Ending Data Scraping Dispute, Craigslist Reaches $31M Settlement with Instamotor
Craigslist also alleged that Instamotor sent unsolicited commercial emails to promote its services through craigslist’s system to users whose listings were scraped (Instamotor purportedly used a “white-listed mail service…disguising the messages’ true origin” to bypass craigslist spam prevention tools). In fact, craigslist alleged that defendant hired a team based in the Philippines to extract content, send emails to craigslist users to seek additional information about their user car listings without disclosing their affiliation with Instamotor.
Based on the foregoing, craigslist brought multiple claims including breach of contract and CAN-SPAM (and related claims under state anti-spam law), and sought an injunction prohibiting Instamotor from scraping craigslist’s site and sending its users spam. Craigslist did not allege a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (the “CFAA”). The timing is interesting, as shortly after this stipulated judgment was entered, the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against LinkedIn, finding that LinkedIn was unlikely to prevail against a data scraper on a CFAA claim. (See hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn, Corp., 2017 WL 3473663 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2017)).