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Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

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Trespass to Chattels

In addition to copyright, the other main concept that you should be aware of is trespass to chattels. Unlike traditional trespass, which refers to unauthorized use of real property (land or real estate), trespass to chattels prevents or impairs an owner's use of or access to personal property. The trespass-to-chattels laws were written before the invention of the Internet, but in certain instances, they still protect access to personal property. Consider the following examples of trespass to chattels:

  • Blocking access to someone's boat with a floating swim platform

  • Preventing the use of a fax machine by continually spamming it with nuisance or junk faxes

  • Erecting a building that blocks someone's ocean view

From your perspective ...

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