Competition between Amazon’s third-party merchants is notoriously fierce. The online retail giant often finds itself playing the role of referee, banning what it considers unfair business practices (such as offering free products in exchange for perfect reviews, or targeting competitors with so-called “review bombing”). Last month, in the latest round of this push and pull, the online retail giant blew the whistle on several merchants who Amazon claims crossed a red line and may now have to face litigation in federal court.
On August 18, the D.C. Circuit directed the Copyright Royalty Board (“CRB”) to reconsider what royalties are owed to artists by Music Choice for its streaming services, vacating the final determination of the Copyright Royalty Board. In the Court’s view, the CRB wrongfully excluded internet transmissions from the grandfathered royalty rate paid by some music services that were early providers of digital music transmissions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Music Choice v. CRB, No. 19-1011
This past month, professional networking site LinkedIn Corp., was given more time to file a petition for certiorari challenging a Ninth Circuit finding that hiQ Labs Inc. (“hiQ”), a workforce data analytics startup, did not violate federal hacking laws by “scraping” LinkedIn member profiles without LinkedIn’s permission.
Data scraping, or web scraping, is a method where a computer program extracts data from websites. The data that is extracted is often considered to be human-readable information. The question of who owns data that is scraped from public websites is now at the doorstep of one of the largest technology social media companies in the United States.