Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Thursday January 11, 2018

Violating Website ToS is Not a Crime

This actually all stems from the Oracle v. Rimini case filed ack in 2012. Rimini is actually an Oracle competitor on some fronts, and was using scripts to download documents on Oracle's servers that are offered up to Oracle users for support. Oracle's complaint boils down to the Rimini auto-download script being used. Oracle wanted Rimini to click on each document and download manually. Rimini is also reported part of another suit in which it downloaded a car.

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This decision shores up the good precedent from 2012 and makes clear—if it wasn’t clear already—that violating a corporate computer use policy is not a crime.

Good news out of the Ninth Circuit: the federal court of appeals heeded EFF’s advice and rejected an attempt by Oracle to hold a company criminally liable for accessing Oracle’s website in a manner it didn’t like. The court ruled back in 2012 that merely violating a website’s terms of use is not a crime under the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. But some companies, like Oracle, turned to state computer crime statutes—in this case, California and Nevada—to enforce their computer use preferences.