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Searching for Web Crawling's Legal Boundaries

Web pages are a treasure-trove of useful information for companies that are able to capture it using Web crawling (or scraping) technology. Yet, for over 20 years, courts have struggled to draw the line between the usefulness of such information and the rights of the content owners and website operators from which that content is derived. Once a niche issue, the increased use of this technology has compounded the disputes related to it.

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Web pages are a treasure-trove of useful information for financial firms and software companies that are able to capture it using Web crawling (or scraping) technology. Yet, for over 20 years, courts have struggled to draw the line between the usefulness of such information and the rights of the content owners and website operators from which that content is derived. Once a niche issue, the increased use of this technology has compounded the disputes related to it.

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