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Thread: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

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    Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    If a website is popular, are any app developers allowed to build app based on other person's website without permission? It could be multiple reasons: the website owner does not develop any mobile app, or website owner's app is poorly developed.

    Thanks.

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    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    It depends on the details of what you are planning, but there is generally something to stop you.

    A big one is Copyright law, which means you aren't allowed to re-publish somebody else's intellectual property (eg: the text/pictures/etc on their website) without explicit permission.

    This gets somewhat relaxed in some places, so on VBForums the author of each post gets treated as the copyright owner of that post. That means if you post something here you are also allowed to post exactly the same thing on another site... but other people are not allowed to post exactly the same thing (and yes, we have taken legal action against sites that re-publish bits of ours).

    There are deliberately minor loopholes in Copyright law (eg: I can quote a paragraph from the Microsoft website as part of an answer to a question, as long as I mention the source), but you can't just re-publish a whole page or a decent percentage of one.

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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    Quote Originally Posted by si_the_geek View Post
    It depends on the details of what you are planning, but there is generally something to stop you.

    A big one is Copyright law, which means you aren't allowed to re-publish somebody else's intellectual property (eg: the text/pictures/etc on their website) without explicit permission.

    This gets somewhat relaxed in some places, so on VBForums the author of each post gets treated as the copyright owner of that post. That means if you post something here you are also allowed to post exactly the same thing on another site... but other people are not allowed to post exactly the same thing (and yes, we have taken legal action against sites that re-publish bits of ours).

    There are deliberately minor loopholes in Copyright law (eg: I can quote a paragraph from the Microsoft website as part of an answer to a question, as long as I mention the source), but you can't just re-publish a whole page or a decent percentage of one.
    The word " re-publish" is a little bit inaccurate for my question, it sounds like copying portion of content to another place. I am more about asking for these kinds of examples (just example):

    1) A government website, which does not have mobile app, then an independent developer builds an app, maybe the app comes with ad, so developer can make a little bit income. It actually also saves government money to hire someone to develop app.
    2) You are in UK, let us say, an UK guy builds another BBC app , so that people can also view BBC news on his app. The app may also come with ad. But the guy has nothing to do with CNN.

    I am more talking about such kinds of cases.

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    Frenzied Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    Quote Originally Posted by VAian View Post
    The word " re-publish" is a little bit inaccurate for my question, it sounds like copying portion of content to another place. I am more about asking for these kinds of examples (just example):

    1) A government website, which does not have mobile app, then an independent developer builds an app, maybe the app comes with ad, so developer can make a little bit income. It actually also saves government money to hire someone to develop app.
    2) You are in UK, let us say, an UK guy builds another BBC app , so that people can also view BBC news on his app. The app may also come with ad. But the guy has nothing to do with CNN.

    I am more talking about such kinds of cases.
    That would generally depend on the T&Cs of the original website, most sites that publish original content would own the content and as such would have restrictions on what a third party could and couldn't do. Before undertaking anything like that it would make sense to check what the individual site's T&Cs allow.

    If the site offers a public API or does allow reuse then there may be a cost for you to republish this information or they may not allow you to profit from republishing the information, again checking with the original site is probably the way forward.

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    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    If you are displaying any of their content (text or pictures etc) in any way within your app/website/etc, that is re-publishing.

    It doesn't matter who you are, or if you make money out of it... it isn't allowed without their explicit permission.


    PlausiblyDamp's suggestion to check the T&Cs is good, but bear in mind that if they don't explicitly say you can reproduce their content, then you are not allowed to (unless you contact them with details of what you intend to do, and they say you can).

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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    Quote Originally Posted by si_the_geek View Post
    If you are displaying any of their content (text or pictures etc) in any way within your app/website/etc, that is re-publishing.

    It doesn't matter who you are, or if you make money out of it... it isn't allowed without their explicit permission.


    PlausiblyDamp's suggestion to check the T&Cs is good, but bear in mind that if they don't explicitly say you can reproduce their content, then you are not allowed to (unless you contact them with details of what you intend to do, and they say you can).
    Thanks.

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    Re: Is there any legal issue to develop mobile app from other people's website?

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    That would generally depend on the T&Cs of the original website, most sites that publish original content would own the content and as such would have restrictions on what a third party could and couldn't do. Before undertaking anything like that it would make sense to check what the individual site's T&Cs allow.

    If the site offers a public API or does allow reuse then there may be a cost for you to republish this information or they may not allow you to profit from republishing the information, again checking with the original site is probably the way forward.
    Thank you.

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