Dear AP: The Point Behind A Data Format Is To Make The Data Easier To Use, Not Harder

from the sigh dept

The Associated Press continues its attempt to convince the world to pretend the past still exists, while trying to dress it up in a modern dress. The latest move? It’s releasing a new data format to append metadata to news articles. But, it’s not to make that news more useful for others to build on, like most data formats. Instead, it’s an attempt to make the news less useful, by including different tags on how the content can be used. This is backwards, of course. Data feeds and metadata are designed to add value to users, not take it away. This does the opposite. On top of that, this seems to be based on the idea that people should just agree to follow the usage rules. That probably won’t fly. The way most of their content is used now is legal, it’s just that the AP doesn’t like it. But that doesn’t mean anyone has to stop linking to them or quoting fair-use snippets from their articles, just because the AP says so.

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Companies: associated press

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Comments on “Dear AP: The Point Behind A Data Format Is To Make The Data Easier To Use, Not Harder”

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11 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

“But that doesn’t mean anyone has to stop linking to them or quoting fair-use snippets from their articles, just because the AP says so.”

Stop linking to them, stop giving them publicity. Ignore them and don’t report any news to them. Instead, report it to some blog that believes news should be freely distributed. Visit those blogs for news. Let the AP die from their own tactics. Don’t pay any attention to them and don’t feed them.

Brooks (profile) says:

Not scalable enough

So there’s this very cool AP news story about bunnies:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BUNNY_LADY?SITE=NYMID&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

I figured I’d email it to a bunch of my friends. 2,147,483,647 of them, to be exact (I’ve got a lot of friends).

So sure, $322,122,547.05 seems like a small price to pay to send such great info to so many friends. Sadly, their site 500’d on me.

So I went back and trimmed my recipient list to a mere 100,000,000 people, at a cost of $150,000,000. Still no go. 10,000,000 of my closest friends, for a bargain basement $15,000,000? That seemed to be processing, but then 500’d.

I don’t see the point of this service. Plus, it’s unreliable.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Be fair Mike: “Tags identifying the author, publisher and other information – as well as any usage restrictions publishers hope to place on copyright-protected materials – would be packaged with each news article in a way that search engines can more easily identify.”

They also are packaging useful meta-data. And anyways, it’s all voluntary enforcement anyways… All I have to do is ignore their tag and shazam, I didn’t see the difference.

CleverName says:

Re: Re:

“it’s all voluntary enforcement anyways”

This argument does not hold water, it is a foot in the door.

The internet is a communications medium, not content distribution. Industry big wigs are attempting to change and control it in order to extract more of your hard earned money. If allowed to continue, the internet will become similar to pay tv.

zcat (profile) says:

"copyright by default"

As with all ‘content’, things are copyright by default even if they’re made freely avaliable on the web, and I don’t quite see why putting something in an rss/xml feed makes it any less copyright than just putting it up as ordinary html.

Try applying this whole argument to Creative Commons for example; http://wiki.creativecommons.org/RDFa anyone? Are they also making content “less useful” by putting tags on such as ‘share alike’ or ‘non-commercial’?

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