Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Alexa vs. Statsaholic case - a wakeup call?

Alexa sues Statsaholic. The main claims are unauthorized use of their brand (Statsaholic used to be called Alexaholic) and scrapping proprietary content (Alexa's graphs).

You can read more about it here, here and here (or here).

Since Statsaholic changed its name prior to the sue and didn't really do anything to compromise Alexa's brand (in fact, it was building its business on top), the real issue is likely to be with the use of their graph data. Repackaging the graphs essentially makes Statsaholic a competitor with Alexa.

We see more and more Content Providers exposing APIs as a mean to charge for content or control usage and extent of 3rd party add-ons.

Alexa claims to provide an API from which one could build graphs by himslef. Technically it would have been very easy for them supply an API access for the graphs or settle a payment for Statsaholic's scrapping service.

So, on one hand there's good ol' businenss conduct in a competitive environment... On the other hand is that how we want the web to look like? Isn't that a good time to take a stand?

As we take a special interest with the case (LinkedInABox provides a better LinkedIn widget and use scraping technology for doing that), we have decided to contribute to the debate by empowering the people with technology.

What U Think About Alexa (aka WUTAA) features a sophisticated voting widget - throw a tomato! give a star! Upload a picture! read others opinions! Best yet, WUTAA is hosted on Amazon's S3 servers :-).

You are more than welcomed to grab this for your own blog. Just copy & paste the code bellow.