While I know I’m a bit late to the party posting about this, there are still five crucial days left in SXSW Panel voting and we need your support to make our panel a reality.
This year I am teaming up with Rami Essaid of Distil Networks, the truly awesome bot-blocking service, and Katie Sunstrom, a reformed blogger and an intellectual property attorney with Lorance & Thompson.
The proposed talk is entitled “Digital Content & The Legality of Web Scraping”. The plan is to take a look at the prevalence of scraping on the Web and both how the legal and technological landscape is shifting around it.
Web scraping is a term for using bots to automatically lift content from websites. Though on this site we routinely discuss it as a tool for spam blogging, which it still is, it’s also used by commerce sites to scrape competitor prices, gathering data for research or for collecting information about users.
This has led to something of a cat and mouse games as companies seek to scrape their competitors while simultaneously defending their own sites. Meanwhile, legal decisions and legislation are further complicating the battlefield, making it so that there’s even less certainty about what is legal and ethical.
The three of us hope to parse through the mess that is web scraping today and talk what it means, not just for the corporations and sites battling it, but for web users, many of whom are at risk of having their private data scraped along with everything else.
All in all, this is a topic that I am very excited about. So please, if you have a moment, drop by the panel picker page and give us a quick vote. You need to register for an account to do so but it only takes a moment, you can even do it using Facebook if you wish.
Thank you all for your support and I hope to see you in Austin come March!