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Cvent v Eventbrite

Cvent v Eventbrite

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Published by Eric Goldman

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Sep 16, 2010
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04/04/2011

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IN
THEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURT
FOR
THEEASTERNDISTRICT
OF
VIRGINIA
AlexandriaDivision
CVENT,
INC.,
Plaintiff,
v.
EVENTBRITE,
INC.,
et
al.,
Defendants.
SEP
I
4
CLLRK
US
DISTRICT
COURT
A!
F»HOK1A.
VIRGINIA
)
1:10-cv-00481
(LMB/IDD)
MEMORANDUMOPINTON
Before
the
Court
is
defendantEventbrite'smotion
to
dismiss
several
ofthe
counts
inthe
plaintiff's
first
amendedcomplaint
for
failure
to
state
a
claim.
For
the
reasonsstated
in
open
court
and
in
this
opinion,the
defendant's
motion
willbe
granted
in
partand
denied
inpart.
I.
Background
Thiscase
arises
out
ofthe
allegedintellectualproperty
theft
of
datafrom
plaintiffevent'swebsite
by
Eventbriteand
an
individualby
the
name
of
Stephan
Foley,
using
a
methodknown
as"scraping."
event,
Inc.isa
Delawaresoftwarecompanywith
its
principalplace
of
business
inMcLean,
Virginia,
which
licenses
web-hostedsoftware
foruse
by
companiesandtheir
meeting
planners.event
is
the
owner
and
operator
of
a
website
at
www.cvent.com,
which,
amongother
things,
assistscustomers
in
Case 1:10-cv-00481-LMB -IDD Document 51 Filed 09/15/10 Page 1 of 26
 
locatingvenues
for
and
organizinglarge-scale
events.As
part
of
thatbusiness,
Cvent
has
created
a
web-baseddatabase
of
meeting
venues
around
theworld,
called
the
Cvent
Supplier
Network,
whichincludes
detailedinformation
abouteach
venue,
such
as
the
availability
and
capacity
of
meeting
roomsandvenue
amenitiesand
services.
Cvent
has
also
undertaken
development
of
a
"DestinationGuide,"an
informationalresource
of
city-specific
profiles
designed
for
meeting
andeventplanners.
The
complaintalleges
that
Cventhas
invested
substantialsums
of
money
into
developing
its
website,
including
the
Cvent
SupplierNetwork
and
the
Destination
Guidepages,
and
that
it
has
obtained
and
registeredcopyrights
for
itswebsite,
which
are
displayed
on
its
website
pages.
Cvent
currently
holdsthree
copyright
registrations
forits
website
content
that
are
relevant
to
this
case,
each
of
which
was
filed
inlate
April
2010.
Defendant
Eventbrite,
Inc.
is
a
Delawarecorporationwith
its
principal
place
of
business
in
SanFrancisco,California,
which
maintains
an
onlineeventplanning,
sales,
andregistrationservicehosted
on
its
website,
www.eventbrite.com.
Cventalleges
that
in
September
and
October
2008,
Eventbrite
setout
to
create
a
set
of
pages
(a
"Venue
Directory")
on
its
website
containing
a
collection
of
publicly
availableinformationabout
hotels,restaurants,
bars,
and
meeting
venues
in
various
cities.Most
of
the
information
in
Eventbrite'sVenueDirectory
is
publicly
2
Case 1:10-cv-00481-LMB -IDD Document 51 Filed 09/15/10 Page 2 of 26
 
available
from
the
website
of
eachhotel
andrestaurant.Cvent
alleges
that
rather
thanaggregating
that
information
itself,
EventbritehiredStephan
Foley,
a
computer
engineer,
to"scrape"(i.e.
copy)
the
informationdirectly
fromevent'swebsite.Cvent
further
allegesthat
Eventbrite
then
reformatted
the
material
into
its
ownlayouts
andmade
it
available
on
the
Eventbrite
website.
EventbritecompensatedFoley
in
November
2008forhiswork
in
scraping
the
venueinformationfrom
the
Cvent
website.
OnMay
10,
2010,
Cvent
filed
a
complaintagainstEventbrite
and
unknown
Does
1-10.
On
July
28,
2010,
following
expedited
discovery
asto
the
identities
of
Does
1-10,
Cventfiled
a
first
amended
complaint,
namingonlyEventbriteandStephanFoley
as
defendants.
The
first
amendedcomplaint
setsouteightclaims
forrelief,onthe
following
grounds:
1.
CopyrightInfringement,
17
U.S.C.
§
101etseq.
2.
Violation
of
the
Computer
Fraudand
Abuse
Act,
18
U
S
C
§
1030
'
'
'
3.
Violation
of
the
Virginia
ComputerCrimes
Act,
VaCode
Ann.
§
18.2-152.3
etsea.
4.
Lanham
Act
"reverse
passing
off,"
5
U.S.C.
§
1125(a)
the
6.
Unjust
Enrichment
7.
BusinessConspiracy,
Va.
Code
Ann.
§
18.2-499
et
seq.
8.
CommonLawConspiracy
3
Case 1:10-cv-00481-LMB -IDD Document 51 Filed 09/15/10 Page 3 of 26

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