Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Associated Press Declares Itself Obsolete

Considering the line of work they are in it's somewhat ironic that the Associated Press has, apparently, not being paying much attention to what is going on in the world for the last few decades. That is, apparently, the case though. From Bill Doskoch and the New York Times comes word that the Associated Press has adopted litigation as a method of protecting it's intellectual property from the internet.
"Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that Web sites that used the work of news organizations must obtain permission and share revenue with them, and that it would take legal action against those that did not.
A.P. executives said they were concerned about a variety of news forums around the Web, including major search engines like Google and Yahoo and aggregators like the Drudge Report that link to news articles, smaller sites that sometimes reproduce articles whole, and companies that sell packaged news feeds.
They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it."
Asking for compensation from people who copy their articles in whole is fair and reasonable but going after those who link to articles, or who quote them and link to them shows a complete lack of understanding of how the internet and the modern information economy works. It is a policy that essentially says that if you do free advertising for them, they will sue you. Perhaps when visited by the AP's lawyers Google should ask for compensation from the AP for all the publicity they have been getting?

In the interim, until the Associated Press figures this out or goes out of business you might want to find another news source to link to online.


B. Lee said...

That's almost the equivalent of an university student getting sued for citing sources.

Dwight Williams said...

Now there's a metaphor to both amuse and frighten all at once!