back to article Web entrepreneur accused of massive data heist

Consumer rating service Angie's List has accused a web entrepreneur of plundering thousands of its records so he could start a rival company that offers a similar service. In a lawsuit filed in Indiana state court, attorneys for Angie's List claim Christopher "Kit" Cody became a paying member of the site and then used scraping …


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  1. Andrew Barratt
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    And they didn't stop it?

    What were the licenses on the documents that have been "stolen"? ????

    if it was that important why didn't they block the access..

  2. Tim Bergel

    @Andrew Barratt

    You need to read the article. He didn't (apparently) take documents, he collected profiles on tradesmen in bulk. Since Angie's list's business is the supplying of such profiles, blocking access is not a sensible suggestion - though blocking access in bulk might be.

  3. Mike Holden

    @Andrew Barrat

    No doubt the T&C of use of the site precludes disclosure to other parties. The details he allegedly scraped constitute the actual service that the site provides, so blocking access is a bit pointless, as there would be no service to offer!

    Imagine the web site with no TV listings as an analogy here. Customers are allowed to connect and view TV listings, but are not allowed to download listings in bulk and then provide a competing service with the data.

  4. Jodo Kast

    A little thing called evidence?

    Evidence will be presented in court. For now he's innocent until proven guilty.

  5. Lou Gosselin


    Not sure the exact circumstances, but in general factual information isn't owned under US copyright and cannot be protected.

    Phone directories and search engines are a common example of things that cannot be copyrighted. The source cannot claim ownership of the information to begin with. At most, they own the design and layout. This is the reason meta search engines can exist.

    In becoming a user and extracting records in bulk, he may have violated some terms & conditions, but aside from that I'm not sure what Angieslist has that they can claim ownership of. If what he took was factual pricing information, then they may have a weak case.

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