Since IMDb is planning to remove all Message Boards in 2 weeks, I'd like to fetch some pages, however wget fails to do so.

This is what I did:

  1. Logged as user at http://www.imdb.com/boards/ page.
  2. Exported cookies into cookies.txt file using cookies.txt Chrome extension.
  3. Run wget as below (as suggested in cookies.txt file):

    $ wget -x --load-cookies cookies.txt --keep-session-cookies -e robots=off -A Mozilla http://www.imdb.com/boards/
    --2017-02-09 15:19:45--  http://www.imdb.com/boards/
    Resolving www.imdb.com...
    Connecting to www.imdb.com||:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
    2017-02-09 15:19:46 ERROR 503: Service Temporarily Unavailable.

    This should even work without cookies.txt, since the page is accessible for public.

What I am missing?

  • I got the same error... I found a comment on another site saying "they don't like the wget useragent" – Manachi Feb 19 '17 at 11:42

It seems there's a few extra settings you need to add including the user agent. I added the following to my ~/.wgetrc file and it seems to do the job. Although occasionally I'm getting a 500 or 503 error. I wonder if that might be a throttling/security mechanism.

header = Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
header = Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
header = Connection: keep-alive
user_agent = Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.11; rv:53.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/53.0
referer = /
robots = off

Got the basis for this answer from Stack Overflow.


Not a direct answer to your question, but there is a common initiative to backup IMDB by the ArchiveTeam: everyone interested can help downloading to a common archive which eventually ends up in archive.org (see the archiveteam collection).

Instructions are provided. Basically, you can run a VirtualBox/VMWare appliance called ArchiveTeam Warrior, but I decided to go with the Linux scripts.

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