A recent dispute between an advertiser AXTS Inc. (“AXTS”) and a video production company GY6vids (“GY6”) produced an interesting issue involving the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) – that is, whether an entity that allegedly overloaded another company’s YouTube channel content with a flood of “dislikes” following a contractual dispute is liable under the CFAA for accessing a protected computer “without authorization.” (AXTS Inc. v. GY6vids LLC, No. 18-00821 (D. Ore. Oct. 24, 2018)).
We have been closely monitoring the evolving state of the law regarding CFAA liability for certain commercial web scraping and related practices. The instant case between AXTS and GY6 is a little different in that the claim did not arise from AXTS’s alleged access to video content stored on GY6’s network, but publically-accessible videos stored on a third-party’s (e.g., YouTube) servers. Continue Reading