I am running a business which requires scrapping of data from some internet websites. Is it legal?

Asked 12 months ago - Miami, FL

I am running a business which requires scrapping of data from some internet websites. They do not require users to sign in and all information is public. But they have mentioned in their terms of service that scrapping in not permitted, although it is not required for users to accept these terms. They have terms of service just in the footer of their website.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Frank A. Natoli

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The devil is in the details here. What are you mining and how are you collecting it? If you violate the terms of use on some sites you are giving them a cause of action to go after you, so you need to be sure they have no claims that will make litigating such a matter worth it for them.

    I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC

    DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-... more
  2. Andrew Michael Bonderud

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would need to understand more about your business before I could advise you about this.

    Andrew M. Bonderud, Esq. -- Licensed in FL & TN; The Bonderud Law Firm ,P.A. Andrew's posting here is not to be... more
  3. Daniel Nathan Ballard

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . A properly written Terms of Use Agreement accessible to website visitors via a reasonably conspicuous link on the website's homepage legally binds those visitors to the terms of the Agreement.

    If that Agreement forbids "scraping" then, no, you may not lawfully copy the information published on that website. Doing so would be, at least, a breach of contract and, perhaps, copyright infringement or even unfair competition.

    Your own intellectual property attorney must evaluate your particular situation to assess the risk that your company is taking on by scraping such websites. Good luck.

    The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client... more
  4. Bruce E. Burdick

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . "all information is public" - not likely. More likely, all information is protected by copyright since copyright protection is automatic.

    Some scraping is legal, some is not. You don't say what or how you scrape, so we can't say whether or when you're legal until Paul Harvey or you tells us "the other half of the story"

    You need a lawyer's help not free advice here based on no or little facts.

    "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is."
    Paul Harvey

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

25,764 answers this week

3,224 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

25,764 answers this week

3,224 attorneys answering