Data Mining Decision

An organization has collected a wealth of online data including names, addresses, prices, photos, specifications, geo-location data, text, links and more.  Can you access their system, scrape the data and then repackage it for your own business?

In this case, the answer is no. An Ontario court has again shut down a data-mining operation in Toronto, where real estate broker Fraser Beach attempted to scrape and redisplay MLS data. The court dismissed Mr. Beach’s request to open up the MLS data.

The latest decision follows a similar battle in 2007, where an Ontario company (operated by the same realtor) asked the court to compel MLS to share its data. In Realtysellers (Ontario) Limited v. Toronto Real Estate Board, 2007 CanLII 50283 (ON S.C.), the court turned down this request, citing the MLS “Authorized User Agreement” which prohibits the kind of wholesale, unrestricted data mining that was the cause of the dispute.  The terms of the user agreement were instrumental in the court’s decision in both cases.

Get advice on how to protect your online data through the use of copyright and properly drafted online access agreements.

Calgary – 10:45 MST

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