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?