VIC Websites Information Scraping - Legal Under Intellectual Property Law?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Guy S, 7 June 2018.

  1. Guy S

    Guy S Member

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    Hi,

    I’d like to build a commercial website which compare prices between web sites. Is it legal to do web scraping from websites and retrieve the data for this purpose under Intellectual Property Law?

    Cheers,
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Depends.

    What are you going to take?
     
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  3. Guy S

    Guy S Member

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    What do you mean?
    Can I retrieve web sites information like product details and prices for commercial use?

    Regards,
    Guy
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    The law doesn't work on generalities, it needs specifics.

    I do note there are many other sites that already do what you propose such as staticice.com.au, shopbot.com.au, getprice.com.au etc so I suspect if you are scraping generic information and prices you are OK. There's even a web site listing the comparison websites List of Price Comparison Sites - OzBargain Wiki


    But you get actual advice from a lawyer if you want a better idea.
     
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  5. Leonard Mancini

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    Many years ago I advised a client not to based on the Terms of Conditions of the target websites which had no scraping clauses. Im not sure if the position has changed or whether the site owners see a benefit to allow it and therefore do not prosecute.

    Proceed with caution!
     
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  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I suspect he's OK based on the IceTV case but without more details hard to be sure.

    To me the bigger issue is why bother unless he has a niche area or a new and better way the other comparison sites do not have.

    As a hobby sure, but for a business venture not sure it is worth it.
     
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  7. Leonard Mancini

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    The ICE TV case was about them copying program guide data and was a claim to copyright infringement. The courts held that there was no copyright in the program and it was not copied in any case. The OP could get in trouble, not only on the issue of copyright if it was found to subsist and be infringed, but also in respect of breach of contract for breaching those often overlooked terms and conditions linked to at the bottom of the website pages. Whether those terms are enforceable would be the real question and I am unaware of any decisions in Australia that have found them to be.
     
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