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A.P. Seeks to Rein in Sites Using Its Content

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posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 06:18 PM

A.P. Seeks to Rein in Sites Using Its Content

Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that it will demand that Web sites obtain permission to use the work of The A.P. or its member newspapers, and share revenue with the news organizations, and that it will take legal action those that do not.

Associated Press executives said the policy was aimed at major search engines like Google, Yahoo and their competitors, and also at news aggregators like the Huffington Post, as well as companies that sell packaged news services. They said they do not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over it and to profit from it. The A.P. also said it is developing a system to track news articles online and determine whether they were used legally.

The A.P. board, composed mostly of newspaper industry executives, “unanimously agreed to work with portals and other partners who legally license our content and who reward” those who gather the news, the A.P. chairman, William Dean Singleton, said Monday in a speech at the group’s annual meeting, in San Diego. “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories,” he said.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Mod Edit: Review This Link: Instructions for the Breaking News Forums: Copy The Exact Headline

[edit on 4/6/2009 by semperfortis]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 06:18 PM
I wonder, I don't think this applies to ATS? We are independent citizens posting links to the article and such, and I don't assume that this will affect us in any way.

Because the content is posted by members and not ATS staff... Just a interesting look at this, thought you might want to look at this before its filed away in some legal battle...
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 4/6/2009 by semperfortis]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:24 PM
What a fascist crok of BS. An attempt to silence the spread of information and to erect insanity and obscurity in its place.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:40 PM

Originally posted by bubbabuddha
What a fascist crok of BS. An attempt to silence the spread of information and to erect insanity and obscurity in its place.

Uh no...

This is aimed at "major search engines like Google, Yahoo and their competitors, and also at news aggregators like the Huffington Post, as well as companies that sell packaged news services."

This is a tactic to get more money from GoogleNews, etc. Search engines have their own news aggregation sites. For example, when people do a web search on Google guess what site comes up on top of the search page? GoogleNews!

The AP wants to make it so that these aggregation sites don't have that advantage.

I don't agree with it ... but, it's certainly not "An attempt to silence the spread of information and to erect insanity and obscurity in its place."

Good find by the way - starred.

[edit on 6/4/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:54 PM
Something else:
AP has lowered their contract fees to subscribers. and has also provided discounts for those who sign up for longer service contracts.

On the other end, which is more inline with the original post. they are just trying to make money off of their product.

Joe pays for AP service, and posts an AP story.
Bob reads AP story on Joe's site.
Bob uses Joe's content, which in reality is AP's content.
So BOB gets free AP content via Joe.
not really fair. to AP, or to Joe.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 08:00 PM
Well, they have already given up the ghost for newspapers, don't expect them to rollover on the intarwebz. They have to make money somehow. I don't like it, but I understand it.

The up-shot is that it will tighten control of information. Gotta hate that.

[edit on 6/4/2009 by kosmicjack]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by truth_seeker3

I think the risk for sites like ATS is very real. I'm not sure why you dismiss that.

If Drudge's links are impermissible in their view, I see no reason why their analysis would change substantially for user submitted links.

But since this is essentially RIAA II, I'm quite certain they'll demonstrate this approach to be as much of a spectacular failure in the news industry, as it was in the music industry.

So, I guess you have a point after all... Carry on.

[edit on 6-4-2009 by loam]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 08:34 PM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

I definitely agree with you in that they are just trying to make more money because as spacedoubt said, they DO need to make money.

Good point loam on mentioning the music industry. The music industry suffered the largest set-back ever because of the internet and rapid/free distribution of music. The news industry is falling into that category because websites often just post a article, accrediting it to another source, (like AP), but they draw the users for the story.

I understand why they are fighting this battle, but it would probably be better for those companies to collect royalties, rather than inhibit the free, swift transfer of information on the web.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:51 PM
We just started the ATS Press Corp. We'll just go out and create our own content and charge those buggers for it.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 08:25 PM
reply to post by bubbabuddha

They aren't silencing anything, they are stopping PLAGIARISM which is in fact a crime. I've worked in the news industry for 11 years and can tell you that it became the industry's backbone when per page download fees were dropped in the 1990s in lieue of basic Internet subscription fees, making it much cheaper to run "news" sites using cheap labor. It's also a VERY common way to cover up many paper's inability to pay staffers to write stories - if they even know how to in the first place and many do NOT.

Fact: if you download a copyrighted book off the internet, changed the title and a few facts or quotes and republished it as your own you would face criminal prosecution for plagiarism and theft of intellectual property. AP content is only licensed to news agencies which pay a subscription fee so you are stealing if you reprint without that contract. Depending on how much you have shorted them its probably grand theft, they are not a cheap agency to work with.

I applaud them for policing reprints because so much of what passes as "journalism" today is nothing but poorly written gossip, innuendo and often as not, made up stories. Judging by what I have seen of j-school grads in the past few years, none of them are being taught how to research without the Internet and most cannot find news sources in the community at all. It's very common for reporters to reword other paper's quotes or "read" them from a printed source to the person they are interviewing to "get" a quote. The AP is fulfilling its ethical commitment to the public by not allowing its stories to be used in that fashion.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 08:25 PM
I can be included among those who think this development is ominous.

It is true that they are the rightful owners of the content they provide. As such, it seem hypocritical to claim that we can simply assume 'use' of their material for purposes of commerce.

We here are on a knife's edge because, while we seek no positive revenue flow to come from our contributions, comments, work, etc. (and have explicitly given up our rights to them in perpetuity per the T&C); our hosts in fact do. It is the nature of the medium, for better or worse.

If "The Above Network, LLC." were to be made subject of such scrutiny, they may have to revise their policy on people quoting, or linking, to certain materials.

This 'issue' of fair use, and intellectual property is truly the most vulnerable aspect of what some of us look for, in enterprises like The Above Network, LLC.

I'm sure the matter will be rendered moot, in time. Are we feeling lucky?

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Maxmars]

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 08:34 PM
reply to post by loam

Matt Drudge is an excellent example of why they are taking this action. He's spent the last decade taking credit for "reporting" by doing nothing more than archiving or linking other news agency's work on his site.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 08:59 PM
All the more reason why we need something like what ATS is proposing.
The ATS Press Corp

Don't worry we'll do it ourselves!

posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:06 PM
The AP has fired it's first salvo at a small forum:

It's a small site with lots of cheesy links to freeze dried food and such, obscenities and foul language. The site owner is claiming he got a call from an AP attorney regarding copyright violations. Now the moderators have asked the membership to go back and fix all their posts -- there's over 500,000 of them. Um, right.

Unbelievable, but the site is still up. I flipped through a few threads and found lots of major news organization articles reproduced in full.

I believe this issue isn't about fair use, I doubt the AP would go after some nickel-and-dime forum that was attempting to follow the guidelines. I believe the issue is reproducing entire articles AND aggregators. Stealing intellectual property is still theft.

posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 04:52 PM
Case and point:

A.P. Exec Doesn’t Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos

Here is another great moment in A.P. history. In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter warning from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website. See update below.

You cannot make this stuff up. Forget for a moment that WTNQ is itself an A.P. affiliate and that the A.P. shouldn’t be harassing its own members. Apparently, nobody told the A.P. executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the A.P. itself controls, and that someone at the A.P. decided that it is probably a good idea to turn on the video embedding function on so that its videos can spread virally across the Web, along with the ads in the videos.

This isn't about legal theory or even the protection of intellectual property... It's really about terribly unskilled corporate executives grasping at straws to justify declining revenues from a dysfunctional business model.


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