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EF CULTURAL TRAVEL BV v. ZEFER Corp. - 318 F.3d 58 (1st Cir. 2003)

Rule:

An injunction properly issued against a named party means that anyone else with notice is precluded from acting to assist the enjoined party from violating the decree or from doing so on behalf of that party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d).

Facts:

Defendant Zefer Corporation (Zefer) seeks review of a preliminary injunction prohibiting it from using a "scraper tool" to collect pricing information from the website of plaintiff EF Cultural Travel BV (EF). The injunction against co-defendant Explorica, Inc. (Explorica) was earlier upheld. The validity of the injunction as applied to Zefer was not addressed because Zefer's appeal was stayed when it filed for bankruptcy; however, the stay has been lifted. The district court enjoined the competitors, EF and Explorica, and the creator, Zefer, from collecting such information based on one provision of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1030, ruling that the use of the scraper tool went beyond the reasonable expectations of ordinary users.

Issue:

Was the preliminary injunction proper as to Zefer?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the issuance of the injunction as to Zefer, but on more limited grounds. EF had not expressly prohibited the taking of information from its website, and Zefer was not a party to a confidentiality agreement with it and so was not shown to even know that the information was confidential. Zefer was merely precluded, like anyone else with notice, from acting in concert with, on behalf of, or at the direction of the competitors to use the scraper to access EF's information.

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