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Whose data is it anyway?

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Breaking News : The Delhi High Court today asked InfoMedia 18( part of the TV18 group) to stop its site askme.in from functioning until next hearing. I just checked their site and it gave a 503 – Not available message.JustDial claims Infomedia 18 copied its extensive database which is its key competitive advantage. Now, the big question is who owns the data that a website indexes and displays to the viewers for free? Does the method of copying even matter? The answer to this question could have huge implications for well-known sites in India which rely on such freely available data. I , for one, do not believe that all local search and classifieds websites built up their database organically from scratch, talking to each business owner in the process.

Another way of asking the same question : If your website shows up in google search, does it mean google owns the exclusive right to displaying it ( and other search engines cannot?)

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