from the cut-and-paste? dept
Someone anonymous sent in an explanation by the Town News for its decision to use the Associated Press’ hNews “watermarking” system which is the AP’s silly and meaningless attempt to stop copying of AP content. The General Manager of Town News, Marc Wilson, explains why they signed up for the program using the totally unsubstantiated scare tactic, claiming that there are these awful content thieves out there stealing content:
Probably the biggest issue within the newspaper/Internet world is controlling the re-use of content posted on the World Wide Web.
Actually, I’d say that the biggest issue is figuring out a business model that works. If you’re trying to control the use of content you put online, you’re doing it wrong. And, oops, the hNews format doesn’t do much to stop content reuse due to the magic of the world’s worst copyright infringement tool: cut-and-paste.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out who believes this myth that copying news content is some massive problem. Sure, there are some spam sites out there, but they get no meaningful traffic. There are some claims that they cause search engine trouble, but that’s overblown as well. Google and others are pretty good at sussing out where the content originated. But, according to Wilson, this is a huge problem:
But what they don’t like the rise of the many companies that copy or scrape content off of newspaper Web sites — and end up competing with the sites that originated the content.
Again, where are these mythical content copiers? There are spam sites, but they get no traffic and they go away pretty quickly. Besides, if you can’t compete against a spam site scraping your content, you’re definitely doing something wrong. If your brand and your community management is so weak that a spam site can compete with you, you don’t deserve to be in business.