I want to gather data on a catalog of types of products. For example, lets say cars. I want to scrape a website (that is itself a catalog of information) for the different make and models of cars, parts, etc. All information that is factual and not opinion based or intellectual at all.

Even if they have a terms of service that speaks against it, I don't see how it could be illegal given the nature of the information?

If it is illegal, would someone explain to me why?

1 Answer 1


It is illegal because, while the individual facts do not have copyright protection, the collection of facts does. This is because copyright law recognizes and protects the creative work that goes into collecting, collating and arranging the facts.

You are free to go and collect the individual facts from their original sources but when you scrape a website you are creating a derivative work.

  • This makes sense. Could whoever down-voted him explain why? Apr 14, 2017 at 15:46

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