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To obtain a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must show either: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury; or (2) that serious questions going to the merits were raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor. These two alternatives represent extremes of a single continuum, rather than two separate tests. Thus, the greater the relative hardship to a plaintiff, the less probability of success must be shown. The district court must also consider whether the public interest favors issuance of the injunction. A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy for which the need must be clear and unequivocal.
Should the preliminary injunction be granted?
The court noted that in order to obtain a preliminary injunction, Ticketmaster had to show either a likelihood of success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury, or that serious questions going to merits were raised and the balance of hardship tipped sharply in its favor. The five claims on which Ticketmaster sought a preliminary injunction were its claims for violation of the Copyright Act, the DMCA, Cal. Penal Code § 502, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C.S. § 1030(g), and on its breach of contract claim. The court found that Ticketmaster was likely to succeed on its claims for a violation of the Copyright Act, the DMCA, and the breach of contract claim, but it would not have been able to prevail on the CFAA claim. The court did not need to address the claim under the state statute. The court found that the other factors weighed in the favor of Ticketmaster obtaining a preliminary injunction. The court enjoined the alleged infringer from creating, trafficking in, facilitating the use of or using computer programs or other automatic devices to circumvent the technological copy protection systems in Ticketmaster’s website.