A US company faces a copyright, trespass and trade secrets lawsuit because it ‘scraped’ the website of a rival on behalf of a client. The case underlines the legal uncertainty surrounding the practice.
Website ‘scraping’ is the practice of automatically taking information from a website and can be used to retrieve the contents of entire back-end databases from other websites.
The legality of scraping is unclear in the UK and the US. Uncertainty still surrounds the degree to which it is copyright infringement, hacking, a violation of database rights or a breach of other laws.
Snap-on Business Solutions hopes that an Ohio court agrees with it that scraping is a violation of several laws. It has lodged a claim against O’Neil Associates over activity surrounding Mitsubishi’s moving of outsourced work from Snap-on to O’Neil.
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