I’m just wondering if I will get in trouble for selling a website scraper targeted at a specific site? I see lots of online services offering this, some quite well established like ParseHub and they dont seem to be getting into any trouble so I reckon it must be fine?

Will I be correct to say only the person who actually uses the script will get into trouble, not whoever created it or is offering it as a service for others?

  • 2
    Keep in mind that computer crime laws vary a lot around the world.
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 15:46
  • "They don't seem to be getting in trouble, so [...] it must be fine" Ever try that argument with a police officer giving out a speeding ticket? Just because they don't get in trouble doesn't mean it's legal to do that. Maybe the site doesn't have the resources at the moment to sue, or they are building a case...
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 16:08
  • @BlueDogRanch Thanks for the link, very informative
    – West
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 16:12
  • @RonBeyer Their service is a general scraper and isnt targeted to a specific site.I see their terms of use mention they dont allow the service to be used for unauthorised or illegal activities, and that if so then they are not responsible. If a scraper is illegal, would throwing in some terms of use like this somehow protect the programmer?
    – West
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 16:33
  • 1
    They can try, however consider the case of Napster who only provided the means for users to share copyrighted material and did not, themselves, infringe. They were found responsible for "contributory infringement" as well as "vicarious infringement" even though they did not do so themselves.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 16:47


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