Easyjet gets shirty with screen scrapers

I was interested to read that Easyjet, aka Agent Orange in airline circles, is getting more than a bit shirty with third-party Web sites which it claims are screen scraping its pages.

The problem, it seems, is that Easyjet thinks that the third-party sites - such as Expedia and Skyscanner.net - are extracting a commercial advantage by scraping selected data from the Easyjet site.

The reality is that the price comparison sites are selling advertising, and an overall branded service, to their clients.

The fact that they offer to compare prices from sites such as Easyjet and others, is quite incidental.

El Reg, which broke the stor
y, quotes as Easyjet spokesperson as saying that the company is not going to offer free advertising to other Web sites and is not going into details of what was in the detail of the letters it sent out.

The topic of deep linking and whether it is legal or not is an old Internet topic, but screen scraping is another grey area for the legal pundits to get their teeth into.

Being the cynical old hack like I is, I think the whole episode has been spun up by the PR/marketing department at Easyjet in a bid to generate extra publicity.

The danger, of course, is that Easyjet is in danger of being placed in the same meanie category as that well-known bastion of luxury air travel (not -Ed) Ryanair...