Europe: CJEU — dedicated meta search engine infringes database rights (Autotrack v Gaspedaal)

On 19 December 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered an important judgment concerning the interpretation of article 7 of Directive 96/9/EC regarding the legal protection of databases, in the context of the dedicated meta search engine www.gaspedaal.nl.

The CJEU’s decision effectively bans the ‘scraping’ of databases and provides a strong incentive to those who invest in the setting up and operation of a database.

This decision will be welcomed by websites that have compiled their own databases and do not wish third parties to scrape their data and pass it onto the public. On the other hand, websites that aggregate data from third-party websites (even if only in response to user queries) should consider auditing their data usage and ensuring they have appropriate licences to allow them to make the desired use of third-party data…

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