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AP Shakes Fist at Google, Tells Internet to Get Off Its Damn Lawn [Going to attack other sites now]
All Things Digital ^ | Peter Kafka

Posted on 04/08/2009 2:58:30 PM PDT by RatherBiased.com

The Associated Press is fed up with… the Internet, apparently. And it’s going to do… something about it.

At the news-gathering co-op’s annual meeting today, AP chairman Dean Singleton let rip a sort of hellfire-and-brimstone speech in which he announced the AP’s vague plans to stop unnamed scoundrels from making money from their work.

The relevant bit:

“[The AP's board has] unanimously decided to take all actions necessary to protect the content of the Associated Press and the AP Digital Cooperative from misappropriation on the Internet.

The board also unanimously agreed to work with portals and other partners who legally license our content and who reward the cooperative for its vast newsgathering efforts–and to seek legal and legislative remedies against those who don’t.

We believe all of your newspapers will join our battle to protect our content and receive appropriate compensation for it.

AP and its member newspapers and broadcast associate members are the source of most of the news content being created in the world today. We must be paid fully and fairly.”

If this sounds like the AP is riffing off the famous speech from “Network,” that’s not an accident. In fact, Dean Singleton does indeed quote the movie’s Howard Beale in his remarks: “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories. We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more.”

In theory, Singleton and the AP are talking about a wide range of sites that profit by repurposing someone else’s content, from down-and-dirty “scraping sites” to the much more refined (and useful) Huffington Post, to… I don’t know.

But now it’s become much clearer why News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch singled out Google (GOOG) in remarks he made at a cable industry convention last week: The news guys have decided that the search engine has now become public enemy No. 1. That makes a sort of sense: If you’re going to go after someone, pick the guy with the deepest pockets.

And look. Unlike some of my bloggy colleagues, I don’t think that the people who pay to produce content are insane to complain about getting ripped off by aggregators of all stripes.

The thing is, even if the news guys somehow stopped people from using Google to find information they need, it wouldn’t do anything to solve the essential problems plaguing their business. Such as:

* An overabundance of undifferentiated, commodity information. * The wholesale evaporation of classified advertising and local retail advertising. * Investors who paid too much for newspapers and other media assets during the last 10 years, using too much debt.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing more about the AP’s plans, vaguely referred to in this press release as developing “a system to track content distributed online to determine if it is being legally used…” and including “the development of new search pages that point users to the latest and most authoritative sources of breaking news.”

You mean, they’re going to build their own search engine? That can’t be right. But if I hear back from the AP folks, I’ll try to get them to explain.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jim Kennedy VP/director of strategic planning for the AP, for teasing some of this out for me. Here’s what the AP is thinking:

* Kennedy confirmed that some of the AP’s ire is indeed aimed at Google, and that the drum-beating has a purpose. The search engine has a deal with the AP that expires at the end of this year, and the AP is setting the table for upcoming negotiations. Their main contention: Google is already using AP content in ways that aren’t covered by the existing agreement, and the AP wants to be compensated for them. Expect to hear lots more about this in future months. * The AP’s “stick” approach is aimed at Web aggregators: It plans on “fingerprinting” its content so it can track where its stuff is showing up and how it’s being used. If it’s being misused, it has an array of options that start with a takedown notice and end with legal remedies. * The AP’s carrot approach is aimed at Web surfers: It will become an aggregator of its own content. Specifically, it plans on building search engine-friendly Web pages built around specific topics — say, “Fargo floods” or “Michelle Obama” — composed of links that direct readers to AP stories. The idea is to get the pages to show up high in a Google search, alongside, or higher than, similar pages from Web aggregators who are doing the same thing — like Wikipedia, Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Mahalo, and on and on and on. Kennedy says it has built prototypes of the aggregator pages and plans on rolling them out in the second half of this year.

Meanwhile, note to the AP folks: You are aware at Howard Beale gets shot to death at the end of the movie, right?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ap; copyright; google; internet; newmedia
AP may finally start going after sites other than FR it looks like.
1 posted on 04/08/2009 2:58:30 PM PDT by RatherBiased.com
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To: RatherBiased.com

Google can squash them like a bug by taking them out of their search results.


2 posted on 04/08/2009 2:59:09 PM PDT by relictele
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To: RatherBiased.com

Hehehehe. I love these liberal cat fights.


3 posted on 04/08/2009 2:59:56 PM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: RatherBiased.com

Popcorn time!!!!! Catfight!


4 posted on 04/08/2009 3:00:27 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear ("The smallest minority on earth is the 'individual'." ~ Rush Limbaugh)
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To: RatherBiased.com

Good.

Let them sink into obscurity as they become ever more irrelevant.


5 posted on 04/08/2009 3:00:54 PM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: RatherBiased.com

A complete waste of time on the part of the Associated Press. They don’t own the news and never did. All they ever had was a near-monopoly on electronic distribution. The internet has supplanted their system.

There’s nothing anyone can do about it.


6 posted on 04/08/2009 3:01:07 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: RatherBiased.com
AP is just pissed because they, like most of the other MSM news outlets are going bust.

When all they have to do is report the news instead of trying to mold it into their own agendas.

I HOPE THEY ALL GO UNDER!

7 posted on 04/08/2009 3:03:07 PM PDT by unixfox (The 13th Amendment Abolished Slavery, The 16th Amendment Reinstated It !)
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To: abb

Google should just “blackhole” all AP content and websites that host even one AP article.

Once CNN.com “disappeared” from the index, CNN will drop AP in a micro-second.


8 posted on 04/08/2009 3:04:39 PM PDT by IDRATHERNOT
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To: RatherBiased.com

That should be entertaining. The majority of AP content is posted on individual newspaper websites. Does AP propose to forbid that entirely? Individual newspapers own AP. Singleton himself owns the Denver Post, the El Paso Times, and others, which post AP stories all the livelong day. If they are not going to block the newspapers from posting AP stories on the their website, the content falls under the fair use doctrine. I am not sure AP has thought this through.


9 posted on 04/08/2009 3:07:05 PM PDT by La Lydia
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To: relictele

AP charges papers an outrageous amount to get their stuff, and they want to further piss everybody off?


10 posted on 04/08/2009 3:07:25 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: RatherBiased.com
to the much more refined (and useful) Huffington Post

Gag!

11 posted on 04/08/2009 3:08:55 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Selah)
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To: relictele
Google can squash them like a bug by taking them out of their search results.

Exactly what they should do.

AP wants to have it both ways, links to their articles but no c/p even a portion of it to an internet site, except the ones run by the papers that subscribe ($$$) to the AP services.

If there were no links, newspapers would have to depend on subscribers to read their stories.

Sounds good to me.

If all search engines cooperated, the AP subscribers would leave in droves.

12 posted on 04/08/2009 3:10:48 PM PDT by Syncro (Qui non intelligit, aut taceat, aut discat)
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To: relictele
The idea is to get the pages to show up high in a Google search, alongside, or higher than, similar pages from Web aggregators who are doing the same thing — like Wikipedia, Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Mahalo, and on and on and on. Kennedy says it has built prototypes of the aggregator pages and plans on rolling them out in the second half of this year.

"We shall overwhelm Google...with our....errrr.....DoS attacks......errrrr. Welcome to the future AP chairman Dean Singleton.

13 posted on 04/08/2009 3:11:03 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Annihilation - The result of underestimating your enemies. NRA)
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To: unixfox

I don’t hope they all go under. After all, we here at FR often use the resources of many newspapers - actually, what would we do without them? Although this fight is very interesting, I doubt much will come of it other than some fines for not keeping agreements, etc. Internet news surfing and posting articles or links is here to stay - via Google or any search. Maybe I am looking at this too simplistically but I feel that as long as copyright laws are obeyed, (as we do here on FR) I doubt there is much that can be done.


14 posted on 04/08/2009 3:12:31 PM PDT by CitizenM ("An excuse is worse than an lie, because an excuse is a lie hidden." Pope John Paul, II)
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To: RatherBiased.com

If AP wants to take away any quoting or links to them, all that is going to happen is that no one will go there to read any of their stories... :-)

Then they’ll simply go out of business. It’s a stupid move.


15 posted on 04/08/2009 3:13:42 PM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: RatherBiased.com

The AP is irrelevant - any news organization can just contract with citizens on the ground reporting live. In fact, this should have been done when the Internet was in its infancy, a newspaper could have competed with USA Today and just offered cash to whoever sends their news or story in.


16 posted on 04/08/2009 3:15:25 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist ("President Obama, your agenda is not new, it's not change, and it's not hope" - Rush Limbaugh 02/28)
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To: RatherBiased.com

My heart is breaking for A.P.

The reason people broke out and started reporting news and talking about it on their own, was because the A.P. betrayed a certain level of trust with the public.

The public expected, no demanded, unbiased truthful complete reporting. A.P. (and plenty of others) refused to provide that product, and thus the explosion of internet sights dedicated to doing their job for them.

Here is the crux of the problem. “AP and its member newspapers and broadcast associate members are the source of most of the news content being created in the world today.” Exactly! They have a lot of power don’t they. And when they abuse that power, it creates a very real danger.

We don’t get the truth concerning our presidential candidates. We don’t get the truth about what their proposals mean to the average citizen. We don’t hear about criminal activity, relations with terrorists, the Soros looming large behind the scenes.

A.P. has nobody to blame but itself for what has taken place. And it’s member newspapers are no better. They are on the brink of insolvency, and they don’t understand why.

Look at who we have for a pres__ent today A.P. Tell us you did your job.

Frankly if A.P. went belly up tomorrow, this would be a better world for it.

Whatever replaced it couldn’t be much worse. Propaganda is propaganda.

Our society is at extreme risk today, because of A.P. and it’s fellow travelers.


17 posted on 04/08/2009 3:15:56 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Pres__ent Obama's own grandmother says he was born in Kenya. She was there.)
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To: RatherBiased.com
I have a simple solution for AP - if you don't want your content shared on the net, don't allow it to be posted on the net. Never used to be, you know. Problem solved.

Oh, well, there is that "bankruptcy" thingy. Maybe AP could push for a government subsidy. But not on the net.

18 posted on 04/08/2009 3:16:00 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: RatherBiased.com

Localized ads are coming back to websites as servers get smarter and harvest information through agreements from ISPs to tell them what general zipcode a DSL or cable or dialup is coming from.


19 posted on 04/08/2009 3:16:10 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: Graybeard58

Well, this IS a liberal writing here.


20 posted on 04/08/2009 3:18:24 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: Graybeard58

I got exactly that far when I stopped reading.


21 posted on 04/08/2009 3:18:49 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Pretending the Admin Moderator doesn't exist will result in suspension.)
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To: La Lydia

I think they at least want the newspaper sites themselves to score the web hits. This means a payment back to AP, which is gotten from advertisers on the same pages that also pay for the hits. If somebody pastes a whole AP article into Huffington Post, none of that happens. Maybe if FR supported frames for such content so that the paper got its hit, they wouldn’t complain about FR any more.


22 posted on 04/08/2009 3:23:06 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

So doesn’t Huffington Post have to play by the same rules we do, that is, post an excerpt and a link?


23 posted on 04/08/2009 3:24:37 PM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

I don’t huff and puff, but I did look.

I believe they have a way of licensing limited content, like the conservative townhall.com also does. They’re both also very busy websites, not streamlined like FR.


24 posted on 04/08/2009 3:29:25 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: RatherBiased.com
It will become an aggregator of its own content. Specifically, it plans on building search engine-friendly Web pages built around specific topics — say, “Fargo floods” or “Michelle Obama” — composed of links that direct readers to AP stories.

I already built a system that does that but it's not restricted to any single news source or reporter/columnist. Mine is an "aggregator" of news, information, editorials/commentaries, and mine also has the capabilities of aggregating from all sources, including all publishers, independent reporters/columnists, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio, or any other source. My system also directs readers to discussion sites where discussions of any news article or any column is underway.

However, my aggreagator will not use Google. My system, though not a search engine, will compete with Google as a content provider. My system will actually be a competitor to any content provider, including all newspapers, magazines, TV/radio, or anybody/anything. My system could actually bring about the quicker death of the NY Times, the AP or any other new source. However, my system could also bring traffic to any other online news source, whether a publisher or an independent writer/reporter/columnist/content provider.

I've not implemented the system yet because I'm trying to put the finishing touches on the CMS side of my system.

My incentive for developing the system were the biased news sources such as the AP and the NY Times and others. I want them to disappear or start becoming unbiased news sources.
25 posted on 04/08/2009 3:33:27 PM PDT by adorno (Where is Branch 4?)
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To: abb

What ever happened to UPI?


26 posted on 04/08/2009 3:38:05 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: DoughtyOne

Yeah ! What you said !!!!!

Stay safe D1 !


27 posted on 04/08/2009 3:39:15 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: al baby

What’s left of it is owned by the same company that owns the Washington Times.

It was founded by Edward Willis Scripps when the AP wouldn’t sell to him. I just finished a family bio on Scripps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Press_International


28 posted on 04/08/2009 3:41:59 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Hey Thank you


29 posted on 04/08/2009 3:43:12 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: RatherBiased.com
I hope they sue me, I can use the publicity.

The Obama File

30 posted on 04/08/2009 3:43:31 PM PDT by Beckwith (A "natural born citizen" -- two American citizen parents and born in the USA.)
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To: IDRATHERNOT

You are absolutely correct.
If you ain’t on Google...you don’t exist.
They could make AP vanish.


31 posted on 04/08/2009 3:48:13 PM PDT by Bobalu (McCain has been proven to be the rino flop I always thought he was.)
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To: relictele

Google could nuke them entirely by becoming a wire service (what an archaic term) in full competition with AP. They would probably charge less... maybe even no cash except for using some space in the papers to sell their own ads.


32 posted on 04/08/2009 3:56:18 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (No free man bows to a foreign king.)
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To: RatherBiased.com
Stewart Brand at the first Hackers' Conference in 1984, made the following comment:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

33 posted on 04/08/2009 3:56:29 PM PDT by Ben Mugged ("You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom".)
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To: RatherBiased.com

Gosh, who to cheer for? Not enough bad things can happen to Google, but then somebody has to stand up for fair use.


34 posted on 04/08/2009 3:58:55 PM PDT by Doohickey (The more cynical you become, the better off you'll be.)
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To: RatherBiased.com
It's for the Independent Press to do the job of the ASSociated Press.

vs.

35 posted on 04/08/2009 4:25:58 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: relictele

It strikes me that google just needs to return fire by advertizing to hire a bunch of reporters.

It's the board of directors at AP that's $#!++!&& their pants, not the reporters.

36 posted on 04/08/2009 5:46:43 PM PDT by delacoert (imperat animus corpori, et paretur statim; imperat animus sibi, et resistitur -- Augustini)
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To: RatherBiased.com

btt for comment later


37 posted on 04/08/2009 7:21:58 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: al baby
What ever happened to UPI?

Helen Thomas.

Next question...

38 posted on 04/08/2009 7:33:59 PM PDT by relictele
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To: KarlInOhio
Google could nuke them entirely by becoming a wire service (what an archaic term)

Yes but I love those teletype sounds and teletype-inspired music that used to intro the news.

39 posted on 04/08/2009 7:35:15 PM PDT by relictele
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To: Squantos

...staying safe. You too.


40 posted on 04/08/2009 11:38:55 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Pres__ent Obama's own grandmother says he was born in Kenya. She was there.)
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