[sf-perl] website searching/filtering script

Quinn Weaver quinn at fairpath.com
Wed Sep 12 20:24:53 PDT 2007

On Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 04:33:49PM -0700, Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
> >>>>> "Dan" == Dan Lyke <danlyke at flutterby.com> writes:
> Dan> Although I run screaming from "give us your name and password"
> Dan> applications, Blogger is the first one that comes to mind, I could
> Dan> easily see a useful service that would be extracting this information
> Dan> from so-called "social networking" sites like MySpace and FaceBook and
> Dan> transferring it to other places. And neither of those companies is
> Dan> going to make extracting the user's data easy. There's a legit
> Dan> application that involves scraping names.
> And violates Blogger's terms of service which includes Google's Terms
> of Service:
>   5.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by
>     any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google,
>     unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement
>     with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access)
>     any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts
>     or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions
>     set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services.
> As I'm saying, just because you can *technically* run a scraper, doesn't mean
> that you can legally, or morally, or ethically.
> Dan> There are lots of good reasons to write scrapers and bots, not all of
> Dan> them are nefarious.
> But some of them are wrong.

It's a pain, isn't it?  I surely don't want Blogger (or anyone) to own
my social graph.  But I'm not into breaking the law either (in the
form of my contract with Blogger).

I guess the solution is to use a different service.  On the other
hand, using a different service is cold comfort if all your friends
are on the first service...  which brings us back to the original
problem. :)

Quinn Weaver, independent contractor  |  President, San Francisco Perl Mongers
http://fairpath.com/quinn/resume/     |  http://sf.pm.org/

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