Say I wish to determine the frequency of the use of the word "apple" in academic articles. And so I want to get as many academic articles as possible for analysis.

I have access (through my university) to JSTOR. Using my personal computer and my internet access from home, I "manually" (i.e. without any script or bot or tricks) download as many articles as I can everyday.

Let's say I can download 1,000 a day. I do this for a few years until I have 1 million articles from JSTOR.

This might violate JSTOR's T&C, but would I have done anything illegal under US law?

1 Answer 1


Probably, yes.

By violating your T&C you have "exceeded your authorised access on a protected computer" which is a crime under the CFAA.

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