First post! A bit nervous, as I'm impressed with the caliber of people who are here.
At the risk of having RTFM or RTF-Website thrown at me, I'm posting my first question for everybody. I've been searching and reading through WebmasterWorld, and in particular, the Local Search threads. I've been lurking for awhile. I've learned a ton. Thanks!
Anyway, I'm researching about the different sources of information providers for local merchants listings. I'm targeting a widget category and all the SME's that sell these widgets in my metropolitan area. I'd love to get a skeleton of a directory going with basic listings, and then start approaching the SME's for paid listings (I'll be offering extra stuff than just a listing) for their widgets. No ecommerce, just listings++.
While reading through infousa terms and conditions (am I allowed to state their name? I'm a little paranoid about saying too much) it says I'm "renting" their information. I got a quote for the data I'd want but I'm confused. I'd love to get the listing data and just keep it on-hand without renting it again. BUT, it seems like I can't re-use the information in public, but I might not be reading the T&C correctly. I'm not worried about refreshing data regularly, I just need a starting point for the directory.
I'm totally fine with going the manual route, ie. pulling public data about these widget SME's from the web, yellow pages, etc, to populate the directory. It's manual, but I think i've got enough elbow grease. Is that legal? I figured the web and yellow pages makes the data public domain, so I should be able to re-use it, but I'm not a lawyer and don't know if that's the case.
I guess I should look into the other data providers more, too. I guess they don't all have the same type of T&C.
Any guidance to be offered by the Local search guys here?
Thanks! I'll be eagerly awaiting any and all responses given.