July 27 2009

Someone Needs To Teach AP The Basics Of The Internet

AP_logoFor as old an organization as the Associated Press is, you would think that might have some people around the offices that might be able to tell them how the Internet works.

Back in April, the Associated Press (A.P.) began its war on the Internet.  At that time they were already saying that they wanted news aggregator sites such as Google News to stop indexing their stories as it iolated the Fair Use doctorine in their eyes.  Fine, whatever, this is the same group of yahoos who was trying to set up a system where every site that quoted any story of theirs was charged $1.50 per word for the use.

Well, late last week the A.P. took another hit off their collective bong they keep in the office and came up with a new policy that is just mind boggling.  In a story from The New York Times entitled A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web (and I am using the full headline on purpose here), the A.P. has now said that no one may use their headlines without express consent from the association.

The Associated Press said Thursday that it would add software to each article that shows what limits apply to the rights to use it, and that notifies The A.P. about how the article is used.

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.

Now, you notice how nice all of this is for The New York Times? They’re getting a link (which helps get them better rankings in search engines… they’re getting free advertising… some of you will click on the link, giving them another pageview and assists in upping their ad impressions… heck, some of you may even click on an ad, generating revenue for them.  Well, here is just a little bit more from the article from you that shows you how the A.P. obviously doesn’t have a brain in their heads.

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.

“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.

Okay, let me explain this in the simplest terms for the A.P…. no, you are not going to grow a “multihundred-million businesses” out of this.  Well, wait, I take that back, you just might, but it won’t be yours, it will be all of the other sites that will get the traffic you once did.

the dunceThink I’m alone in these thoughts?

Scott Rosenberg

Need another?

When AP tries to impose a license fee on linking to its content, people will stop linking to AP content. Not just some sites, but 99% of sites. There may be no official boycott as such, but likewise most won’t be interested in battling AP in court. The result will be a big drop in traffic to AP content as the link juice it previously had disappears, juice that also helps their search engine rankings.

But it could be better again, because big players like Google won’t stand for paying for the right to link, so AP content may disappear altogether from most search engines as well.

The net result is that papers who rely on AP content online will see their traffic and online revenue plummet at a time that many of them are struggling to survive as it is. The drop in newspaper advertising may have driven many of them to the point of extinction, but AP will help push them off the final cliff.

– Duncan Riley, The Inquisitr

How can a group that has been in the publishing business as long as the A.P. not be getting this?  Instead of making money you are only accomplishing making enemies out of every blogger out there.  Sure they will be able to continue to sell their wire services, but the idea that anyone on the Internet is going to pay them a single penny when there are so many sites that gladly welcome you linking to them, well then… the office bong is working overtime.

Give it up A.P., you have failed at the Internet, and you might as well leave because you are going to be non-existent here pretty darn quick.  No links = Internet death… I am sure it will be a lovely funeral.

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