A.P. Clamping Down on Bloggers; New Stance Will Stifle “Even Minimal Use” of News Articles Online

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Gee, do you think this will hurt the blogging community and our efforts to disseminate important news that we’re not seeing  on the TeeVee???

The Associated Press isn’t exactly shy about how they slant their stories, but down in the last paragraphs  you can often find the real meat of an issue that they’re reporting on.  But we won’t be able quote any of it.

From the New York Times, before the hammer falls (my highlighting):

A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web

Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.

Asked if that stance went further than The A.P. had gone before, he said, “That’s right.” The company envisions a campaign that goes far beyond The A.P., a nonprofit corporation. It wants the 1,400 American newspapers that own the company to join the effort and use its software.

“Software”-what kind of software? Something for the newspapers to use or tracking software to chase down bloggers?

And then comes those fighting words:

“If someone can build multibillion-dollar businesses out of keywords, we can build multihundred-million businesses out of headlines, and we’re going to do that,” Mr. Curley said. The goal, he said, was not to have less use of the news articles, but to be paid for any use.

Does that last comment about the “goal” make complete sense? So much for the “Fourth Estate“!

And have no fear– “aggregator” sites like The Huffington Post will continue to inform us, although the rest of us small guys sure will be cut off  (did you know that The Huffington Post is being called a “news aggregator”?):

Some popular news aggregators like The Huffington Post and Google News have licensing agreements, paying The A.P. for the use of its material. But no comparable agreements cover general Internet searches that turn up news articles with a variety of other results.

Years ago I worked for ETS writing reading comprehension tests for the TOEFL exams (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and one of the hardest tasks was to find usable sections of articles and books that met ETS’ standards.  We had copyright rules to follow.  Out of a certain number of pages in a chapter or book, we were limited in the amount that we were allowed to extract.  That seem to satisfy the law for print materials at that time.

Now, it looks like we can’t even use a LINK to an A.P. story! For all the “communications” technology and TV channels we have, the reality is that, especially for those without computers or those with computers but who have no time,  the information that we want to have is getting harder and harder to locate.

But, I guess, that’s the way the Media Borg wants it to be, right?

13 Responses

  1. I predict AP will see a dramatic reduction in web traffic as links to CNN, Reuters and FOX go way up.

  2. I don’ t trust AP anyway. Reuters will blow them into oblivion if they don’t follow suit.

    Wish I had some VC to start a news service…

  3. AP isn’t interested in making money. They are interested in cutting off access to those of us that expose their biased and inaccurate reporting.

    The Fair Use clause of copyright law gives citizen journalists the right to fairly use copyrighted material in our essays so long as that use is limited, we do not make a substantial profit from it and we cite the source of the information.

    AP as a business may install software that could potentially thwart our ability to use their work but for every software they come up with another open source software will come to the rescue.

    And we thought 1984 was only a novel.

    BTW… I have started a new blog and would like to add yours to my blogroll. The address is:

    Shhh… it hits the fan

    Have a look if you like and let me know what your decision is. I will gladly abide by it.

  4. GG – check your email – very important

  5. Well I am very good at making summaries — executive summaries without using the quotes — and the really good bloggers will simply say that the nasty old AP has a story about subject x — by author and date — after reading the AP propaganda drivel is that you are better served by going to the alternative news organizations.

    Most of the AP news is fairly mangled — they should stay away from science reporting. Who is AP owned by now — seems like I read that AP was bought up by . . . the Moonies or something? Yep that’s the ticket — AP is a Moonie organization. (I made that up — but I do believe that they were bought out and that’s why Helen Thomas left AP.)

    • For instance it was AP that reported that the island in the Caribbean with a live volcano had been totally evacuated — that no one lived on that island.

      My friends who live on that island assure me that AP doesn’t know it’s a$$ from a hole in the ground.

    • UPI is the Moonie outfit…

  6. I suspect that the loser in the AP idea of clamping down on bloggers will be AP.

    Providing links to places we don’t necessarily like or respect is what many of do in order to get information or other sides of an issue out. Links provide traffic and I would think that would be a good thing for any site. Evidently AP doesn’t think so. We’ll see who is right.

    And I won’t miss AP as a source since I have little respect for their integrity, competecy or honesty.

  7. Before AP decides to pull the plug I wrote an article that praises them a little. But before I cause an uproar please note that it is only a commendation of ONE article they published today. And it’s a doozie.

    Stimuless: Faking the big O

  8. No uproar from me. I link to and praise places I once thought were not worth reading. Being a partisan pinhead was like wearing blinders 24/7. Now I take honest information from wherever I can find it.

    That’s what makes us different from them. That’s what makes us better than them. We value honest and integrity. They do not.

  9. The biggest thing is to watch for “omission.” So, while I look at those “other places” to get some news, I always make sure I read with the attitude that there may be something else to the story and I keep my eyes and ears open for the other side or things that have been omitted.

    I’m afraid that this approach has to be applied to EVERY news source we read….

  10. I tend to agree with Myiq & Marge- if AP goes ahead with this unilaterally, everybody will simply stop sourcing them. But if the other news services start doing the same thing….. we’re screwed

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