Posted April 7, 2009 1:15 pm by with 5 comments

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The Associated Press is angry at bloggers and the rest of the Internet for that ap-logomatter. 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.

  • A fair point. While it is clear that the AP does provide a fair amount of content, for all intents and purposes, they’re really a news aggregator, of sorts. While they certainly provide a valuable service, the Internet has changed the way models such as theirs work. Newspapers are falling off (Rocky Mountain News, Seattle P.I. anyone?) and wire services are in grave danger of facing a similar fate. It is not time to fight back (didn’t work for the RIAA) it’s time to adapt.

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  • Maybe they’re a little more concerned about the people who actually replicate their stories completely. There’s a fair queue of those folk out there running MFA sites that are powered by uncompensated news copy.

  • From the early days of the Internet it has been known that the net routes around blockages and failure. AP will soon find out just how irrelevant they really are as the “news aggregaters” find alternative sources for their content. More often than not AP redistributes content from their member news organizations; that content will presumably still be generated. The search engines will still find it.

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  • Wayland Wong

    I dread for the day where we get our _news_ from NOTHING can be more untrustworthy than internet blogs.

  • It’s quite simple really. AP object to GOOGLE taking their stuff for free and making money out of it. And why shouldn’t they object? If you are with Google on this, please can you send me your salary as I’d like to do a google and live off someone else’s work without paying them. It would help support my animal refuge