AP to Monitor Internet for Violators

The Associated Press has always come down hard on internet sites that inappropriately (in its view) reproduce its content. Now, it's going to go even further:

[AP Chairman]Singleton said AP would work with Internet portals and other partners who properly license content and would pursue legal and legislative actions against those who don't.

"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories," he said at AP's annual meeting in San Diego.

So make sure when you reply in comments (or write a diary) you stay within their parameters -- no reprinting of more than a short paragraph with a link to the source article. Hopefully, that's still okay. [More....]

As to how they plan to do it:

AP plans to develop a system to track content distributed online to determine if it is being used legally. AP President Tom Curley said the initiative would include development of new search pages that point users to the latest and most authoritative sources of breaking news.

Update: The New York Times has more and says it's primarily news aggregators they are after.

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    I don't know - (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:07:23 PM EST
    Seems to me that if they are going to pay reporters all over the world to hang around and report on the goings on, they may have some right to being paid for that reporting.

    I am not a big fan of AP, but I think they like other news outlets are under no obligation to keep paying for reporting services if they can't sell their product because it is being distributed by others for free.

    There are a lot of people on the blogs who in one breath complain about the "dead tree" media and in another link to the AP or New York Times to support their theories.

    That Was What The Dodo Said (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:12:04 PM EST
    Shortly before its demise. News distribution is rapidly changing, and AP is barking up the wrong tree here. Holding on to obsolete models will bring them down faster, imo.

    Their big beef is with Google, et al. They will lose, imo.


    No. Google will ultimately (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:52:12 PM EST
    employ those reporters and they will charge for that content.

    Or we'll all be relegated to a model like CNN's iReports which will be more like a pseudo-news version of American Idol than anything else.

    Weird how those American Idol winners rarely end up doing anything notable after winning American Idol - or NOT.

    There are a lot of people who think they are entitled to free content these days.  And I'll say that Hollywood's overreach has definitely egged that on, but the reality is that this stuff comes out of a pretty hefty investment and if it is unprofitable that investment will evaporate - at which point we'll be left hoping that some soldier in some foreign war is both articulate enough and brave enough to actually tell us independently what the hell is going on in a war we are paying for.

    HuffPo, has responded to the contraction by trying to start a fund for investigative journalism.  If that is not proof that real media coverage is not free, I am not sure what is.


    Mmmm... I don't think that the dodo... (none / 0) (#11)
    by EL seattle on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 10:56:53 PM EST
    ... said much of anything.  He was a bird, after all.  A better metaphor (one that could use words) might be John Henry, who had something to say about what often happens when "new technology" is carelessly used against workin' fellahs.  

    No dodo singing here! (song starts about :54 seconds in, if you can't wait that long.)


    Copyright exempts academic use (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:14:28 PM EST
    not for publication, as I'm sure that you know, so no fears there.:-)

    This is only an extension, technologically, of the battle that AP has waged since its founding in the 1840s.  Member media pay dearly for it, so they expect their purchase to be protected and not published by non-members.  It only means that AP has caught up with word-searchable technology for this and/or opted to fund the staffing for it -- and very possibly owing to members pushing for it.

    Gotcha (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:21:46 PM EST

    Revenue (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:27:04 PM EST
    Looks like AP is going after revenue, and will be increasing law suits. The recent extortion threat to Shepard Fairey, and the law suit that followed shows where they are going.

    The strange thing about the Fairey case is that the AP photographer, Manny Garcia,  stated that the appropriated image was not under AP contract, and that he really liked the artwork that Fairey produced based on his photograph.

    Maybe it is time to stop quoting AP, or choose another source if possible.

    More (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:36:45 PM EST
    The Associated Press said today that it will sue news aggregators - read: Google - that use its content without permission, another effort to save what's left of the newspaper industry.

    The news cooperative didn't specifically name Google in its statement but resentment has been brewing against Google and other Web aggregators that profit from AP's content, specifically by placing ads on the portal pages where those stories are indexed and displayed.


    Ironically, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is scheduled to deliver the NAA's closing keynote for the convention and is expected to offer his perspective on newspapers, journalism and Google's role in the future of the newspaper industry.

    I wonder if he'll be introduced by Singleton or greeted with a round of "boos" from the audience.

    Sam Diaz, ZDNet

    I would think (none / 0) (#5)
    by aeguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:48:33 PM EST
    they would only pursue cases where the entire article is copied without reference

    That is who they are going (none / 0) (#9)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:23:10 PM EST
    after for sure. They are not going to go after blogs of any sort. There is the Fair Use doctrine that allows very liberal snippets to be used for discussion purposes which is what blogs are all about. Blogs drive traffic to AP and their partners. They ought to pay blogs for that.

    I don't see why Jeralyn is getting all scary about this. If you can't quote articles then essentially there will be no more blogs and there is no way AP is after that. Look at the biggie blogs like Huffington or TalkingPointsMemo for example, news aggregators who may not be paying AP. There are also a bunch of sites out there that are not even blogs that publish AP and others just to drive traffic and ad dollars. That is who they are after. There is no worries here about blogs.


    It's not just how many paragraphs (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:18:16 PM EST
    you snip, but the degree to which you add understanding that makes a post or comment fair use.

    No (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:19:52 PM EST
    See above link. They are going after blogs and for just headlines and a short paragraph.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:16:05 PM EST
    The AP named no potential targets, yet speculation immediately turned to Google. While the search giant pays the AP to host full versions of wire service stories, it generally does not have contracts with AP member newspapers whose headlines it also aggregates on its news portal. The AP has also made no bones about pursuing individual bloggers, as it did the Drudge Retort last June.

    Wired via Raw Story

    The AP probably had no idea it would create such a firestorm in the blogging community by telling the (aptly named) Drudge Retort to remove seven headlines and story briefs from its site.

    In this copy of that story (none / 0) (#13)
    by DFLer on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 09:16:05 AM EST
    from the Strib

    AP is also reducing fees to newspapers, as many of those papers are already in deep econ doodoo.

    The news cooperative will cut fees to newspapers by $35 million next year, on top of a $30 million cut this year