Is scraping reviews legal?

We have to preface this by stating that we are not lawyers, and this does not constitute legal advice. Consult your lawyers in the jurisdiction you operate for full awareness of the legal ramifications of using third-party reviews based on your situation.

Based on our research there are no legal ramifications of using review data. Review data equates to facts/information/ideas, which are not protectable under U.S. copyright law.

In addition, in the 2017 case LinkedIn v. HiQ, a judge effectively made it legal to scrape publicly available information:

On August 14, 2017, the Court granted hiQ’s request and issued a preliminary injunction preventing LinkedIn from interfering with hiQ’s scraping of data from public LinkedIn profiles. In a quite thorough decision, Judge Edward M. Chen questioned whether the automated scraping of publicly available data from public-facing websites would violate the CFAA, regardless of the website’s user agreement

Furthermore, a district court in Washington, D.C. recently ruled that using automated tools to access publicly available information on the open web is not a computer crime—even when a website bans automated access in its terms of service

As additional credence to the above points, consider that the many industries rely heavily on web scraping, including the online SEO industry which scrapes Google and other search engine search result pages. Companies like Moz (founded 2004, 300+ employees) and SEMRush (founded 2008, 600+ employees) provide data directly from scraping, and have been operating for over 10 years.

For additional information, please refer to the many online discussions, blog posts and news articles about this subject which can be found in search results.

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