Web Scraper Tutorial

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Is Web Scraping Illegal? Depends on What the Meaning of the Word Is

Depending on who you ask, web scraping can be loved or hated.
Web scraping has existed for a long time and, in its good form, it’s a key underpinning of the internet. “Good bots” enable, for example, search engines to index web content, price comparison services to save consumers money, and market researchers to gauge sentiment on social media.
“Bad bots, ” however, fetch content from a website with the intent of using it for purposes outside the site owner’s control. Bad bots make up 20 percent of all web traffic and are used to conduct a variety of harmful activities, such as denial of service attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, stealing of intellectual property, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam and digital ad fraud.
So, is it Illegal to Scrape a Website?
So is it legal or illegal? Web scraping and crawling aren’t illegal by themselves. After all, you could scrape or crawl your own website, without a hitch.
Startups love it because it’s a cheap and powerful way to gather data without the need for partnerships. Big companies use web scrapers for their own gain but also don’t want others to use bots against them.
The general opinion on the matter does not seem to matter anymore because in the past 12 months it has become very clear that the federal court system is cracking down more than ever.
Let’s take a look back. Web scraping started in a legal grey area where the use of bots to scrape a website was simply a nuisance. Not much could be done about the practice until in 2000 eBay filed a preliminary injunction against Bidder’s Edge. In the injunction eBay claimed that the use of bots on the site, against the will of the company violated Trespass to Chattels law.
The court granted the injunction because users had to opt in and agree to the terms of service on the site and that a large number of bots could be disruptive to eBay’s computer systems. The lawsuit was settled out of court so it all never came to a head but the legal precedent was set.
In 2001 however, a travel agency sued a competitor who had “scraped” its prices from its Web site to help the rival set its own prices. The judge ruled that the fact that this scraping was not welcomed by the site’s owner was not sufficient to make it “unauthorized access” for the purpose of federal hacking laws.
Two years later the legal standing for eBay v Bidder’s Edge was implicitly overruled in the “Intel v. Hamidi”, a case interpreting California’s common law trespass to chattels. It was the wild west once again. Over the next several years the courts ruled time and time again that simply putting “do not scrape us” in your website terms of service was not enough to warrant a legally binding agreement. For you to enforce that term, a user must explicitly agree or consent to the terms. This left the field wide open for scrapers to do as they wish.
Fast forward a few years and you start seeing a shift in opinion. In 2009 Facebook won one of the first copyright suits against a web scraper. This laid the groundwork for numerous lawsuits that tie any web scraping with a direct copyright violation and very clear monetary damages. The most recent case being AP v Meltwater where the courts stripped what is referred to as fair use on the internet.
Previously, for academic, personal, or information aggregation people could rely on fair use and use web scrapers. The court now gutted the fair use clause that companies had used to defend web scraping. The court determined that even small percentages, sometimes as little as 4. 5% of the content, are significant enough to not fall under fair use. The only caveat the court made was based on the simple fact that this data was available for purchase. Had it not been, it is unclear how they would have ruled. Then a few months back the gauntlet was dropped.
Andrew Auernheimer was convicted of hacking based on the act of web scraping. Although the data was unprotected and publically available via AT&T’s website, the fact that he wrote web scrapers to harvest that data in mass amounted to “brute force attack”. He did not have to consent to terms of service to deploy his bots and conduct the web scraping. The data was not available for purchase. It wasn’t behind a login. He did not even financially gain from the aggregation of the data. Most importantly, it was buggy programing by AT&T that exposed this information in the first place. Yet Andrew was at fault. This isn’t just a civil suit anymore. This charge is a felony violation that is on par with hacking or denial of service attacks and carries up to a 15-year sentence for each charge.
In 2016, Congress passed its first legislation specifically to target bad bots — the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, which bans the use of software that circumvents security measures on ticket seller websites. Automated ticket scalping bots use several techniques to do their dirty work including web scraping that incorporates advanced business logic to identify scalping opportunities, input purchase details into shopping carts, and even resell inventory on secondary markets.
To counteract this type of activity, the BOTS Act:
Prohibits the circumvention of a security measure used to enforce ticket purchasing limits for an event with an attendance capacity of greater than 200 persons.
Prohibits the sale of an event ticket obtained through such a circumvention violation if the seller participated in, had the ability to control, or should have known about it.
Treats violations as unfair or deceptive acts under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill provides authority to the FTC and states to enforce against such violations.
In other words, if you’re a venue, organization or ticketing software platform, it is still on you to defend against this fraudulent activity during your major onsales.
The UK seems to have followed the US with its Digital Economy Act 2017 which achieved Royal Assent in April. The Act seeks to protect consumers in a number of ways in an increasingly digital society, including by “cracking down on ticket touts by making it a criminal offence for those that misuse bot technology to sweep up tickets and sell them at inflated prices in the secondary market. ”
In the summer of 2017, LinkedIn sued hiQ Labs, a San Francisco-based startup. hiQ was scraping publicly available LinkedIn profiles to offer clients, according to its website, “a crystal ball that helps you determine skills gaps or turnover risks months ahead of time. ”
You might find it unsettling to think that your public LinkedIn profile could be used against you by your employer.
Yet a judge on Aug. 14, 2017 decided this is okay. Judge Edward Chen of the U. S. District Court in San Francisco agreed with hiQ’s claim in a lawsuit that Microsoft-owned LinkedIn violated antitrust laws when it blocked the startup from accessing such data. He ordered LinkedIn to remove the barriers within 24 hours. LinkedIn has filed to appeal.
The ruling contradicts previous decisions clamping down on web scraping. And it opens a Pandora’s box of questions about social media user privacy and the right of businesses to protect themselves from data hijacking.
There’s also the matter of fairness. LinkedIn spent years creating something of real value. Why should it have to hand it over to the likes of hiQ — paying for the servers and bandwidth to host all that bot traffic on top of their own human users, just so hiQ can ride LinkedIn’s coattails?
I am in the business of blocking bots. Chen’s ruling has sent a chill through those of us in the cybersecurity industry devoted to fighting web-scraping bots.
I think there is a legitimate need for some companies to be able to prevent unwanted web scrapers from accessing their site.
In October of 2017, and as reported by Bloomberg, Ticketmaster sued Prestige Entertainment, claiming it used computer programs to illegally buy as many as 40 percent of the available seats for performances of “Hamilton” in New York and the majority of the tickets Ticketmaster had available for the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas two years ago.
Prestige continued to use the illegal bots even after it paid a $3. 35 million to settle New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe into the ticket resale industry.
Under that deal, Prestige promised to abstain from using bots, Ticketmaster said in the complaint. Ticketmaster asked for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and a court order to stop Prestige from using bots.
Are the existing laws too antiquated to deal with the problem? Should new legislation be introduced to provide more clarity? Most sites don’t have any web scraping protections in place. Do the companies have some burden to prevent web scraping?
As the courts try to further decide the legality of scraping, companies are still having their data stolen and the business logic of their websites abused. Instead of looking to the law to eventually solve this technology problem, it’s time to start solving it with anti-bot and anti-scraping technology today.
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A Beginner's Guide to learn web scraping with python! - Edureka

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A Beginner’s Guide to learn web scraping with python! – Edureka

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021 641. 9K Views Tech Enthusiast in Blockchain, Hadoop, Python, Cyber-Security, Ethical Hacking. Interested in anything… Tech Enthusiast in Blockchain, Hadoop, Python, Cyber-Security, Ethical Hacking. Interested in anything and everything about Computers. 1 / 2 Blog from Web Scraping Web Scraping with PythonImagine you have to pull a large amount of data from websites and you want to do it as quickly as possible. How would you do it without manually going to each website and getting the data? Well, “Web Scraping” is the answer. Web Scraping just makes this job easier and faster. In this article on Web Scraping with Python, you will learn about web scraping in brief and see how to extract data from a website with a demonstration. I will be covering the following topics: Why is Web Scraping Used? What Is Web Scraping? Is Web Scraping Legal? Why is Python Good For Web Scraping? How Do You Scrape Data From A Website? Libraries used for Web Scraping Web Scraping Example: Scraping Flipkart Website Why is Web Scraping Used? Web scraping is used to collect large information from websites. But why does someone have to collect such large data from websites? To know about this, let’s look at the applications of web scraping: Price Comparison: Services such as ParseHub use web scraping to collect data from online shopping websites and use it to compare the prices of products. Email address gathering: Many companies that use email as a medium for marketing, use web scraping to collect email ID and then send bulk emails. Social Media Scraping: Web scraping is used to collect data from Social Media websites such as Twitter to find out what’s trending. Research and Development: Web scraping is used to collect a large set of data (Statistics, General Information, Temperature, etc. ) from websites, which are analyzed and used to carry out Surveys or for R&D. Job listings: Details regarding job openings, interviews are collected from different websites and then listed in one place so that it is easily accessible to the is Web Scraping? Web scraping is an automated method used to extract large amounts of data from websites. The data on the websites are unstructured. Web scraping helps collect these unstructured data and store it in a structured form. There are different ways to scrape websites such as online Services, APIs or writing your own code. In this article, we’ll see how to implement web scraping with python. Is Web Scraping Legal? Talking about whether web scraping is legal or not, some websites allow web scraping and some don’t. To know whether a website allows web scraping or not, you can look at the website’s “” file. You can find this file by appending “/” to the URL that you want to scrape. For this example, I am scraping Flipkart website. So, to see the “” file, the URL is in-depth Knowledge of Python along with its Diverse Applications Why is Python Good for Web Scraping? Here is the list of features of Python which makes it more suitable for web scraping. Ease of Use: Python is simple to code. You do not have to add semi-colons “;” or curly-braces “{}” anywhere. This makes it less messy and easy to use. Large Collection of Libraries: Python has a huge collection of libraries such as Numpy, Matlplotlib, Pandas etc., which provides methods and services for various purposes. Hence, it is suitable for web scraping and for further manipulation of extracted data. Dynamically typed: In Python, you don’t have to define datatypes for variables, you can directly use the variables wherever required. This saves time and makes your job faster. Easily Understandable Syntax: Python syntax is easily understandable mainly because reading a Python code is very similar to reading a statement in English. It is expressive and easily readable, and the indentation used in Python also helps the user to differentiate between different scope/blocks in the code. Small code, large task: Web scraping is used to save time. But what’s the use if you spend more time writing the code? Well, you don’t have to. In Python, you can write small codes to do large tasks. Hence, you save time even while writing the code. Community: What if you get stuck while writing the code? You don’t have to worry. Python community has one of the biggest and most active communities, where you can seek help Do You Scrape Data From A Website? When you run the code for web scraping, a request is sent to the URL that you have mentioned. As a response to the request, the server sends the data and allows you to read the HTML or XML page. The code then, parses the HTML or XML page, finds the data and extracts it. To extract data using web scraping with python, you need to follow these basic steps: Find the URL that you want to scrape Inspecting the Page Find the data you want to extract Write the code Run the code and extract the data Store the data in the required format Now let us see how to extract data from the Flipkart website using Python, Deep Learning, NLP, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning with these AI and ML courses a PG Diploma certification program by NIT braries used for Web Scraping As we know, Python is has various applications and there are different libraries for different purposes. In our further demonstration, we will be using the following libraries: Selenium: Selenium is a web testing library. It is used to automate browser activities. BeautifulSoup: Beautiful Soup is a Python package for parsing HTML and XML documents. It creates parse trees that is helpful to extract the data easily. Pandas: Pandas is a library used for data manipulation and analysis. It is used to extract the data and store it in the desired format. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new updates..! Web Scraping Example: Scraping Flipkart WebsitePre-requisites: Python 2. x or Python 3. x with Selenium, BeautifulSoup, pandas libraries installed Google-chrome browser Ubuntu Operating SystemLet’s get started! Step 1: Find the URL that you want to scrapeFor this example, we are going scrape Flipkart website to extract the Price, Name, and Rating of Laptops. The URL for this page is 2: Inspecting the PageThe data is usually nested in tags. So, we inspect the page to see, under which tag the data we want to scrape is nested. To inspect the page, just right click on the element and click on “Inspect” you click on the “Inspect” tab, you will see a “Browser Inspector Box” 3: Find the data you want to extractLet’s extract the Price, Name, and Rating which is in the “div” tag respectively. Learn Python in 42 hours! Step 4: Write the codeFirst, let’s create a Python file. To do this, open the terminal in Ubuntu and type gedit with extension. I am going to name my file “web-s”. Here’s the command:gedit, let’s write our code in this file. First, let us import all the necessary libraries:from selenium import webdriver
from BeautifulSoup import BeautifulSoup
import pandas as pdTo configure webdriver to use Chrome browser, we have to set the path to chromedriverdriver = (“/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chromedriver”)Refer the below code to open the URL: products=[] #List to store name of the product
prices=[] #List to store price of the product
ratings=[] #List to store rating of the product
(“)
Now that we have written the code to open the URL, it’s time to extract the data from the website. As mentioned earlier, the data we want to extract is nested in

tags. So, I will find the div tags with those respective class-names, extract the data and store the data in a variable. Refer the code below:content = ge_source
soup = BeautifulSoup(content)
for a in ndAll(‘a’, href=True, attrs={‘class’:’_31qSD5′}):
(‘div’, attrs={‘class’:’_3wU53n’})
(‘div’, attrs={‘class’:’_1vC4OE _2rQ-NK’})
(‘div’, attrs={‘class’:’hGSR34 _2beYZw’})
()
Step 5: Run the code and extract the dataTo run the code, use the below command: python 6: Store the data in a required formatAfter extracting the data, you might want to store it in a format. This format varies depending on your requirement. For this example, we will store the extracted data in a CSV (Comma Separated Value) format. To do this, I will add the following lines to my code:df = Frame({‘Product Name’:products, ‘Price’:prices, ‘Rating’:ratings})
_csv(”, index=False, encoding=’utf-8′)Now, I’ll run the whole code again. A file name “” is created and this file contains the extracted data. I hope you guys enjoyed this article on “Web Scraping with Python”. I hope this blog was informative and has added value to your knowledge. Now go ahead and try Web Scraping. Experiment with different modules and applications of Python. If you wish to know about Web Scraping With Python on Windows platform, then the below video will help you understand how to do Scraping With Python | Python Tutorial | Web Scraping Tutorial | EdurekaThis Edureka live session on “WebScraping using Python” will help you understand the fundamentals of scraping along with a demo to scrape some details from a question regarding “web scraping with Python”? You can ask it on edureka! Forum and we will get back to you at the earliest or you can join our Python Training in Hobart get in-depth knowledge on Python Programming language along with its various applications, you can enroll here for live online Python training with 24/7 support and lifetime access.
What Is Web Scraping And How Does It Work? | Zyte.com

What Is Web Scraping And How Does It Work? | Zyte.com

In today’s competitive world everybody is looking for ways to innovate and make use of new technologies. Web scraping (also called web data extraction or data scraping) provides a solution for those who want to get access to structured web data in an automated fashion. Web scraping is useful if the public website you want to get data from doesn’t have an API, or it does but provides only limited access to the data.
In this article, we are going to shed some light on web scraping, here’s what you will learn:
What is web scraping? The basics of web scrapingWhat is the web scraping process? What is web scraping used for? The best resources to learn more about web scraping
What is web scraping?
Web scraping is the process of collecting structured web data in an automated fashion. It’s also called web data extraction. Some of the main use cases of web scraping include price monitoring, price intelligence, news monitoring, lead generation, and market research among many others.
In general, web data extraction is used by people and businesses who want to make use of the vast amount of publicly available web data to make smarter decisions.
If you’ve ever copy and pasted information from a website, you’ve performed the same function as any web scraper, only on a microscopic, manual scale. Unlike the mundane, mind-numbing process of manually extracting data, web scraping uses intelligent automation to retrieve hundreds, millions, or even billions of data points from the internet’s seemingly endless frontier.
Web scraping is popular
And it should not be surprising because web scraping provides something really valuable that nothing else can: it gives you structured web data from any public website.
More than a modern convenience, the true power of data web scraping lies in its ability to build and power some of the world’s most revolutionary business applications. ‘Transformative’ doesn’t even begin to describe the way some companies use web scraped data to enhance their operations, informing executive decisions all the way down to individual customer service experiences.
The basics of web scraping
It’s extremely simple, in truth, and works by way of two parts: a web crawler and a web scraper. The web crawler is the horse, and the scraper is the chariot. The crawler leads the scraper, as if by hand, through the internet, where it extracts the data requested. Learn the difference between web crawling & web scraping and how they work.
The crawler
A web crawler, which we generally call a “spider, ” is an artificial intelligence that browses the internet to index and search for content by following links and exploring, like a person with too much time on their hands. In many projects, you first “crawl” the web or one specific website to discover URLs which then you pass on to your scraper.
The scraper
A web scraper is a specialized tool designed to accurately and quickly extract data from a web page. Web scrapers vary widely in design and complexity, depending on the project. An important part of every scraper is the data locators (or selectors) that are used to find the data that you want to extract from the HTML file – usually, XPath, CSS selectors, regex, or a combination of them is applied.
The web data scraping process
If you do it yourself
This is what a general DIY web scraping process looks like:
Identify the target websiteCollect URLs of the pages where you want to extract data fromMake a request to these URLs to get the HTML of the pageUse locators to find the data in the HTMLSave the data in a JSON or CSV file or some other structured format
Simple enough, right? It is! If you just have a small project. But unfortunately, there are quite a few challenges you need to tackle if you need data at scale. For example, maintaining the scraper if the website layout changes, managing proxies, executing javascript, or working around antibots. These are all deeply technical problems that can eat up a lot of resources. There are multiple open-source web data scraping tools that you can use but they all have their limitations. That’s part of the reason many businesses choose to outsource their web data projects.
If you outsource it
1. Our team gathers your requirements regarding your project.
2. Our veteran team of web data scraping experts writes the scraper(s) and sets up the infrastructure to collect your data and structure it based on your requirements.
3. Finally, we deliver the data in your desired format and desired frequency.
Ultimately, the flexibility and scalability of web scraping ensure your project parameters, no matter how specific, can be met with ease. Fashion retailers inform their designers with upcoming trends based on web scraped insights, investors time their stock positions, and marketing teams overwhelm the competition with deep insights, all thanks to the burgeoning adoption of web scraping as an intrinsic part of everyday business.
What is web scraping used for?
Price intelligence
In our experience, price intelligence is the biggest use case for web scraping. Extracting product and pricing information from e-commerce websites, then turning it into intelligence is an important part of modern e-commerce companies that want to make better pricing/marketing decisions based on data.
How web pricing data and price intelligence can be useful:
Dynamic pricingRevenue optimizationCompetitor monitoringProduct trend monitoringBrand and MAP compliance
Market research
Market research is critical – and should be driven by the most accurate information available. High quality, high volume, and highly insightful web scraped data of every shape and size is fueling market analysis and business intelligence across the globe.
Market trend analysisMarket pricingOptimizing point of entryResearch & developmentCompetitor monitoring
Alternative data for finance
Unearth alpha and radically create value with web data tailored specifically for investors. The decision-making process has never been as informed, nor data as insightful – and the world’s leading firms are increasingly consuming web scraped data, given its incredible strategic value.
Extracting Insights from SEC FilingsEstimating Company FundamentalsPublic Sentiment IntegrationsNews Monitoring
Real estate
The digital transformation of real estate in the past twenty years threatens to disrupt traditional firms and create powerful new players in the industry. By incorporating web scraped product data into everyday business, agents and brokerages can protect against top-down online competition and make informed decisions within the market.
Appraising Property ValueMonitoring Vacancy RatesEstimating Rental YieldsUnderstanding Market Direction
News & content monitoring
Modern media can create outstanding value or an existential threat to your business – in a single news cycle. If you’re a company that depends on timely news analyses, or a company that frequently appears in the news, web scraping news data is the ultimate solution for monitoring, aggregating, and parsing the most critical stories from your industry.
Investment Decision MakingOnline Public Sentiment AnalysisCompetitor MonitoringPolitical CampaignsSentiment Analysis
Lead generation
Lead generation is a crucial marketing/sales activity for all businesses. In the 2020 Hubspot report, 61% of inbound marketers said generating traffic and leads was their number 1 challenge. Fortunately, web data extraction can be used to get access to structured lead lists from the web.
Brand monitoring
In today’s highly competitive market, it’s a top priority to protect your online reputation. Whether you sell your products online and have a strict pricing policy that you need to enforce or just want to know how people perceive your products online, brand monitoring with web scraping can give you this kind of information.
Business automation
In some situations, it can be cumbersome to get access to your data. Maybe you need to extract data from a website that is your own or your partner’s in a structured way. But there’s no easy internal way to do it and it makes sense to create a scraper and simply grab that data. As opposed to trying to work your way through complicated internal systems.
MAP monitoring
Minimum advertised price (MAP) monitoring is the standard practice to make sure a brand’s online prices are aligned with their pricing policy. With tons of resellers and distributors, it’s impossible to monitor the prices manually. That’s why web scraping comes in handy because you can keep an eye on your products’ prices without lifting a finger.
Learn more about web scraping
Here at Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub), we have been in the web scraping industry for 12 years. With our data extraction services and automatic web scraper, Zyte Automatic Extraction, we have helped extract web data for more than 1, 000 clients ranging from Government agencies and Fortune 100 companies to early-stage startups and individuals. During this time we gained a tremendous amount of experience and expertise in web data extraction.
Here are some of our best resources if you want to deepen your web scraping knowledge:
What are the elements of a web scraping project? Web scraping toolsHow to architect a web scraping solutionIs web scraping legal? Web scraping best practices

Frequently Asked Questions about web scraper tutorial

Is web scraping legal?

So is it legal or illegal? Web scraping and crawling aren’t illegal by themselves. After all, you could scrape or crawl your own website, without a hitch. … Big companies use web scrapers for their own gain but also don’t want others to use bots against them.

How do I learn web scraping?

To extract data using web scraping with python, you need to follow these basic steps:Find the URL that you want to scrape.Inspecting the Page.Find the data you want to extract.Write the code.Run the code and extract the data.Store the data in the required format.Sep 24, 2021

How does a web scraper work?

The web data scraping processIdentify the target website.Collect URLs of the pages where you want to extract data from.Make a request to these URLs to get the HTML of the page.Use locators to find the data in the HTML.Save the data in a JSON or CSV file or some other structured format.

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