Public records great expectations dating service legal cases
Others have used similar tools to offer services that compete with or complement the offerings of the scraped websites – including uses of these tools to aggregate news content, and to monitor and facilitate purchases of airlines and concert tickets (with or without the permission or involvement of the scraped website). Warden's experience suggests, the use of these tools pit the interests of website owners in protecting, controlling and profiting from the content they provide against the interests of others who seek to gather and use that content for other purposes (be they harmful, helpful or irrelevant to the website owner).
The court distinguished the news aggregator's services from those at issue in Kelly on the grounds that the news aggregator did not facilitate the general public's access to information on the Internet, but instead only provided word-for-word excerpts of the copied articles to the aggregator's paying customers without transforming that content in any way.8 The court further held that the aggregator's use of that content to generate analytics relating to the online news sources it covered, while potentially transformative in and of itself, did not render the aggregator's excerpting transformative insofar as the analytics and excerpting were separate and distinct services.9 While even incidental reproduction of copyrighted webpage material may give rise to copyright liability, courts have also recognized that such reproduction may constitute a fair use of the protected content. Further, the court observed that the central purpose of the Copyright Act – i.e., “to secure a fair return for an author's creative labor and to stimulate artistic creativity for the general good” – would not be served by restricting defendant from momentarily copying Ticketmaster's webpages for the purpose of obtaining non-protected, factual information.10 In addition to the fair use defense, courts have also considered whether a plaintiff's copyright claims are subject to implied license or estoppel defenses based on its failure to deploy the “robots.txt” protocol to deter unwanted web crawling or scraping.