Categories
Legal Monetize

What is legal: scrape, or scrape & sell, or code a scraper

Which of the following is illegal:
(1) Scrape emails from a site and send one email to each address.
(2) Scrape emails from a website and sell them.
(3) Make a scraping script a sell it without using it.
Note: The target website Terms of Use (ToU) state that no one can crawl/scrape it.

Categories
Legal

Linkedin lost in court to data analytic company that scrapes Linkedin’s public profiles info

On September 9th, 2019 the UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS 1 has affirmed the former district court’s determination that a certain [dataanalytic company is lawful to scrape [perform automated gathering] LinkedIn’s public profiles info. Now the historical event has happened in which a court is protecting a data extractor’s right for mass gathering openly presented business directory information.

Categories
Legal

US court stated scraping, even when against TOS, is legal

Last month a legal case took place in a US court where four professors plus a media organization sued the US Government. The District Court for the District of Columbia conclusion stated that moderate scraping, even when against ToS, is legal.

A district court in Washington, D.C. has ruled that using automated tools to access publicly available information on the open web is not a computer crime — even when a website bans automated access in its terms of service (document). The court ruled that the notoriously vague and outdated Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) — a 1986 statute meant to target malicious computer break-ins — does not make it a crime to access information in a manner that the website doesn’t like if you are otherwise entitled to access that same information.

Before we put down all the legal statement fine details, we better give you a conclusion derived from the law case.
If you do not read all the legal statement fine points, jump right to the conclusion.

Categories
Legal

US court stated scraping, even when against TOS, is legal

court_smallLast month a legal case took place in a US court where four professors plus a media organization sued the US Government. The District Court for the District of Columbia conclusion stated that moderate scraping, even when against ToS, is legal.

Categories
Legal Miscellaneous

Is this a legal method of acquiring insurance leads?

Recently I received a question on insurance leads:

Is this a legal method of acquiring insurance leads [from the web]? Are there any agent testimonials on the efficiency of this type of service?

Legality issue in web scraping

With the matter of legality in web scraping, there should be a clear approach –  it depends on the website and its privacy policy. There could be at least 2 cases:

  1. Public info (prices, inventory info, public offers), i.e. everything that is not protected by copyright and available for scraping.
  2. The copyright protected info –  website Terms of Use or Terms of Service restrictions make copying and therefore web scraping illegal.
The US court of appeals has affirmed that a certain [data] analytic company is lawful to scrape data aggregator’s (LinkedIn’s) public profiles info.

So far I have no insurance agent testimonies on the efficiency of any insurance lead scrape service. The web sites I searched [on the insurance leads] have given me the impression that the customer info they gather is highly secured (not viewable). I doubt that any sites are going to expose insurance leads. In most of them the leads are available by paid subscription plans.

If there are any such websites like insurance leads directories (public insurance quotes), we might develop a scraper that consistently grabs fresh or new info for further analysis. It does save the agent’s time for re-searching, re-visiting and so on. One scraper might work with multiple directory pages for scrape.

The US district court has concluded that moderate scraping, even when against ToS, is legal.

You might find it interesting to read about web page change tracking if you only need to see updates (no data storing applied).