Cease & Desist: Putting an end to some award searches and alerts

Discussion in 'Wandering Aramean Travel Tools' started by Wandering Aramean, Mar 28, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Well, I suppose I can say it was a good run. United Airlines has decided I’m violating the terms of service on their website, despite the fact that I’m not actually doing what they say, and I’m the lucky recipient of a cease & desist letter.


    Our investigation strongly suggests that Proton Associates is scraping united.com to, among other things, provide United and Star Alliance award and upgrade availability and fare information to its members on wandr.me. However, Proton Associates does not have a contract with United to conduct such activities and has not obtained any authorization from United to access the data located at united.com.

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    And so, at least for the time being, the Star Alliance Award Search tool is coming offline. I wish I didn’t have to do so but I’m not in a position to fight this. I tried repeatedly to pursue the licensing agreement which they demanded and was rebuffed, told that no such agreement was possible. I will continue to pursue it but I doubt I’ll get anywhere. Such is life. I’m not happy about it but I have to move on, at least for now. Sorry.

    The post Cease & Desist: Putting an end to some award searches and alerts appeared first on Wandering Aramean.

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Thanks for the years of service and trying to keep it going. Found your tool very useful, even though I didn't use it very often (just not a lot of need, not because of other reasons).

    I guess that confirms my suspicion in another thread about why KVS stopped showing UA data. And since that was essentially doing what you were wondering about (except for the selling of the tool part), I think UA won't like it, but may not be able to pursue the individuals.

    (I actually have a script that scrapes united.com, alas currently not for fare/award data.... I only access my own account and grab my account balance on a daily basis)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
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  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    That's a bummer.

    I've never automated searches but have thought about doing it for personal use (some days I spend a lot of time clicking "refresh").

    If you no longer have any use for it, perhaps if you were to post your screen-scraping code publicly, highlighting the particular lines or sections that United claims are in violation, that might be useful to other people who are motivated by a desire to avoid causing any offense to United?
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't believe that the code I have can be used without United thinking it is in violation. Whether it actually is or not and whether they choose to pursue individuals or not is a whole different question.
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    If you posted the code, you'd become KVS (perhaps without asking for money). Don't think UA would like that.

    Of course I wonder if Bob Smith could start a project on Sourceforge or Github to create a generic open source airline award searcher for personal use... if they chose to go after that project, they might have to face the wrath of Slashdot and the likes...
     
  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    No, of course not. My only thought was that it would serve as an object lesson in what not to do. :cool:
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Doing anything close to useful would likely be something UA considers a violation. Whether they choose to pursue it or not is really the open question.
     
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  8. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Another reason to be glad I have NO plans to spend another dime on UA. Their arrogance is pretty hard to take :(
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    To be fair, all the others do the same thing. Two of the precedent-setting lawsuits on the matter were brought by Southwest and both Delta and American have taken a similar stance with other companies. Of course, American was willing to license their data in some cases so it isn't entirely the same, but the general premise is.
     
  10. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Highlighted. That applies to a broad range of activities, not just award searches.
     

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