Musk’s X Corp Loses Lawsuit Against Israeli Data-Scraping Company

Elon Musk X Data-Scraping Lawsuit

A U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Elon Musk’s X Corp against an Israeli data-scraping company, accusing it of illegally copying and selling content from the social media platform, as well as providing tools for others to do the same.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled on Thursday that X, formerly Twitter, failed to plausibly allege that Bright Data Ltd violated its user agreement by allowing scraping and evading X’s own anti-scraping technology.

Alsup stated that using scraping tools is not inherently fraudulent, and allowing social media companies to dictate how public data are utilized “risks the possible creation of information monopolies that would disserve the public interest.”

The judge also noted that X was not entitled to “de facto copyright ownership” in copyrighted content made available to the public by X’s users.

No immediate response

Lawyers for X did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Or Lenchner, Bright Data’s chief executive, stated: “Bright Data’s victory over X makes it clear to the world that public information on the web belongs to all of us, and any attempt to deny the public access will fail.”

Alsup mentioned that X can attempt to amend its complaint, which sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract, trespass, and misappropriation. The San Francisco-based company had sued Bright Data in July.

In January, another San Francisco judge ruled that Bright Data had not violated Meta Platforms’ terms of service by scraping data from Facebook and Instagram. Meta ended its lawsuit against Bright Data a month later.

Then in March, another San Francisco judge dismissed X’s lawsuit against the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate, which published articles based on scraped data that criticized a rise in hate speech on the platform. X claimed that the articles were scaring away advertisers, costing it millions of dollars, and has appealed the decision.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022. His other businesses include the electric car company Tesla.