WHOIS Banner Notices

The whois outputs from the various registrars and ip address outputs almost all have a nearly identical banner such as the .org banner:

Access to .ORG WHOIS information is provided to assist persons in determining the contents of a domain name registration record in the Public Interest Registry registry database. The data in this record is provided by Public Interest Registry for informational purposes only, and Public Interest Registry does not guarantee its accuracy. This service is intended only for query-based access. You agree that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to: (a) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, or facsimile of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations to entities other than the data recipient’s own existing customers; or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of Registry Operator, a Registrar, or Afilias except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations. All rights reserved. Public Interest Registry reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

According to an attorney on the board of Domain Tools these notices are not binding because the data is mandated to be public.  In fact if you ask the operators of the whois databases for the legal authority to place these restrictions on the data you will not get much of a response.   However, the Registrar Accreditation Agreement with ICANN does have provisions for bulk access to the whois databases for a fee:

3.3.6 In addition, Registrar shall provide third-party bulk access to the data subject to public access under Subsection 3.3.1 under the following terms and conditions:

3.3.6.1 Registrar shall make a complete electronic copy of the data available at least one (1) time per week for download by third parties who have entered into a bulk access agreement with Registrar.

3.3.6.2 Registrar may charge an annual fee, not to exceed US$10,000, for such bulk access to the data.

3.3.6.3 Registrar’s access agreement shall require the third party to agree not to use the data to allow, enable, or otherwise support any marketing activities, regardless of the medium used. Such media include but are not limited to e-mail, telephone, facsimile, postal mail, SMS, and wireless alerts.

3.3.6.4 Registrar’s access agreement shall require the third party to agree not to use the data to enable high-volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of any Registry Operator or ICANN-Accredited registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations.

3.3.6.5 Registrar’s access agreement must require the third party to agree not to sell or redistribute the data except insofar as it has been incorporated by the third party into a value-added product or service that does not permit the extraction of a substantial portion of the bulk data from the value-added product or service for use by other parties.