Judge Throws Out X's Claims Against Data Scraper

A federal judge has dismissed X Corp's lawsuit against Israeli company Bright Data, which allegedly scraped and sold publicly available data that users had posted to the tech platform X, formerly Twitter.

The ruling, issued Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in the Northern District of California, marks the second time Bright Data has prevailed in a dispute with a social media platform. Earlier this year, Bright Data defeated a similar lawsuit brought by Meta Platforms.

Thursday's ruling stems from a lawsuit brought last July by X Corp., which accused Bright Data of using automated tools to collect data about tweets, and also selling both the scraped data and data-scraping tools. The complaint included claims that Bright Data violated X Corp.'s terms of service, and that it effectively misappropriated X Corp's data.

Alsup said in his ruling that even if X Corp. could prove Bright Data violated X's contractual terms by scraping data, X Corp. would also have to show how it was harmed by the scraping to prevail on that claim.



"Under California law, '[a] breach of contract without damage is not actionable," he wrote, quoting from prior cases. "X Corp. has not alleged any damage resulting from access through unauthorized means,” Alsup added.

Alsup also found that federal copyright law overrode X Corp's claims relating to Bright Data's alleged sale of data that had been publicly posted by users.

X Corp's claims “would upend the careful balance Congress struck between what copyright owners own and do not own, and what they leave for others to draw on,” Alsup wrote.

He added that X Corp.'s theories would give the company “de facto copyright ownership in copyrighted content that X users designated for public use.”

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