The Ethics of Scraping

I’ve recently been given a commission to do a piece of coding involving grabbing information from another website and displaying it in a different manner. Obviously I won’t say much more about the brief – don’t want to annoy the customer or expose myself!

The brief got me wondering – how legal is it to grab content from another website? I guessed it was probably another one of the ‘grey areas’ that surround the internets at the moment, however another issue concerned me slightly more… how ethical was it? My script essentially steals information from a website for use in other ways, that the original publisher has no control over. Since the website in question publishes no open API or content feeds for this purpose, surely they mustn’t want this information being scraped from them? The website being scraped is essentially just a collection of many different items, published by their own individual owners. Do they want the information scraped and re-published?

I’ve heard of another case from a friend (again, won’t get into details) whereby a company is keeping a tight fist around its data. This is sort of understandable, but again the website in question is aggregating many different peoples data. Is the website being anti-competitive  by not releasing APIs?

I will sleep better once this script is out of development and off my server – I know I wouldn’t like it if someone else was doing this to my website! However – the customer is always right, and I won’t disappoint!

iPhone Tariffs updated!

o2 are updating the tariffs for iPhone as of 1st Feb!

£35 p/m now gets you 600 minutes and 500 texts

£45 p/m = 1200 minutes and 500 texts

£75 p/m = 3000 minutes and 500 texts

Rolling out to existing users as of 1st Feb, complete by mid-March at the latest 😀

You can now also get o2 "Bolt-ons" for extra cash, most interesting for me being the "Unlimited anytime texts" for only an extra £7.50 per month.

Apparently all iPhone UK users will get a text from o2 when the conversion is complete 😀

Can’t wait, I went well over my texts last month!


Okay, this is kind of another pyramid scheme…. but it isn’t a scam!

Go there and sign up… you get money just for looking at webpages! It’s so simple!

Gimme beer money

Okay, by reading this you have agreed to give me some money… but the thing is: it dosn’t cost you anything!

Please click on the links at the bottom of this page, and just have a click around their site… you may find something you like!

It may seem silly, but this actually gives me money, and then I may be able to afford some hosting, to get my old site back! I miss it loads 🙁