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Meta Drops the Case Against Bright Data

The dispute results in a complete win for the data collection infrastructure provider.

Adam Dubois

Bright Data, the Israeli provider of web data extraction tools and services, has officially won the case against Meta. 

On February 23, Meta filed a motion to dismiss its claim against Bright Data. The motion follows the U.S. district court’s decision a month before, where Judge Edward Chen denied that Bright Data had breached Meta’s contract terms by scraping data off Facebook and Instagram.

The remaining argument involved tortious interference with Meta’s contractual terms and focused on customer use of Bright Data’s services. 

In a LinkedIn post, Bright Data’s CEO Or Lenchner emphasized that the outcome wasn’t the result of a settlement, but rather that Meta dropped the case conceding its loss. The motion also means that Facebook’s owner won’t be able to file for an appeal. In other words, it’s a complete win for Bright Data.

The broader web scraping industry received an important clarification that scraping Facebook and Instagram is contractually illegal only if done through a logged in account used for this purpose. This rules out far-fetched and borderline ridiculous arguments that merely having a company account creates an obligation not to scrape the platforms whatsoever. 

Having said that, the court’s line of reasoning focused on Meta’s terms in particular. At this point, it would still be dangerous to extend it to all cases of similar nature. One of them is currently taking place with the same Bright Data and Elon Musk’s X. Corp. 

In any case, this is a big win for Bright Data and the whole web data collection community. Well done.

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