31 Jan – Here is a round robin just sent to all users of CellarTracker by its founder Eric LeVine in response to the developments outlined below:
Over the past eight years, CellarTracker has grown tremendously, both as a tool for collectors and also as a repository of tasting notes that can be freely searched by any wine lover. Nearly 35,000 people have chosen to share public tasting notes, and it is that spirit of sharing which is so essential to the vibrancy of CellarTracker. I am disappointed to say that your trust and mine have been violated by a competitive website.
Last week Paul Mabray at VinTank published a blog wondering if Snooth was scraping large amounts of information without permission from CellarTracker. One day later, Philip James, the founding CEO and current Chairman of Snooth issued a confirming apology and explanation. Despite repeated assurances to the contrary in late 2007 and again in late 2008, it turns out that Snooth was continuing to pull data from CellarTracker. Snooth has now attempted to scrub their database of all content (1 million wine definitions and 1.7 million public tasting notes) taken from CellarTracker.
If you still see evidence of your public content ("user tags" drawn from your public tasting notes or "glass ratings" drawn from your public scores) on the Snooth site, please let me know. In addition, there is a new facility on the Snooth site to report copyright violations and request DMCA takedown. Just click the REPORT LISTING link in their INTERACT tab at the upper right on their page for a wine.
Depending upon what we find from this exercise in "crowd sleuthing," I may need to take further action. However, for now I think it is important to just focus on getting the data thoroughly cleaned off the Snooth site.
26 Jan - I strongly recommend that anyone who uses the internet to access wines, tasting notes and wine listings takes a look at the following links. You will see how the story unfolds. (For once, the first article to be published is at the top.)
In my comparison of various online resources, Hunting wine on the web, last September I expressed some misgivings about Snooth.com... This really is riveting reading.
The TRUTH about Snooth.com data 23 Jan (from VinTank, Napa)
Is Snooth scraping data from CellarTracker? 24 Jan (from VinTank, Napa)
Snooth apologises to CellarTracker 25 Jan (from the founder of Snooth in his blog)
It seems as though Eric LeVine of CellarTracker was a couple of weeks out in his prediction of further New Year ructions in his world.