If I have a provider hosting a forum service, and I want a copy of my forum database (actually to move to another service) is there a requirement that they must be able to provide me with my content back to me?

Or if not, if the content is mine, do I have the right to scrape that forum for my data?

(no, the forum isn't Stack Exchange, btw, and it's not even for me - the question came up in chat and we weren't sure of the answer)

  • Not unless it's in the terms and agreements of their service. Oct 29, 2015 at 9:54
  • So it will come down to whether the T&Cs include rights to the data? Hmm
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 29, 2015 at 9:59
  • As mentioned it is what ever was mentioned in the ToS you agreed to, but I doubt they would spend time exporting it for you if not. Most forums are easy to backup and restore, so it would be easier for you to do it yourself in the first place.
    – Terry
    Oct 29, 2015 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


It all comes down to the ToS you agreed to when you signed up with the host, or any changes made later.

If it was in your ToS it is likely that they would have a fee for the time it takes.

If it isn't mentioned then they would either refuse or request a fee as it does cost to have staff carryout work.


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