Legal Question in Technology Law in New York
We want to start a Website like Yelp and need your advice as the raw Listing Data in the Site is not copyright-able as per the laws but, these sites ToS (Terms of Service) do not allow anyone to Copy their Raw Listing Data and reproduce it or use bots to crawl the listing data in anyway or use for commercial use. Now I want a way by which we can still copy the raw listing data and publish on our website but, dont want to be in any legal trouble.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Generally speaking, yelp's data belongs to yelp and cannot be used without their permission. However, there are exceptions to this but such exceptions, if any, would need to be discussed privately.
Feel free to reach out to me for additional details.
Roman R. Fichman, Esq.
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You need to consider what you are really seeking in way of an answer here. Are you asking whether you would have a good legal defense? Or are you asking whether you can stay out of court?
You see, when you participate on their site you are governed by their terms. If you agree not to use certain material in a certain way, then you are bound to that contract. If you violate that and they find out they are free to sue you over it. While there may be some defenses to your use of some material, it will be a very expensive proposition to flesh it all out in court. So if you do decide to move forward you need to consider this as part of your business risk exposure. You may want to think about a good insurance policy given your chosen business model as well.
I would of course be discussing with a lawyer in private before making any investment. If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.