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Ticketmaster Corp. v. Tickets.com

2003 WL 21406289 (2003)

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Ticketmaster Corp. v. Tickets.com

United States District Court for the Central District of California

2003 WL 21406289 (2003)

Facts

Ticketmaster Corporation (plaintiff) and Tickets.com, Inc. (defendant) were both in the business of selling event tickets over the internet. Both companies’ websites contained many interior web pages, each displaying information about a single event, such as its date, location, time, and ticket prices. Ticketmaster’s website included only events for which Ticketmaster was selling tickets. In contrast, Tickets.com tried to list on its website every event for which tickets were available for sale, regardless of whether Tickets.com was selling them. If Ticketmaster was the only ticket source for an event, Tickets.com provided a deep link to Ticketmaster’s interior web page for the event. Tickets.com also began to use a program called a spider or crawler to extract information from Ticketmaster’s interior web pages. The crawler loaded this information into the memory of Tickets.com’s computers for 10 to 15 seconds, allowing Tickets.com to extract noncopyrightable facts and information like the date, time, and ticket prices for an event. Other information, including Ticketmaster identification, logos, and ads, some of which was copyrighted, was also downloaded but was immediately discarded and never displayed to the public. The facts about the events were then organized in Tickets.com’s preferred format and displayed on Tickets.com’s website. Ticketmaster alleged, among other things, that Tickets.com’s use of crawlers to extract information from Ticketmaster’s website constituted copyright infringement. Tickets.com moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hupp, J.)

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