Buh-Bye AP

06.16.08 | Comment?

AP is hosed
Attribution: NewsGrist

It’s stunning that a media company could be so dense, 13 years after the Internet hit the mainstream, to try to control content it is releasing into the public domain. But here we are, in 2008 with the Associated Press doing just that. We had a little problem with attribution (actually theft of content) at the end of last year, but this is different.

It’s well known, understood, and legal, to take an excerpt from another source, publish it, and then provide attribution (links usually) back to the original source. If you don’t cite your source, then you’re effectively stealing. If you do cite your source and you’re not publishing the whole piece, it’s legal under the “fair use” law.

By attempting to refine fair use, AP is condemning itself to oblivion because the net community will take the stance that I’m taking: AP doesn’t exist. No links, no references, nada, zip, zilch. Should AP regain their senses, perhaps they’ll be inserted back into the publishing stream, but the longer this goes on, the more likely case is another aggregator that does understand the net steps in and fills the gap – that’s it, slow train to nowhere for AP.

So good luck with those rules AP!

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