Scraping data from the Danish Land Registry in order to make it accessible elsewhere can potentially be in breach of intellectual property and data protection laws

By Morten Bernhardt, Martin von Haller


After pressure from the Danish National Cyber Crime Center (NC3), an American individual closed down his website within days of publishing scraped data from the Danish Land Registry. The data disclosed on the website contained personal data thus bringing the information within the frames of data protection rules. As pointed out by Danish partner Martin Von Haller, the possibility of disclosing data as mentioned above is reliant on whether or not the data is available on open terms, meaning that the explicit consent of the rights holder is given.

The legality of making the data accessible is also dependent on how well the information is updated and maintained – it is necessary for the data to be identical to the data from the original host.

The Danish Data Protection Agency (DDPA) and NC3 were both of different opinions as to whether the actions of the American individual were legal. The DDPA argued that the information had already been disclosed and therefore copying it was within the boundaries of the law whereas the NC3 believed that the actions could be covered by the hacker section of the Danish Criminal Act.