DMCA Doesn't Cover Database Copying

from the well,-that's-one-thing... dept

Just as Congress is looking to push through a bill that would allow companies to copyright databases, even if they’re just filled with factual information, a court has ruled that downloading a database is not a DMCA violation. It may still violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, for unauthorized access (though, even that is debatable). However, it clearly does not violate the “anti-circumvention” rules of the DMCA as the company in the case charged. This was a situation where one company obtained a legitimate password to a competitors site, so there was no circumvention, but the question remains if this was “authorized”. Of course, if the law discussed above goes into effect, then the company would also be liable for copyright infringement.

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