Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Problems? Is your data what you think it is?
 
PerlMonks  

Comment on

( #3333=superdoc: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

The general concept of robots.txt was to restrict automated processes with no user behind them. Its original syntax makes very little sense, from a security point of view (I mean, it basically tells people 'here's the stuff I don't want you looking at'). The later RFC included an 'Allow' to go along with 'Disallow'.

If a site really didn't want people visiting their content, they'd use access restrictions. (and they can even filter by user agent + path, just like with a robots.txt file), but the robots.txt tells the robot to not even bother requesting any of those other files.

It is not intended for user-agents, that is to say something that has a user at the helm -- for instance, a web browser that's retrieving files as you request them (even if you go and option-click 50 links on the page, so each one pops up in a new window in your browser). Or some of the more annoying browsers that go and pre-fetch every page that's linked to, just in case you might follow a link.

I'd make sure to advertise my screen scraper with a unique user-agent string, and I'd look at robots.txt, in case they wanted to politely ask me to go away... but would it be unethical to ignore it? I'd say in your case, yes -- you're planning on doing it when you sleep. If you had a user agent that presented the content in a different format (ie, acting a screen scraper, but interactive, not automated), I'd say it'd be okay.

Now, if you were going to start looking at robots.txt, I would think it would be unethical to then decide to ignore it-- it's one thing to say 'I am a user agent, not a robot', and not check for it, but it's a bad thing to look to see if they want you to go away, and then ignore the request.


In reply to Re: [OT] Ethical and Legal Screen Scraping by jhourcle
in thread [OT] Ethical and Legal Screen Scraping by eyepopslikeamosquito

Title:
Use:  <p> text here (a paragraph) </p>
and:  <code> code here </code>
to format your post; it's "PerlMonks-approved HTML":



  • Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
  • Titles consisting of a single word are discouraged, and in most cases are disallowed outright.
  • Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
  • Please read these before you post! —
  • Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
    a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
  • You may need to use entities for some characters, as follows. (Exception: Within code tags, you can put the characters literally.)
            For:     Use:
    & &amp;
    < &lt;
    > &gt;
    [ &#91;
    ] &#93;
  • Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
  • See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.
  • Log In?
    Username:
    Password:

    What's my password?
    Create A New User
    Chatterbox?
    and all is quiet...

    How do I use this? | Other CB clients
    Other Users?
    Others meditating upon the Monastery: (3)
    As of 2018-01-20 16:22 GMT
    Sections?
    Information?
    Find Nodes?
    Leftovers?
      Voting Booth?
      How did you see in the new year?










      Results (227 votes). Check out past polls.

      Notices?