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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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Can I use data from a Website to build a application? This

Customer Question

Can I use data from a Website to build a application? This data is public, I will have my resources capture data manually using information from website.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

By 'data', what exactly do you mean? Are you referring to source code, back-end development applications, or data by which the site is populated?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No its information about Sports. The website is www.tournamentsoftware.com. I need data for different players and different matches. The data is on the website, like Players Name, matches played etc. We will not use any Source code or presentation integration. We will look at the information and capture it manually in our database to build history.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I understand, thank you for your follow-up.

Does the site create its' own data, or do they likewise take the data from someone else?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They take data from http://www.bwfbadminton.org. Also their application is used in tournaments for free and that information about tournaments is captured by volunteers like me and uploaded on the website for players and other people interested in match results. But the information is public as the site doesn't require any registration etc. So anybody even you can look at all the historical data about different games/matches including Tennis etc.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

My concern here is while the data itself is free and accessible, the manner it is put up on their site is still potentially protected and copyrighted by the other site. That means that while you can potentially take the data yourself from the site you listed above, taking that same data from the other, secondary, site, could be considered copyright infringement.

There are two ways to deal with this. First, you can contact the secondary site and request permission from them to download their data--if they agree, there is no violation. The second option is for you to design your site to likewise capture and obtain information from the main site directly.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I reviewed both the sites and there is no place it mention that data is Copyright. Also the games are open and anybody can go watch for free and populate that data manually in custom applications. I they have not specified Copyright, and since we are not copying exactly word by word, do you think still could be an issue?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

Their process does not have to be 'copyrighted' to be protected, they can still later claim that their process was somehow protected and pursue a cause of action. I do admit it is unlikely, but I am trying to see it from the perspective of how to avoid litigation and future expenses, which would mean that avoiding this process that you are considering is the far more prudent course. I still see it as a potential issue because you would be taking their end work product, since they modified it from a different site. You can consider doing the same, but not directly form them unless they permit it.

Good luck.

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