Say it with me folks, “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more.” Sound familiar? Like a quote from an Academy Award winning movie about the demise of news? Yeah, well Associated Press chairman Dean Singleton is spouting the same sentiments (actually, the exact same sentiments, this is a direct quote from his fire-and-brimstone speech for the AP‘s annual meeting this year) regarding blogs scraping their site for content. This is an issue that is going to affect most bloggers, who draw from professional news sites to inform their own topics of discussions (i.e. pay attention bloggers, this action is aimed at you).
Today’s speech lays out plans to “go after” sites pilfering AP content. Here are some vague details from the AP‘s press release:
On Saturday, the AP Board of Directors 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.
MediaMemo received an update from Jim Kennedy VP/director of strategic planning for the AP, offering more concrete plans of attacking this repurposing problem. Some of the details include renegotiating with Google—whose content deal with the AP expires at the end this year—to start covering some of the ways that Google is currently using AP content that weren’t expressly granted to Google under their first contract. The AP will also be expecting compensation from Google for some of the various uses that they feel have cost the wire service money.
This is only the beginning though. Find out how they will be coming after you after the jump!
In addition, the AP will be going after web aggregators by “‘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.”
Finally the AP expects to become an aggregator of its own content. “It plans on building search engine-friendly Web pages built around specific topics,” reports MediaMemo. “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 â€” 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.”
Sounds like an interesting start to a plan, but for anyone even remotely involved in digital content creation, the flaws are also prominent enough to make us suspect of its effectiveness.