458eBaycase11_8 - eBay Inc v Bidders Edge Inc Pp 23-28 I...

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eBay Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc. Pp. 23-28 I. The Facts: District Judge Whyte oversaw case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 2000. eBay is an internet person to person trading site where people can actively bid on items. In order to use eBay, users must accept the terms of the agreement upon registration, although the trade is “consummated” between traders and bidders. eBay has 17 million registered users. The current user agreement prohibits the use of “any robot, spider, other automatic device, or manual process to copy web pages or content” (28). It is unclear if those terms existed when Bidder’s Edge [BE], an auction data aggregator (a software robot), started searching the site. It is also unclear if BE even accepted the terms. Software robots consume system resources of the database, slowing down or even overloading the system, resulting in an extensive loss of data. The eBay site, through “robot exclusion headers,” prevents unauthorized robotic activity. In order to monitor this activity, eBay screens requests from IP addresses. Those that are a threat are blocked. Bidder’s Edge is an online service that allows users to search through numerous online auction sites without having to go to the individual site
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course COMM 458 taught by Professor Sparr during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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458eBaycase11_8 - eBay Inc v Bidders Edge Inc Pp 23-28 I...

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