in reply to Re: HTTP::Headers error when submitting form via WWW::Mechanize
in thread HTTP::Headers error when submitting form via WWW::Mechanize

If the institution in question provides a web application (and they do) for me to run reports as a person with a browser, why on earth would it be illegal for me to access the service and do the same reports via an automaton? I am time impaired, so I am making a 'screen reader' which not only reads the reports but updates my database every quarter hour. As paulbort points out there may be a clause denying me this access but in my view I am merely automating the manner in which I already am allowed to avail myself of the reports.


"The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.
The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re^3: HTTP::Headers error when submitting form via WWW::Mechanize
by skyknight (Hermit) on Jul 01, 2004 at 16:10 UTC

    The medium via which information is presented is an integral component of any contract. For example, if a content provider provides you with content without a fee, then it probably has a revenue model that involves some secondary effect of you viewing the content, e.g. advertisement viewing. If you bypass their system and extract the information you want directly, in a way that violates your contract, then you are depriving them of their revenue. No matter how you slice it, taking something without authorization from someone is stealing. Furthermore, via your automation you may be harming them via resource over-taxing. There are very good reasons for prohibiting "robots" from accessing web sites, and your selfish disregard for them invites a Tragedy of the Commons.

    There is plenty of precedent for content/service providers going after people who violate the terms of their service agreement. Don't take my word for it though... Just ask some of the people who have been taken to court by eBay.