The Associated Press is angry at bloggers and the rest of the Internet for that matter. It appears as if the AP is so enamored with their ability to come up with completely original material 24/7 that keeps the Internet news machine going that they think we should all pay for the privilege to read it and spread the word. Now, there was more than a little sarcasm there because as many folks in other outlets like AllThingsD, Daggle and more have pointed out that this vision the AP has of being the creator of all things printed is a little overdone.
The AP is of the belief that the repackaging of their stories and the use of their stories by news aggregators online is something that needs to be paid for. I am not against anyone trying to make money on their business. We are a capitalistic society for now at least. It’s the vilifying of people who use these stories that is the trouble here. The Internet is an open forum of sorts and the ability to have so many more people see your work is part of the appeal. By closing the door to those who will not pay for the right to use AP ‘stories’ they are certainly drawing a line in the sand.
I like Larry Dignan’s take over at ZDNet. He contends that the AP is actually running the risk of exposing their shortcomings rather than solidifying their perceived leadership position in the journalistic food chain. Dignan says
So the Associated Press is mad and isn’t going to take it anymore. It’s eyeing news aggregators who are stealing a few paragraphs and failing to link to it as an authoritative source.
Be careful what you wish for AP. Bloggers and news aggregators are a smart bunch and if AP isn’t careful the whole world will soon know about its dirty little secret: Much of it is rehash from statements of some sort.
What else can you say to that? Sounds to me as if the AP may be crying wolf to some degree. If they are literally doing what they accuse bloggers and the search engines of doing then it may be best to let sleeping dogs lie. Of course, if you are a blogger and you are not linking to your sources please stop it. While I realize that my sources rarely if ever go to the AP I always include the story source for my posts. It’s a courtesy that is part of the Internet culture. You would want the same from someone else.