Internet 'Data Scraping': A Primer for Counseling Clients

, New York Law Journal


Anthony J. Dreyer and Jamie Stockton of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom write that the technological explosion that has created a vast repository of "publicly available" information on the Web has also made it far easier for third parties to extract this data for commercial sale and use - and to do so for free and without authorization.

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What's being said

  • Web User

    Great article. Probably one of the best on this topic. I've often wondered what would prevent a business from scraping and using commercial data from its competitor.

    E.g. Lets consider the used cars price aggregation websites. If a rival to say scrapes price information of various cars listed on and then displays them on its own website, would that be considered illegal?

    This article makes it sound like its legal because "the owner (or exclusive licensee) of the website being scraped must also be the owner of the copyrightable content that is the subject of the claim."

    In this scenario, assuming that collects this information from individual dealerships themselves, they are not the owner of the copyrightable content. Unless the individual dealerships transfer "ownership of the price information" to, this information is legally available to other rivals to scrape.

    Is that a fair assessment of this law??

  • Duke of Smockington, Esq.

    This article is a rather ambitious endeavor. I feel that you have gone to great lengths to capture the essence of the topic, one that is (to this time) quite underexposed in modern society. The prose is quite elegant, often soothing. I am impressed by the lack of malapropisms and dangling participles that bemoan most articles of this ilk. Bravo, fine chaps!!

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