Saturday, March 1, 2008

Reading Response : "The Data Wars" by Josh Mchugh

This article has discussed on a few issues, one of them to be the web security and copyright. Listpic concept of pulling images from Craigslist and reorganize them into a single page for easy navigation is providing much comfort for the users of both Listpic and Craigslist. However, the act of scraping is no better than a spammer. Listpic is making quick money from displaying contents without getting permission from Craigslist. Craigslist should protect its content or client data, so if Craigslist wants to take legal action against Listpic, it has the right to do so. Therefore in my opinion, a permission such as API is necessary, at least the security and copyright issue will be under control.

“The individual owns the data. Even if it sits in some company's server farm.” I agree with Hoffman opinion that the user owns the data. The permission of the use of data should be set by the users themselves, weather they want or allow their data to be used or display by another web company. As such, the issue of infringement into the individual data copyright and privacy law may not arise.

Besides, the article has also outlines the danger for the business model that base themselves on the contents and informations of another web company by scraping. Just like how Listpic was banned instantly after being caught, the impact on it is huge. It had fallen from its perch as one of the top 15,000 sites on the web on its popularity, to somewhere below 100,000th place within weeks.

In summary of what the article has outlined, the privacy and the copyright act in this networking system is getting more and more important as more user is getting into the web to display their data and informations, so it is important that a proper guide line be set out for the user and web companies to be followed.

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