I am starting a travel social network for Asia & Australia, for a start. For this however, I need database of businesses like hotels, bars, restaurants etc.
Would there be any issue if I scraped this from yellow pages or say Trip Advisor? I don't need reviews of businesses, I only need the regular common data like Name, category etc.
Please let me know problems I stand to face if the site kicked off well.
I found this site: http://www.scrapingweb.com/legal-issues.html that lists some legal issues and the differences between the various uses for scraped material. I would cross reference this with the actual laws, if they exist, and make a judgement call based on how you are going to use the material and if the material is copyrighted.
A word of caution, you should not do anything illegal or unethical when it comes to running your business including the gathering of needed data. Even if you are coming close to the line I believe there is something wrong in that we all have the opportunity and duty to run our operations completely above board.
I know of a few web services that offer this data for a fee like goleads.com and www.salesgenie.com to start with.
Instead of scraping, perhaps you should look into publicly available data to the free for anyone to use. As you can well imagine, the places you are interested in (hotels, bars...) generally want as many people as possible to know about them.
Many places will have a chamber of commerce or tourist board whose job it is to attract people to their area. You can call these people and ask if they have a list of members, tell them what you want to do, and ask what restrictions, if any, there are on the use of their data. Since your interests (making the public aware of these businesses) closely align with theirs, they might be quite interested in helping you.
You can also have a page on your website where a business can provide you with their information. Obviously if the business provides the information themselves there is no legal issue.
Finally you can email businesses to encourage them to visit your website and provide their business details.