Web Crawler Might Constitute Unfair Competition

Judgments Sold on Online Shops--Expert: Web Crawler Might Constitute Unfair Competition

The data of the Supreme People’s Court’s judgments was sold at a price ranging from 0.1 Yuan to 1 Yuan. Since the judgments are all issued to the public, why are they sold? Is the means of obtaining judgments data harmful to the court’s website?

Many sellers who claim to be able to sell judgments data said in product description that their data was obtained through “web crawler”. The so-called “web crawler”, also known as web spider and web robot, is a program or script that automatically grabs web information by certain rules. It is equivalent to a small robot that automatically accesses web pages and performs related operations.

A seller said that buyers of judgments data needed data ranging from thousands to tens of millions, and some had to turn to data vendors because they could not open the judgments website.

The reporter learned that the behavior of obtaining judgments data through web crawler has caused inconvenience to the normal users of the judgments network. Many posted on the Internet that when they search for judgments, they often encounter the situation that the judgments website can not be queried due to system problems.

In May this year, Xu Jianfeng, director of the Information Center of the Supreme People’s Court, said in an interview with the media, “At present, the judgments website has tens of millions of daily visits, including data crawler attacks. Our central server is under tremendous pressure.”

Qu Miao, a lawyer engaged in IP legal business from King & Wood Mallesons law firm, has published an article explaining the legal issues involved in web crawlers. He said that according to the relevant provisions of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law on the Internet, with website operators having taken anti-crawler measures, if the crawler controllers forcibly break through the anti-crawler measures and objectively obstruct the website’s normal function, it can constitute unfair competition.



September 4, 2019

Source: Ynet.com

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