Trespassing On The Web

from the old-laws,-stupid-interpretations dept

The New York Times has a good article looking at the effect of some recent legislation suggesting that online bots may be considered “trespassing” on other sites. We had covered the first part of this story last year. It was stupid then and it’s stupid now. While I understand the basic reasoning behind the most recent ruling, it sounds like they were more focused on the use of the bot, rather than the whole “trespassing” issue. If they rely on the trespassing claim then it opens a whole can of worms. Basically, anyone could be seen to be trespassing on any website. If a website is open and there’s no password protection, I don’t see how anyone can consider it trespassing. That’s like kicking people you don’t like out of a store for trespassing, while letting others stay. If the companies are that upset about these bots, then build a technology solution that blocks them from getting in. Leave the courts alone. It’s only going to cause problems.

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