We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

Summary: One of the things to remember about the Associated Press is that it's run by newspaper executives, those same decision-makers who largely resisted the influence of technology on their business models and are now dealing with the fallout of layoffs, bankruptcies and complete closures because of it.

TOPICS: Browser

One of the things to remember about the Associated Press is that it's run by newspaper executives, those same decision-makers who largely resisted the influence of technology on their business models and are now dealing with the fallout of layoffs, bankruptcies and complete closures because of it.

It should come as no surprise then that those same folks, wearing their AP name tags, are now threatening legal action against news aggregating sites that post snippets of news stories written by the AP and its member newspapers.

Why won't the AP recognize that news aggregation is a 21st Century form of distribution and that the old method of throwing a dead-tree collection of yesterday's news on the front porch is one that's headed for the history books.

Also see: AP eyes news aggregators; Risks exposing its lack of value add

Oh wait. Maybe they do recognize the importance of news aggregation. There are AP-member newspapers - including big names like the New York Times - that are aggregating news from other sources on their sites, as well. Just today, the Wall Street Journal's Web site included links to two blogs on ZDNet's All About Microsoft blog under the section heading: Technology Stories from Around the Web. (click on image)

Gabe Rivera, who founded the TechMeme news aggregation site, tells CNET in a post today that all benefits for having content quoted and linked from around the Web are clear. It sends traffic to their sites. Said Rivera:

For AP and News Corp. to discourage quoting is a clue that they don't really get the Web and are in danger of shooting themselves in the foot.

Need another example? TechCrunch reports today that an AP executive threatened an affiliate radio station  - an affiliate! - for embedding an AP video from its official YouTube page on the station's site. Apparently, the executive - when told of embed codes for YouTube videos - was unaware that anyone - affiliate or not - could post those video on a Web site with that code. The executive is reportedly now looking into that. TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld sums it up nicely:

A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness.

These days, we're all news aggregators. I aggregate plenty of news from sites all over the Web on this site. Why? Sure, it provides some link love to my journalistic brethren but it also offers my readers some the opportunity to dig in deeper into a topic, to read a different perspective, to obtain some historical background and, in some cases, go straight to the original source.

Case in point: I linked to my CNET colleague Greg Sandoval above - but I didn't "steal" his story. I offered one excerpt from a quote that he obtained (giving him credit) and teased his story enough so that you readers might want to click the link and read it. I also linked to the TechCrunch post because I thought some of you might want to read it, too.

It's the same reason I share news links with my Facebook friends and Twitter followers. I like to share interesting news - no matter where it came from. Is that so terrible?

The AP needs to stop with the legal threats and focus on how wire services and newspapers are going to compete in this new world of news distribution. If the AP keeps holding on to an outdated business model, it won't be long until its own members are writing its obituary.

Also see: Google's Schmidt carefully scripted at newspaper powwow

Topic: Browser

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  • WWW = aggregator

    the world wide web is a aggregator
    everyone is quoteing everyone, i dont think AP get
    s how big this will be for them to *sue* the

  • RE: We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

    No, no, no.... Let the A.P. continue to shoot itself in the foot. The world doesn't need them anyway!
  • RE: We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

    The associated press provides a service to newspapers, and the newspapers pay AP for that service. AP provides CONTENT. That content gathering is collected by newspapers 24/7/365 - and this content is used by newspapers. How does an aggregator - like Google News - help Newspapers develop content, or pay for the gathering of that content? APs main mission was to be paid by Newspapers to GATHER content, not distribute it, so i can't agree that AP "..resisted the influence of technology on their business models.." - it was the DISTRIBUTORS (the Newspapers) who failed (and are failing)- not AP. Aggregators are parasites - they live offer the host, and offer NOTHING to help the host. THAT is what AP is going to sue about, and will win. You can't simply use their product without paying for it.
    • Aggregators is the therm used by those

      who wish to profit from other's investments for free.
  • RE: We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

    If AP doesn't want anyone linking to their news articles then don't post them on the Internet. The problem they have is demand for an article in the print media is great every paper needs a copy of it and pays for it. With the Internet all that is needed is one web posting for the whole world, to make money you have to have adds on that page to pay for it. Google/Yahoo do pay web sites through add links. If any of this morons think they are going to get viewers and add revenue without news readers their nuts.
  • RE: We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

    It is very easy to protect Internet content, and AP (through ignorance maybe?) chose to publish it without protection. Any URL is a legitimate link if it is open contents, threathening others that use a link to provide further information from a legitimate source merely exposes the ignorance of participating in a world-wide distribution medium that AP does not expressly pay for. So when this exclusivity is claimed for the use of that medium then who is ripping off whom? Should it not be AP that then has to account for that attempt at gabbing an exclusive share of that medium in lieu of properly developing private Intranet facilities? Are they not engaging in what is tantamount to stealing a bus and then objecting to anyone boarding it for free?
  • Perhaps the AP has never heard of the "Fair Use Doctrine".

    They should learn about it and what it means.

    Need we remind them that this is just free advertising?
    Update victim
  • End of their glory days...

    History tells us all the great things will eventually to come an end and will be replaced by next great thing.. radios dominace replaced by Television.. Post office dominace replaced by emails.. music cassets to cd's to MP3's...etc..etc... some of these will die and some will fall from their dominace.. so is AP.. it's end of their glory days and it has shaken some of the fat tires sitting on the top
  • I will try that with yours, and ZDNet's articles, Sam

    But I am curious as to how long before you or ZDNet hit me with a "Cease and Desist" order?

    Or do you or ZDNet just shoot straight to "Content licensing" fees?
  • There's a smugness...

    There's a certain smugness in knowing that the RIAA and the AP cannot truly resist the change in news dissemination / copyright that has happened and continues to occur.

    Seems like we will just have to wait a few more years for the old geezers to die off.
    • What is so smug about theft?

      I have to wonder if the problem is with the attitude of the AP, or with the attitude of the general populace.

      It seems that you feel it is fine for someone to freely takes what others spent money to create? Unless it happens to us:

      [i]Then[/i] we call it theft....
  • Dinosaurs are not all dead yet

    15 Years ago as the founder/CEO of a regional ISP I approached a media company operating 55 newspapers about partnering in offering Internet services in their markets, and helping them utilize the internet to replace their satellite-based WAN and complement the reach of their publications.

    There was no one less than 60 years old in the executive suite and despite an overwhelming recommendation from their IT department and younger editors in favor of the proposal the only thing the gray men were concerned with was someone stealing their financial data.

    The CEO concluded our meeting by informing me that no one would ever be interested in reading news or classifieds on a computer.
  • RE: We're all aggregators. Get over it, AP.

    Is it time to start billing AP for the free publicity? (that should wake them up)
  • "Throwing pebbles into the pool" versus "Tsunami!"

    First thought: "boycott!!" -- reality: nobody is paying them that much attention; barely a ripple in public awareness.

    Second thought: "litigation!!" -- reality: as soon as enough people ARE paying attention, then "boycott!!" becomes feasible, even appropriate; "you've got our attention now -- are you really sure you WANT it after all??"

    Third thought (carrying the "Tsunami" metaphor farther): When the water recedes out to the horizon, the experienced panic and head for higher ground, knowing what comes next; when AP starts getting counter-suits for EVERY occurance of THEIR linking out to OTHER news sources, maybe a dim bulb will illuminate overhead...

    The evolution of business models: fatal to entities resistant to change.