Tuesday January 20,2015 : DATABASE TO SUE POLISH GOVERNMENT
Owners of The Hendon Mob database claim government bot scoured it for information.
In what is likely to be an unprecedented case, Global Poker Index, the owners of The Hendon Mob database, is reportedly about to litigate against the Polish government for its actions in using a bot to scour the database for information in contravention of site T&Cs.
The action will be launched against Poland’s Ministry of Finance, according to a report on the Poker News industry information site Monday, quoting GPI chief exec Alexandre Dreyfus.
Dreyfus believes that the Polish government's Finance Ministry has been "…systematically acting in violation of the site's terms and conditions, scraping the site to steal the data within its pages."
Dreyfus told Poker News that the company has been monitoring the Polish activity on its Hendon Mob database since December 29, recording a bot coming from the servers of mf.gov.pl that has been crawling the entire website.
Dreyfus says that GPI has blocked the bot after tricking it by feeding it inaccurate data for over a week, adding:
"They have changed the bot’s Internet provider four times already. Our security team has noticed it from day one and, as we have a special tool that allows us to avoid automated bots to steal our data, we fed them with fake data and fake results for over eight days."
The actions of the Polish bot contravene the widely publicised Hendon Mob's terms and conditions under the "Intellectual Property" section, Dreyfus claims, revealing that GPI has engaged Polish legal representation to communicate with the Polish government authorities to warn them on the issue
Poker News notes that under the EU Database Directive, protective standards for databases adopted by the European Commission back in 1996 address the "repeated and systematic extraction and/or reutilization of insubstantial parts of the contents of the database implying acts which conflict with a normal exploitation of that database or which unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the maker of the database shall not be permitted."
On Monday evening Dreyfus took to Twitter to threaten legal action and appeal to the Polish Finance Minister to halt the theft of data from The Hendon Mob. He also warned the Polish authorities that they may be in possession of deliberately flawed (mis)information.
Poland's deputy finance minister, Jacek Kapica, responded via his personal Twitter account, professing ignorance on the issue and advising that he was still on vacation…so it can be safely assumed that Dreyfus has caught the eye of the national government of the eastern European state.