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Legalities Around Web Scraping Are Often Blurred, but Industry-Wide Regulation is Highly Unlikely, Says Oxylabs

Oxylabs is hosting webinar to discuss web scraping from a legal perspective on 4th March 2021

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA / ACCESSWIRE / March 2, 2021 / Oxylabs, as web scraping becomes a common and necessary practice for organizations across multiple industries, there still remains uncertainty around its legality. Current challenges facing the industry, from the accessibility of public data to copyright issues, have led to a discussion about regulating the practice. To understand this challenge in more detail, Oxylabs has arranged a webinar on 4th March at 11am (EST) to discuss the legal aspects of data gathering that affect every company that runs web scraping operations.

The panel will include lawyers, business professionals from various fields, including big data aggregation and company founders. The webinar will be moderated by Denas Grybauskas, Legal Counsel at Oxylabs, and the full list of guest speakers are:

  • Allen O'Neil, Founder and CTO at DataWorks

  • Bradley Gross, Founding Partner at Law Office of Bradley Gross

  • Mindaugas Civilka, Partner at TGS Baltic

  • Sanaea Daruwalla, Head of Legal & Compliance at Zyte

  • Steven Callahan, Partner at CCRG

For Bradley Gross, one fundamental issue the web scraping industry faces is its governance by multiple laws. Gross comments: "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."

Allen O'Neil goes on to explain: "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."

To overcome these challenges, it is important the web scraping industry moves away from a messy model where organizations are bound by an array of existing legal boundaries, and it's even more vital that no one law regulates it. Instead, web scraping needs to be self-regulated. Mindaugas Civilka explains: "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."

Denas Grybauskas continues: "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", concluded Denas.

To find out more about web scraping from a legal perspective; understand the differences in laws that affect web scraping in the US and Europe; find out what to do if you receive a cease and desist letter and learn what makes data private, and when it is considered public and non-public, sign up to Oxylabs webinar on 4th March.

About Oxylabs

Oxylabs is the leading global provider of premium proxies and data scraping solutions for large-scale web data extraction. The company's mission is clear: To give every business - whether big or small - access to big data. With unmatched hands-on experience in publicly available web data gathering, Oxylabs is in trusted partnerships with dozens of Fortune 500 companies and global businesses, helping them unearth hidden gems of business intelligence data through state-of-the-art products and technological expertise. For more information, please visit: https://oxylabs.io/.

Media Contacts:

Vytautas Kirjazovas
Tel: +447593365814
Email: press@oxylabs.io

SOURCE: Oxylabs

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