AP Says It's 'Done' Talking About Fair Use And Its DRM

from the taking-our-ball-and-going-home dept

Considering that the entire point of the Associated Press is to explain the news to people, is there anything more damning than the fact that most people still have absolutely no idea what its DRM for news system is actually about. The company has given different interviews, indicating very different things. My read on it, from these different interviews, is that the AP is basically going to track stories and sue people they feel abuse some mythological standard that the AP feels should be a part of copyright law. But, that’s not entirely clear.

Danny Sullivan has plenty of questions as well, but when he reached the AP, he was told that the organization is “done” talking about these issues. Yup. The organization that’s supposed to make the news clear can’t make its own news clear to just about anyone… and when confronted on it, says “we’re done” and hangs up the phone. That’s not the action of a company with a plan. That’s the action taken by an organization in turmoil, grasping at straws, that had a weak plan that never made much sense in the first place, and doesn’t know how to respond to being called on it.

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Companies: associated press

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Comments on “AP Says It's 'Done' Talking About Fair Use And Its DRM”

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Hephaestus (profile) says:


From Wikipedia

“The Associated Press (AP) is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributive members of the cooperative.”

Wikipedia article

Seems like they could be done away with with one or two servers shoved on a rack somewhere. All you would need to do is contact all their clients/members and say …. “here a free service just pay for bandwidth, server maintenance, and drive space”

Lachlan Hunt (profile) says:


From the information I’ve been able to piece together, I think the reports about the AP using some sort of DRM have been blown way out of proportion. Of course, the AP hasn’t helped the situation with their technologically inept explanations by their PR dept, but it’s made worse by reporters like yourself jumping the gun and immediately associating words like “protection” and “enforcement” from their press releases with DRM.

Their plans largely involve using the hNews microformat, which is currently still under development. Basically, this will allow them to mark up their news with a lot of metadata. Among this metadata will be licensing information that declares, in a computer readable fashion. Early indications indicate that this is based on and inspired by existing microformats like hAtom and ccREL, along with some new proposed extensions that they are working on developing and standardising. More information about this can be found at valueaddednews.org

inc says:

Re: Microformats

All this does is punish users that use the metadata as those using a fair use amount of the news will not have the metadata. I’m sure the AP will then claim since those not using this metadata is violating their copyright or EULA they agreed to by breathing. It’s unnecessary.

The AP should be focusing on attracting users to their site. Bringing in bloggers and giving them a small cut of advertisement revenue their blog pages bring in. Instead of shitting on the Internet they need to learn to leverage the two way communication. Encourage the users to have a spirit of giving credit where credit is due not one of we will sue if you use our content. The open source community is a great example of the original creator being given credit. Maybe give awesome news clips that link to the original article people can use.

This being said if the AP was smart they would try to be like youtube in the sense of allowing the content to be embedded in exchange for the site owner allowing the AP to run ads.

Anonymous Coward says:

Part of the problem here I think is blogs like this one and others who jumped way past the point of reality and pretty much tried to slap AP over this process.

If I was them, I would have very, very little to say, because every extra word they put out there is twisted and used to slap them around some more. It’s better for them to just shut up and move foward with their projects.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The AP needs to get their story straight and actually, you know, maybe listen to what others are actually saying instead of screaming incoherently that they are being stolen from.

Nothing they said has been twisted (especially not here), they just don’t even understand what they are saying and trying to do.

Using Metadata as a form of copyright/EULA protection is a daft idea anyways and not the way the system was intended to be used. All they will do is muddle things up more.

The AP has a problem with Google’s Aggregation. Google gave them the built in solution, that has existed for the history of the Internet, so that they wouldn’t be used by Google’s services.

There is no magical right saying the AP HAS to be in Google’s search results. If it would be good for their business to (and it would, though it wouldn’t even really affect Google either way) then they have to play ball.

This is simply the AP trying to have their cake and eat it too.

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