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On the ethics side, I don't scrape large amounts of data - eg. giving clients lead gen (x leads for y dollars) - in fact, I have never done a scraping job and don't intend to do those jobs for profit.

For me it's purely for personal use and my little side projects. I don't even like the word scraping because it comes loaded with so many negative connotations (which sparked this whole comment thread) - and for a good reason - it's reflective of how the the demand in the market. People want cheap leads to spam, and that's bad use of technology.

Generally I tend to focus more on words and phases like 'automation' and 'scripting a bot'. I'm just automating my life, I'm writing a bot to replace what I would have to do on a daily basis - like looking on Facebook for some gifs and videos then manually posting them to my site. Would I spend an hour each and every day doing this? No, I'm much more lazier than that.

Who is anyone to tell me what I can and can't automate in my life?




This is exactly my response to "you can't legally scrape my site because of TOS." I don't think anyone has a legal right to tell me HOW I use their service. Making "browsing my website using a script you wrote yourself" illegal is akin to "You cannot use the tab key to tab between fields on my website, you must only use the touchpad to move the cursor over each field individually."

It's baloney.


Under the CFAA, they do have the right to determine what constitutes authorized access. If they say you're unauthorized for using the wrong buttons on your mouse, then you're unauthorized. It's treated very similarly to trespass on private land.

You can try telling the judge it's baloney, but if he's going by current precedent, he probably won't agree with you.


It is not the same flavor of violation as trespassing on land, more like riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. Fortunately, I'm not in the business of scraping sites, but I still find this legal precedent abhorable, and I hope it gets struck down in court when push comes to shove. I would certainly vote that way if given the chance.


It's like riding a bike in a skate-park with a small sign saying "No bikes".


It's like riding a red mountain bike on a bike path with a small sign saying "only black road bikes allowed".


> Who is anyone to tell me what I can and can't automate in my life?

You are exactly right. But although a site can deny you access for any arbitrary reason (it's their website, after all) obviously government think they are the ones to enforce this crap.

What if the ToS say you can only access a site while jumping hoops? Only read the ToS after a while and wasn't hooping? Well too bad, now you are being sued for reading the main page _and_ the ToS page without jumping around.

This comment Terms of Service: If you read any of this text you owe lerpa $1.000.000 to be paid up until 09/01/2016.




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