AP Says It's Going To Sue Aggregators

from the this-ought-to-be-fun... dept

Given some of the Associated Press’s recent actions, this won’t come as a surprise, but the AP has now announced that it will start suing any news aggregator that doesn’t share its profits with the AP:

“We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”

I’m a bit curious what those “misguided theories” are… because copyright law and rules concerning fair use seem pretty clear, and search engines aggregating info and sending people to your site has been ruled fair use before. So, perhaps the AP chairman is talking about some other “misguided” legal theory? Another AP person claims: “This is not about defining fair use. There’s a bigger economic issue at stake here that we’re trying to tackle.” But she neglects to say what that is, other than our old business model sucks, and we’ve got no freaking clue how to adapt to the changing market place, so this is the best we’ve got…

That said, I’m not sure how this is any different than how the AP has acted in the past. While the NY Times claims that this is a shot at Google, that seems unlikely. Google has already agreed to pay the AP — though, the article notes that the AP may claim that the current license deal doesn’t cover AP stories showing up in Google’s regular search results. If that’s the case, then Google should call the AP’s bluff, and block out all AP articles. Then let’s see how various newspaper sites feel. In the meantime, the AP has already sued others, including Moreover and All Headline News. And I know that some of the other top aggregators have already folded and started paying the AP, rather than go through a legal battle. So it’s not clear what’s new here other than unsupported bluster on the part of AP execs to make its member papers think it’s doing something other than squandering money.

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Companies: associated press, google

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Comments on “AP Says It's Going To Sue Aggregators”

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23 Comments
RD says:

Because

“I’m a bit curious what those “misguided theories” are… because copyright law and rules concerning fair use seem pretty clear, and search engines aggregating info and sending people to your site has been ruled fair use before.”

Because according to WeirdHarold and his industry scum-buddies, copying anything is theft. ANYTHING. For any reason. “Fair use” is a pesky defense that has no place in the industry’s campaign of steamrolling over everyone’s rights in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Remember, there are different rules for you and me than there are for Big Corp.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

We can call be Google here

When you see a link that goes to the AP news site, don’t click it.

I do it all the time on Fark, or Digg or any other Aggregator.

This is 2009, we do not need the AP, we have hundreds of millions of people connected together via a huge self healing network, SURELY some of them might want to write news stories. News stories which happen to be displayed on pages, which happen to have ads. Those people would be more than happy for ANYONE to link to them and drive traffic.

Newbelius says:

Re: Fair Use

Ummm… First, it’s copyright, not copywrite. Therefore logically it should be copyrighted, not copywritten. Of course, copyright is a noun, thus should not be put into the past tense.

Second, fair use exists only because of copyright. Therefore fair use most certainly does apply to material for which a copyright exists.

ttrygve (profile) says:

pretty clear??

“copyright law and rules concerning fair use seem pretty clear”

I tend to agree with this blog on most “IP” issues, but I never thought I’d see the current state of IP laws described as “pretty clear”! When so many people can disagree so wildly and in so many ways on the interpretation of those laws, it seems pretty self explanatory that they’re anything but “pretty clear”.

Stephen says:

The original source is the most authoritative

One entertaining quote is roughly that “the original source is the most authoritative.” Mostly true, but not guaranteed. But the AP is an aggregate itself. They are saying they are not the most authoritative source. That would be the original local newspaper. It looks a lot like the AP is a Google competitor and this is the floundering of a clueless, frustrated competitor.

David says:

Who needs Aggregators?

Aggregators may actually help drive consumers to AP’s but as a user I’m finding less need for aggregators, especially “pure’ aggregators.

Aggregators sometimes make it hard to find the site of the original content provider. To me there is just too much rehashing of the same content.

At least techdirt (and some other sites) add value by collecting news based on topic and add comments.

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