Ossian Law P.C.
IT Law Alert August 4, 2014

Scrapers Beware! Scraping is the act of taking content from a web site and using it on another site, often with the help of automated software. Travel sites and social media platforms have been targets for scraping, which is generally prohibited by their terms of use. Both Craigslist and LinkedIn have filed lawsuits against alleged scrappers in recent years.

Craigslist has over 50 billion page views per month and offers free job postings and apartment listings in certain geographic locations. In 2012, Craigslist sued 3Taps, Inc., a company that was allegedly scraping classified ads from Craigslist to use on a competing site. Claims include copyright infringement, breach of contract (terms of use), trespass to goods, trademark infringement, unfair competition and violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). While the court dismissed some of the claims, the breach of contract, CFAA and a portion of the copyright claim are still pending.

LinkedIn, the largest professional networking site in the world, just settled a similar lawsuit against Robocog, a recruiting company that LinkedIn claimed was scraping content from its site. The settlement calls for Robocog to pay $40,000 and to destroy any LinkedIn profile data.

Access the Craigslist court opinion here.

and the LinkedIn consent order here.

Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding social media law or any other information technology law question.

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