Feeds

easyJet warns 'several websites' to stop selling its flights

Screen scraping the budget airline barrel

New hybrid storage solutions

easyJet has confirmed that Expedia is not the only online travel firm to have felt the airline’s wrath – it has also fired off letters to several other UK websites warning them to stop selling its flights.

As we revealed earlier this week, the budget airline company wrote to Expedia.co.uk telling it to stop punting easyJet flights via its website or face the possibility of legal action. And they're not the only ones.

An easyJet spokeswoman said: “I can clarify that we have written to several websites who have been screen scraping, who have been advised to cease or we will take further legal action.” However, the firm refused to reveal which other websites it was targeting.

When asked for an explanation as to why the airline was unwilling to provide further information about the potential legal spat it was pursuing with other travel sites, the spokeswoman told us: “No, we're not going to give free advertising to these websites and we're choosing not to go into details of when letters were sent.”

“Screen scraping” is a practice commonly employed by travel and news aggregation sites, where one website mines information from another, or many others before pulling out the relevant data and reformatting it for its own use.

What isn’t clear at this stage is what legal action easyJet might take against the websites if they continue to ignore the airline’s warnings.

We asked Kim Walker partner at law firm Pinsent Masons what options easyJet has.

He said "easyJet could consider claiming copyright infringement but my guess would be that a breach of database rights would ultimately be the most telling argument from easyJet’s point of view."

Walker added that now Expedia has received a written warning from easyJet about extracting the firm's flight data without consent, the travel site's "position has been weakened". He said it could no longer, for example, argue the defence that it was unaware of easyJet's terms and conditions, which prohibit screen scraping.

We asked Walker why easyJet didn't simply filter out Expedia and other websites' IP addresses to prevent data being scraped.

"You can use measures to block IP addresses," he said. "But [price comparision website] Moneysupermarket.com for example uses something in the region of two million IP addresses making the website very hard to block."

We asked Expedia if it was willing to give us a statement about easyJet's complaints. A spokeswoman told us: "We can make no further comment on this matter." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers
Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC
Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.