To the question of information vendor licenses, I think the only safe way to ensure that you're not stepping on anyone's toes is to ask the owner of the site, unless they explicitly allow the practice in their license statement. In most cases, you will probably have an easier time explaining that you want to use their resource in a specific web-based application. If you tell them that you want to make a Z39.50 server for their site so that anyone can search their contents without going through their interface, this will seriously freak out the majority of commercial information system operators and a discouragingly large proportion of supposedly "public" services. Fortunately, some are more open-minded.
In response to your last question, I would be interested in discussing ways to maintain collections of 'gateway scripts' for interesting databases. Since gateways to pure HTML-based user interfaces (screen-scrapers) are very sensitive to changes in the user interfaces that they talk to, I think that an essential part of such a collection has to be a robust maintenance scheme to allow script updates to flow out to the applications that use them.
--Sebastian, Index Data
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