3 Count: DuckDuckNo

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1: Web Scraping is Legal, US Appeals Court Reaffirms

First off today, Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its earlier decision and held that scraping publicly accessible webpages is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

The case was brought by the social networking site LinkedIn against the scraper Hiq Labs. Hiq Labs had repeatedly scraped LinkedIn content as a way to analyze employee attrition, but LinkedIn claimed that the scraping was against their terms of service, thus amounting to a violation of the CFAA.

However, the Ninth Circuit leaned on a recent Supreme Court decision and found that the CFAA does not apply to publicly available web pages, as there is no unauthorized access. According to the court, since no authorization is required to view or access the page, the CFAA doesn’t apply, greatly limiting the applicability of the law. LinkedIn said that they were “disappointed” with the decision but described the ruling as “preliminary”.

2: ACE Shuts Down Massive Pirate Site After Locating Owner in Remote Peru

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has secured the closure of Pelisplushd.net, a large pirate site with an estimated 70 million visitors per month.

The move comes after ACE filed a DMCA subpoena with a California court asking Cloudflare to hand over information about the site’s operator. That operator has yet to be named but, according to ACE, they are located in the “remote countryside of Peru” and that, after identification, he agreed to turn over his domains and shutter the operation.

Though the site was not well known in much of the world, in Latin America it was extremely popular, with Mexico visiting it more than legitimate sites such as HBO Max and Disney Plus. However, other domains with similar names still exist, and at least one of those domains appears to have seen a five-fold increase in traffic.

3: DuckDuckGo Refuses to ‘Purge’ Piracy Sites Like Pirate Bay from Search Results

Finally today, Anthony Cuthbertson at The Independent reports that the search engine DuckDuckGo has clarified that it has not removed popular piracy websites from its service, despite earlier claims that it had.

Earlier in the week, the news site Torrentfrak had claimed that many of the most popular pirate sites were no longer searchable on DuckDuckGo. However, the search engine has not done any such purging, according to their representative, saying that it was simple an issue with their “site:” operator not returning full results.

The representative made it clear that the site itself was not purging any results and that its focus was on privacy, not supporting or denying any particular viewpoint.

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