As unrelated entities, Facebook and Linkedln scrapers and crawlers, in general, are not illegal. You can freely scrape your website without considering any aftermaths at all. However, things are yet indistinct if you choose to scrape another’s website, until you expressly get their clear permission or pay no attention to their Terms of Service. Only at the crossorads, things really become a bit challenging. Extracting data freely from another site could be indicated as intrusion or pilfering.
With this in mind, if legal action is taken, the state of affairs would be estimated on the type of case basis. For example, the petitioner (website operator) will be entailed to provide evidence that the defendant (scraper) has unswervingly and principally brought about damages in temrs of revenue and traffic loss, bandwidth costs, etc. There are, by long odds, several defensive strategies that the scraper may adopt.
Considering the same, the point to note is that web scrapers such as Facebook, Linkedln scrapers, etc. have been coming to the front. Not only SMEs but also large scale enterprises have started giving heed to them, and media coverage has risen dramatically over the last few years.
In short, it is wrong to mention that web scrapers are not illegal when considered as separate entities. Issues only crop up when one ‘trespasses’ onto another’s domain to dig out data without authorization.
While there appears to be a progressively more favorable legal position for web scrapers, the point to note importantly is that these types of cases are relatively new. On account of this, there is still a vast range of irregularity.
In general, it seems that the two extensive issues that would provoke legal consequences from website operators are when:
- Facebook, Linkedln scraper, etc. is bringing about technical difficulties, coming about in inefficiencies.
- The scraper is gnawing into their revenue pie.
- By long odds, the scraping would have to be earth-shattering enough to appear on their radar.
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