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Oxylabs to Host a Webinar on the Legality of Web Scraping

Set to take place on March 4th, it will discuss the laws, challenges, and legal status of web scraping.

Adam Dubois

Lithuanian proxy provider Oxylabs is hosting a webinar to discuss the legal aspect of web scraping. From inadequate and perplexing legislation to arbitrary terms of service and limited accessibility to public data, scraping the web often feels like navigating a digital minefield. Oxylabs, together with a bouquet of industry experts, will talk about the current situation and ways to improve it. 

The event will touch upon a variety of legal topics, including:

  • the differences between laws in the EU and US that affect web scraping,
  • incoming regulations and relevant court decisions,
  • how to act if you receive a cease & desist letter,
  • when data should be treated as private and when it’s public,
  • and more.  

The discussion will be moderated by Oxylabs’ legal counsel Denas Grybauskas. Its participants include lawyers, business professionals from related fields, and company founders: 

The webinar will take place on March 4th, 11 AM EST. The number of seats is limited, so reserve yours now if you’re interested. 

Finally, here are some quotes from the participants to whet your appetite. They’re taken from Oxylabs’ PR piece and discuss the need of relevant regulation or even self-governance:

“Currently in the United States, there is no federal or state law that directly addresses – or specifically prohibits – web scraping.  Consequently, lawyers and judges have attempted to shoehorn web scraping into other, largely inapplicable, legal paradigms such as copyright law, contract law, and common law trespass. This has created a patchwork of different interpretations and inconsistent enforcement activities. Current laws need to be updated, and new legislation needs to be created, to accommodate changing technologies as well as the various challenges facing the industry.
– Bradley Gross

One core challenge we are seeing in the industry is having to keep on top of governance and understanding what is legal and what is illegal. It’s not a case of going onto a website and extracting any data you want. There’s a multitude of factors that need to be considered. First, you need to ask yourself, what data do you want? Does it meet the test of being personal data under GDPR? Is it open data? Are there any copyright issues in scraping the data? Do you need to accept terms and conditions before viewing the data? As a result, the legalities around web scraping can often be blurred.
– Allen O’Neil

When you enter a shopping center you don’t sign a document to say you will follow the rules, instead it’s expected you will follow the rules and the majority – if not all of those entering a shopping center – do. A self-regulated web scraping industry would be the same.
– Mindaugas Civilka

Organizations operating in the web scraping sphere know what is right and wrong. Having a self-regulated web scraping industry will allow those who operate in it to be able to get the most out of the practice, allowing organizations and consumers alike to reap the benefits.

We believe that it is hardly possible for governments to regulate such a difficult to grasp market. Thus, the web scraping market is probably better off left at the hands of tech-savvy courts and those who know how to regulate it best, ethical web scrapers themselves.
Denas Grybauskas