Write a one-page memo, Ms. Speil says, answering her questions.

You work for a small advertising agency in Cooperstown, N.Y, near the Baseball Hal-of fame. Your agency’s principal advertising clients are businesses in town, some of whom sell baseball memorabilia, The agency has a good record of placing advertisements for its clients in both real space and on the internet. Many of these small stores have both physical and internet presence.

Last week, you were looking at the website of Kendrick Sports, the largest seller of baseball memorabilia in New York. Kendrick is not your client, and try as you have, you have not been able to obtain their business. The Kendrick website contains a database of information about the recent sales and auctions Kendrick has held for athlete-signed jerseys and jackets, baseball cards, and signed photos of famous players. The Kendrick website offers a brief, factual descriiption of the merchandise, the price at which it was sold, a photo of the item, and the date of the sale. There are thousands of entries, going back at least 5 years.

As you scrolled through the Kendrick web page entries, you had an idea for a new website that would provide would-be consumers with a place to research the market for these hard-to-price items. The new website would be a good marketing tool for your agency’s clients, and by putting their sales information into your company’s database, the website you envision would be even more comprehensive. You have 10 small clients in town that you believe would be interested in joining in and contributing sales of their data, but the key to making it all work is to incorporate the Kendrick information.

You check the Kendrick’s site and find a short Terms of Use Agreement. The Kendrick Agreement is directed only to “cookies” and data collection and does not say anything about using scrapers, bots, or other technological means when surfing their site. Your technician Can easily build a computer program to download the past-sales data on the Kendrick site

You mention your idea to Carla Speil, the head of your agency. She is intrigued. But is it legal, she asks?

Ms. Speil sees the rewards…. “But it seems like stealing. If we do it, what will we tell our
clients?” she asks as she walks away.

If the agency proceeds with your idea, you will earn a substantial bonus. You know that to convince Ms. Spell, in addition to addressing the legal question, you will also have to address persuasively that last thing she said

Write a one-page memo, Ms. Speil says, answering her questions.

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