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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Filed Under: aggregators, copyright, fair use, news
Companies: associated press, google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Seems rather simple.
    Google removes all references to AP

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