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9 Comments

Is it legal to link job postings from other websites? Please help

Hello friends,

I a working on a job site that list the job titles for jobs that exists on other websites (Companys' websites). I am only copying the job title, but it is linked back to the original page of its advertising company.

Is this legal in the U.S or Canada?

Does anyone know anything about this sort of things? I really appreciate any help of advise.

Thanks

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    I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

    This is a bit complicated. It's not a matter of legal or illegal. When you copy something someone else wrote, you might be doing one of three things: violating a trademark, copyright infringement or using someone else's patent.

    You are not likely to use someone else's patent but you could be violating a trademark or commit copyright infringement with what you are proposing, on top of breaking the terms of service as @Scotalia said.

    These things are not crimes, the police can't arrest you for them. But the other person might sue you and win. They can sue you even if you don't do anything, so whatever you are doing you'd have to defend yourself or acquiesce to their demands.

    There's a common saying: ask for forgiveness, not for permission. In many of these cases, depending on how egregious is, they might just start with a cease and decease letter which generally just says "Stop and we won't sue you".

    If you try to do everything by the letter of the law, pay for attorneys, etc, you'll never get anywhere and you if you completely careless you can get in trouble. It's up to you to find the balance, the amount of risk you are comfortable with.

    I repeat, this is not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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      lol @pupeno, you make good points.

      @ameenz, Job postings typically have two copyrights: a copyright on the listings -- the words and expression of the listing -- and a compilation copyright for the database. As long as you're not using the entirety of someone's database, you're not likely to infringe on the compilation copyright. (70% or less has been ruled ok)

      As for copying the listing itself, the more expressive or unique the writing in the listing is, the harder it is to justify copying the complete listing. Any job listing without originality is primarily a collection of uncopyrightable facts so as long as you avoid anything too creative you'll be fine.

      Other things to watch out for:
      -Make sure the listings are not discriminatory
      -Don't pull from a website that has an End-User License Agreement

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        I don't think @ameenz wants to manually copy job ads, he probably wants to scrape them, which means he doesn't know whether they are discriminatory or not, creative or not.

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          Right, but easy enough to screen for trigger words that would be discriminatory like "man, citizen, young" etc. If you keep a record of such screens, it would be helpful in your defense should the rare, but expensive, lawsuit occur.

          As for creative listings, I'd suggest including a clause in the Terms that you have adopted and implemented a policy respecting copyright laws that provide for the removal of any infringing materials pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

          *Not legal advice as I don't know the specific details, but I hope this is helpful.

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      thanks @pupeno .. very valuable feedback. I appreciate it.

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    If the Terms of Service of the website do not forbid it, then you are good to go. Some may require written consent.

    You are (very likely) not doing IP infringement in any way.

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    i am not sure of legality, but many job boards do this. They scrape the postings from other sites, then link back to those sites with the 'Apply to this job' link. You may need to check the specific job boards' you are scraping from (their terms might be specific on not allowing this), but many job boards actually offer APIs you can use to pull data from.

    I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. :)

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      Thanks @Scotalia .. I am not planning to scrape any jobs from other job boards like indeed or google...etc... I am trying to share the a niche market jobs by visiting the companies websites and link to those jobs. I guess you have a valid point and I might just check every company's terms..

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