Ryanair declares war on internet ticket touts

28 Jul 2009

A German screen-scraping website accused of engaging in unauthorised screen-scraping, or one website’s automatic gathering of the information contained on another website, is to be sued in an Irish court.

The German travel website Travelviva AG has been accused by Ryanair of reselling Ryanair flights with unjustified mark-ups and, according to the airline, has refused to desist.

Travelviva has also refused Ryanair’s offer of licensed access to Ryanair.com’s flight information for price-comparison purposes.

Ryanair says the case against Travelvia will be the first of a number of Irish High Court actions that Ryanair will take against a number of other European screen-scrapers in the coming weeks.

“Ryanair is determined to continue its crusade against screen-scraping ticket-tout websites until the last screen-scraper stops overcharging unsuspecting consumers and breaching Ryanair’s copyright and terms of use of www.ryanair.com,” said Ryanair’s Daniel de Carvalho.

“In recent weeks, we have written to various consumer protection and competition agencies in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and the UK, calling on them to investigate the abusive and anti-consumer practices of these unauthorised screen-scrapers.

“At the same time, we are pursuing legal actions in Dublin to protect Ryanair’s copyright and other rights. We are confident that unauthorised screen-scraping and overcharging of consumers will eventually be outlawed throughout Europe, to the benefit of consumers and legitimate businesses,” de Carvalho added.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years