Video: Other Websites Lifting Lineups From Our Site
Monday August 6th, 2012
Since Baseball Press began posting daily lineups last season, the entire team here has worked hard to make sure that the information is timely, accurate, and extremely user-friendly. While bigger sports sites post pregame lineups, they were rarely prompt and sometimes involved clicking through game links or forums to find the desired information. We were not content with that, and our system was created as a better alternative.
Unsurprisingly, competing sites began mimicking the Baseball Press lineup page format (all teams on one page, player links, etc.). While that wasn't ideal for us, there is nothing proprietary about the format and competing sites are certainly free to do something similar.
For 2012, our programmers streamlined our lineup input process some and, without getting into specific strategies, our lineup page now requires far less human-based updating than it did last year. As more competing sites assembled lineup pages, we felt comfortable in knowing that we still had the most accurate, fastest, and overall best lineups page.
However, something else began happening a lot this season: we noticed that competing sites were consistently posting lineups mere minutes (or seconds) after ours posted. While that didn't initially raise red flags, patterns quickly emerged that signaled that these sites had not only mimicked our page layout, but they were actually copying the specific daily lineup information. To put it another way, these other sites were just checking our lineup page and updating their system based on what we put out, instead of getting info directly from Twitter and the various sources that we were looking at.
Of course, the daily lineup information we post is not owned by us and is not exclusive to anyone. We pull that information from a variety of sources that are all freely available online (Twitter, blogs, etc.). All we do is act as an assembler- we pull all the info together and put it in one place to make it easier for you the reader/user to get. And we do it all for free (including a free Android app).
Other sites copying this specific lineup data directly from us is still troubling, though, for a few reasons. One is that some competing sites charge money for it in some way, most commonly via sale of mobile phone apps (Android or iPhone). They are taking information that we provide for free and attempting to sell it to consumers. In our view, that is just plain wrong.
Another problem is that these sites are doing little or nothing to verify the accuracy of this information. While we strive for total accuracy, there is sometimes misinformation and/or correction from sources. We update these immediately, but other sites are not as diligent (they post a lineup once daily and move on).
Finally, we at Baseball Press have worked very hard to come up with our system, and having the results of our hard work lifted and used completely without credit by other sites every day is frustrating and insensitive to what we've created.
This video illustrates an experiment. We purposely posted an incorrect lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays several weeks ago, just to see if other lineup sites would lift the incorrect lineup info from our site and post it as their own. The experiment proved that not only were these other sites pulling and posting the data directly from our site completely without credit ("stealing" really, depending on your viewpoint), but they were also doing it without any verification to its accuracy.
We hope that this video provides some clarity about lineup pages and the methods currently taking place, and we also hope it shows our continual commitment to providing something useful (and free) to our readers.
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