Tag Archives | screen scraping

Screen Scraping Websites – Anything I can do?

The term “screen scraping” refers to automated processes that some people run which go off to a website and scans/copies the content to use for themselves. You may have heard about Ryanairs problems with screen scrapers in the past. Essentially, a third party takes advantage of the content that someone produces and publishes on their website for their own benefit.

Another example, as far as I’m concerned, was the recent controversy where a third party company developed an i-Phone application based on the information presented about where bikes were/were not available on the DublinBikes.ie website.

My question, though, is probably more for the more technical minded people amongst you.

I believe that someone has started screen scraping some particular content on the ValueIreland.com website. It’s the only possibility that I can come up with based on some of the recent web visitor statistics I’ve been noticing.

It’s someone logging on to ValueIreland.com from an NTL/UPC internet connection, and they hit one particular page approximately once every hour during the day.

I don’t think it can be a person that’s doing this because there is very little content on the one particular page that’s being visited.

I know that Ryanair are talking about taking those that scrape their website to court, but is there something simple that I can do here on my site that would thwart whomever is trying to steal my content?


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