Is it legal to use Google & Yelp photos?
In general there are no federal laws against web scraping in the United States as long as the scraped data is publicly available and the scraping activity does not harm the website being scraped.
We do not use Yelp photos in our solution only for reviews. And we do not store any data from the Google API as it is against their Terms of Service for that provided data. We use he Google API for search and map display only to use for initial lookup and display of info only. The storing of the data comes from a third party API from Outscraper which is used to get the images.
We have configuration settings that can turn off the image download option for listing creation if that is a concern. If you are in a location or jurisdiction that only permits text and data mining you can turn off the photo download capability of DirectoryImport and DirectoryPhotos and simply have them upload their own images to display with DirectorySlider so all images are self added. So we allow you to turn on or off as your specific needs or requirements change.
Scraping publicly available information on the web in an automated way is legal as long as the scraped data is not used for any harmful purpose or directly attacking the scraped website’s business or operations. But you should avoid scraping personal data or intellectual property, or confidential data. Outscraper answers the legality issue for public data on their website here: https://outscraper.com/faq/ The regulations or limitations of course may vary by location, as this is a US only example and legal precedence may change over time, or vary based on your location. We are not in position to provide legal advice for you or your company and advise. For professional legal advice, please talk to a certified lawyer in your country.