CJEU Ryanair decision has implications for screen-scraping

Summary 

The EU Database Directive prohibits data providers from imposing contractual restrictions on certain uses of their publicly available databases by “lawful users”. In Ryanair v PR Aviation, the CJEU confirmed that these provisions of the Database Directive only apply to databases that are protected by copyright or database rights under it. Providers of data that are not protected by copyright or database rights under the Directive are therefore free to impose contractual limitations on their use. So, businesses like Ryanair that publish otherwise unprotected data on their websites may be able to rely on their website T&Cs (to the extent they are binding on end users) to prevent screen-scraping e.g. by price comparison sites.