Anatomy of web data scraping: ethics, standards, and the troubles of the law. | Anatomia del web data scraping: etica, standard e problemi della legge.

Ugo Pagallo, Jacopo Ciani Sciolla

Abstract


The paper examines the ethical and legal issues raised by web scraping technology. Attention is drawn to some landmark rulings to emphasize that jurisdictions such as the US and the EU Member States tackle issues of scraping from different perspectives. Although most litigation involves IP law, in particular copyright and the rights of database producers, scraping can also raise problems of data protection, unfair competition, and public or criminal law. Besides, many of such issues may fall into the gaps of the legal system. Accordingly, the paper aims to provide an overall framework for the ethical and legal issues of scraping, to take sides between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ uses of technology and, on this basis, flesh out the legal hard cases of the field.

 

L’articolo esamina le questioni etiche e legali del data scraping attraverso l’analisi della giurisprudenza rilevante, per mostrare come gli USA e l’UE affrontino il fenomeno muovendo da prospettive molto diverse. Sebbene gran parte delle controversie riguardi la proprietà intellettuale, lo scraping solleva altresì questioni di protezione dei dati personali, concorrenza sleale e diritto penale. Il contributo evidenzia le lacune normative e le questioni etiche e legali da dirimere per distinguere tra usi "buoni" e "cattivi" della tecnologia, delineando al contempo i casi c.d. difficili.


Keywords


data ownership; data scraping; web harvesting; data grabbing; intellectual property; data protection; trade secret; data access; data ethics; standards

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