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Since the earliest days of the Web, many sites have found success by establishing a thickly populated collection of user-generated content, from eBay auction listings and YouTube videos to the crowd-sourced information of Wikipedia. And since the earliest days of the Web such sites have routinely been plagued by rivals who "scrape" and republish large amounts of this content without authorization. In many instances, when copyright law may seem to provide no effective remedy, plaintiffs seek protection under other bodies of law such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), clickwrap and browsewrap user agreements, or even the ancient common-law doctrine of trespass to chattels (on the theory that computer servers are chattels and accessing them is a trespass).

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