no could otherwise legally exist.
69.Thus, under any standard LinkedIn’s actions constitute actionable violations of the
UCL’s “unfair” business practices prong.
70.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer loss of money and property including but not limited to lost business and
potential bankruptcy. Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction,
hiQ will suffer severe, irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate contracts with its
clients and may be forced out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis
alleges, that unless the court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access
to its website or prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
71.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages will not afford
adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to continue
operating.
72.Plaintiff prays for relief as set forth below.
EIGHTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Unlawful Competition in Violation of Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.
73.Absent injunctive relief, hiQ will suffer loss of money or property and an economic Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 17 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 18 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
injury in fact, specifically being forced to terminate contracts with its customers and likely close
its business and lay off its employees, and thus has standing to seek relief under section 17200.
74.LinkedIn’s actions establish a claim of unlawful competition on multiple grounds.
LinkedIn’s tortious interference with hiQ’s current and prospective contractual and business
relationships, its breach of promissory estoppel, and its violation of California free speech
protection all give rise to a claim under the “unlawful” business practices prong of the UCL.
75.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer damages including but not limited to lost business and potential bankruptcy.
Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will suffer severe,
irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate contracts with its clients and may be forced
out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that unless the
court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its website or
prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
76.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages will not afford
adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to continue
operating.
77.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
NINTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Fraudulent Competition in Violation of Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.
78.Absent injunctive relief, hiQ will suffer loss of money or property and an economic
injury in fact, specifically being forced to breach contracts with its customers and likely close its
business and lay off its employees, and thus has standing to seek relief under section 17200.
79.LinkedIn’s actions constitute fraudulent competition. LinkedIn made a clear
promise that members’ profile pages would be “public.” LinkedIn guarantees members that the
members “control the visibility and reach of [their] LinkedIn profile.” The User Agreement tells
each member that “you own the content and information that you submit,” and “you are granting
LinkedIn [only a] non-exclusive license.” It further provides, “Members and/or Visitors may
access and share your content and information, consistent with your settings and degree of Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 18 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 19 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
connection with them.” These statements are likely to deceive the public, as LinkedIn is now
taking the position that it has the ability to control who can access member profiles and which
information will be public.
80.hiQ reasonably relied to its detriment on LinkedIn’s promises of public access and
LinkedIn’s participation at hiQ conferences in building its business around those public profiles.
81.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer economic injury including but not limited to lost business and potential
bankruptcy. Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will
suffer severe, irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate contracts with its clients and
may be forced out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that
unless the court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its
website or prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
82.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages will not afford
adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to continue
operating.
83.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
TENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Promissory Estoppel
84.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein.
85.As detailed above, LinkedIn, made a clear promise to the public that the members
control who will be able to access their profiles and that member profiles will be visible to the
general public.
86.Further, LinkedIn’s course of dealings towards hiQ led hiQ to believe that LinkedIn
would allow it continued access to its member pages and thus created an enforceable promise.
LinkedIn was fully aware of hiQ’s activities for several years, participated in hiQ’s annual
conferences, and never once objected. This course of conduct led hiQ to believe that LinkedIn had
no complaints about hiQ’s access to public profile date. Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 19 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 20 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
87.hiQ reasonably relied on LinkedIn’s promises. hiQ built a data analytics company
on the premise that LinkedIn’s member profiles were and would remain public. Other businesses
have been built on a similar model, including search engines Altavista, Excite, and Google and
data mining and brokerage companies Lexis/Nexis, Intelius, and CoreLogic. hiQ’s reliance was
further reasonable because LinkedIn encouraged continued reliance over time by attending hiQ’s
conferences, where it learned of hiQ’s business model, growth, expansion, and continued use of
data from its members’ profiles. LinkedIn should reasonably have expected these actions to
induce detrimental reliance on the part of hiQ.
88.hiQ’s reliance on LinkedIn’s promise was to its substantial detriment. Based on
LinkedIn’s actions, hiQ spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours developing its
technology. It has over two dozen employees now, numerous customers and many prospects.
This was all built on LinkedIn public profile pages and it would be lost if LinkedIn were permitted
to suddenly reverse course on its promises.
89.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer damages including but not limited to lost business and potential bankruptcy.
Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will suffer severe,
irreparable harm in that it will be forced to breach the contracts with its clients and may be forced
out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that unless the
court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its website or
prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
90.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages alone will not
afford adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to
continue operating.
91.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
ELEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Violation of Right to Free Speech
92.hiQ hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of the preceding paragraphs as
though fully set forth herein. Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 20 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 21 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
93.LinkedIn’s selective blockage of hiQ’s access to publicly available information on
its website violates hiQ’s constitutional free speech rights under Article I, Section 2 of the
California Constitution, which provides that “[e]very person may freely speak, write, and publish
his or her sentiments on all subjects.”
94.The California Constitution (like the U.S. Constitution) protects the functioning of
public fora as places for speech to be uttered and be heard (not just the former). SeeCal.
Newspaper Pub’s Asso. v. Burbank, 51 Cal App 3d 50, 123 (1975) (ban on “newsracks” was
unconstitutional; free speech is not just an “in personam” right); Lamont v. Postmaster General,
381 U.S. 301, 307-308 (1965) These rights of access extend to the world of data analysis for
commercial purposes. Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 564 U.S. 552 (2011).
95.California’s free speech guarantee protects expression even on privately owned
property. Robins v. PruneYard Shopping Center, 23 Cal. 3d 899, 592 P.2d 341 (1979). The
California Supreme Court rejected the argument that private property rights trump the interests of
free expression, noting the “potential impact of the public forums sought here,” a shopping center.
In light of “the significance of the growing importance of the shopping center,” the Court reasoned
that “to prohibit expressive activity in the centers would impinge on constitutional rights.” Id.
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling. PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74,
83-84 (1980).
96.Like the PruneYard shopping center, LinkedIn’s website is effectively a public
forum. See, e.g., Barrett v. Rosenthal, 40 Cal.4th 33, 41 n.4 (2006) (“Web sites accessible to the
public … are ‘public forums’ for purposes of the anti-SLAPP statute.”); Ampex Corp. v. Cargle,
128 Cal. App. 4th 1569, 1576 (2005) (public forum is “traditionally defined as a place that is open
to the public where information is freely exchanged… Websites that are accessible free of charge
to any member of the public where members of the public may read the views and information
posted, and post their own opinions, meet the definition of a public forum” for purposes of the
anti-SLAPP statute). LinkedIn expressly opens the “public” profile pages section of its website to
the public. LinkedIn has a staggering 500 million members and anyone can join. Further,
LinkedIn refers to itself as a “community” and expressly holds itself out as a place “to meet, Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 21 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 22 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
exchange ideas, [and] learn,” making it a modern day equivalent of the town square, a marketplace
of ideas of one-time unimaginable scale. Having promised its members that the public profiles on
its site could be viewed by everyone, LinkedIn may not as a constitutional matter selectively
exclude hiQ.
97.LinkedIn, through restricting hiQ’s access to public information in a public forum,
would violate hiQ’s right to free speech under the California Constitution. LinkedIn’s conduct
amounts to a denial of hiQ’s right to access and receive information. LinkedIn has no compelling
interest which would justify excluding hiQ from its public forum.
98.As a direct and proximate result of LinkedIn’s conduct, hiQ has suffered and will
continue to suffer damages including but not limited to lost business and potential bankruptcy.
Unless LinkedIn is restrained by a preliminary and permanent injunction, hiQ will suffer severe,
irreparable harm in that it will be forced to terminate contracts with its clients and may be forced
out of business entirely. hiQ is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that unless the
court grants injunctive relief, LinkedIn will continue to restrict hiQ’s access to its website or
prevent hiQ’s access altogether.
99.LinkedIn’s violation of hiQ’s rights, as guaranteed by Cal. Const. art. I, § 2, entitles
hiQ to receive compensatory damages, attorney’s fees pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. § 1021.5, and
injunctive relief.
100.hiQ has no adequate remedy at law because monetary damages alone will not
afford adequate relief for the loss of hiQ’s business relationships, client goodwill, and ability to
continue operating.
101.hiQ prays for relief as set forth below.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff hiQ prays for judgment against Defendant LinkedIn as follows:
A.For preliminary injunctive relief, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, to prevent LinkedIn
from curtailing hiQ’s access to LinkedIn member public profiles;
B.For a declaration that LinkedIn is now and shall remain obligated to continue to permit
hiQ to access and use data from public LinkedIn member public profiles; Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 22 of 23
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 23 34556\6002784.1
Farella Braun + MartelLLP
235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 954-4400
C.For a declaratory judgment that hiQ has not violated the DMCA, CFAA, or California
Penal Code § 502(c) or committed common law trespass;
D.Any damages proximately caused by the wrongful denial access pursuant to the above
causes of action that permit damages;
E.hiQ’s attorneys fees and costs incurred in pursuing these claims as permitted by law;
and
F.For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
Dated: June 7, 2017 FARELLA BRAUN + MARTEL LLP
By: /s/ C. Brandon Wisoff
C. Brandon Wisoff
Attorneys for Plaintiff hiQ Labs Case 3:17-cv-03301-LB Document 1 Filed 06/07/17 Page 23 of 23