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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    RD, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    Techdirt needs a user-generated tag system like /. has. So many of these stories could use the "goodluckwiththat" tag. :)

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Because

    Do you always post out your ass?

    If you are going to lie about me, at least be creative.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Because

    Accuracy is far more potent.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Why? Fair use is fair use.

    AP is somewhat on shaky ground here, because much of what is listed is licensed content. So they need more to tell their content users to secure their sites against google, which most of them won't want to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    And why would you want to secure your site against Google? So you can go in the hole like the AP is? So nobody will know how to find you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    ScaredOfTheMan, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    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.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Me, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Fair Use

    Why can't you write your own stories instead of sending people to AP. oh and by the way... Fair use doesn't apply to copywritten material...

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    Who cares about AP? These are the last gasps of a dying business. They are irrelevant, an unnecessary middle man rendered redundant by changing technology. Good luck, good bye and good riddance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Grab, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Fair Use

    Uhmm the ONLY content that needs fair use protection is coppywritten material... thanks for playing

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Huh?

    ...because copyright law and rules concerning fair use seem pretty clear...

    To whom? Not me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    ttrygve, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    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".

     

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  13.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Huh?

    To whom? Not me.


    Heh. Good point. I meant pretty clear on issues like this...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Jaff, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Huh?

    They are only clear to the lawyer that wrote it, and even they are not clear... They are foggy as hell....

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Seems rather simple.
    Google removes all references to AP

     

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  16.  
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    Newbelius, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    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.

     

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  17.  
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    teknosapien, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    wonder when

    they will get around to suing the usenet news groups

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Stephen, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    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.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    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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  20.  
    icon
    Alan (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    desperate

    Given their laughable attempt to "get" the Obama Hope poster artist who used an AP photo, I've gotta laugh again.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    What are you talking about, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Fair Use

    If you don't know that of which you speak, then don't. "Fair Use" ONLY applies to copyright and patent, otherwise it is Public domain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 7:48pm

    News Aggregators

    The San Jose Mercury News today said that Google and Yahoo are the targets, and both of them have said, in effect, what you said about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    StuCop, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

    I love how Arianna Huffington talks up the "new linked economy" but still charges cold hard cash for advertising on Huffpo...a little hypocritical isn't it...and telling...what the banks don't let her pay her bills with links????

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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