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It’s legal to scrape public data—US appeals court

April 21, 2022

Web scraping—the automated extraction of data from websites—has been around for a long time. Simultaneously cursed and praised, with nobody being able to quite land the decisive blow about whether it should be allowed, one way or another.

This may have changed, thanks to a recent US appeals court ruling.

A tangled web of scraped content

LinkedIn (and, by extension, Microsoft) is not impressed with people or organisations scraping publicly available data from its site. In fact, they’re so massively not impressed by the practice that things became legal in 2017 via a LinkedIn cease-and-desist. The social network objected to a company scraping public data from its pages, and the story rumbled into 2019 with another setback for the LinkedIn / Microsoft combo.

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