That’s fine and dandy when listing content is scraped from REALTOR.ca, but often we investigate these complaints and find that the listings have been scraped from some other website. For example, what if the listings were scraped from the listing broker’s website? Then what?
Typically listing brokers own the copyright over their listings and therefore brokers could sue scrapers for copyright infringement. Unfortunately, such a claim for copyright infringement won’t always be successful.
You see copyright law only protects ‘works’, like listings, from copying if there is a “substantial taking”, which is assessed qualitatively and quantitatively. What does this mean? It means a claim for copyright infringement won’t be successful unless a significant part of a listing is copied, like the listing pictures or description. There was a recent case between Century 21 and Zoocasa where the court looked at exactly this issue and found that copying facts from a listing, like the price, address, and number of rooms, was not enough to amount to copyright infringement.
The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.