The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Tuesday 22 February 2011


The activity of harvesting content from a website using a software tool such as a bot or a spider. It may be carried out by aggregators assembling content from a number of different sources, such as the news aggregator Meltwater which found itself in court accused of copyright infringement (The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd & Ors v Meltwater Holding BV & Ors [2010] EWHC 3099 (Ch) (26 November 2010and see my posting on the IPso Jure blog here). A complicated matter, because scraping can drive traffic to the site from which the content is harvested, but on its face it amounts to a copyright infringement - as the High Court found in that case. It also has the potential (depending of course on the nature of the information scraped) to intrude into the privacy of individuals and breach the UK's Data Protection Act 1998 and similar laws elsewhere.

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