AP to Take Legal Action Against Aggregators

At this point, the state of the newspaper world being what it is, it’s really just a question of who is going to start charging for content first. Our money has lately been on the NYT.com in terms of who will be the first to dip their toes into a blanket subscription model, but it looks like the AP may be first out of the gate when it comes to protectionary measures. Per the NYT:

The Associated Press and its member newspapers will take legal action against Web sites that use newspaper articles without legal permission, the group said on Monday, in a clear shot at aggregators like Google.

In a speech at The A.P.’s annual meeting in San Diego, William Dean Singleton, chairman of the group, said, “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”
In a statement, The A.P. said it would develop a system to track news articles online and determine whether they were being used legally.

The article goes on to highlight Google News’ habit of running the first few sentences of an article before linking through to the original work. Neither the article or the AP, however, mention sites like HuffPo, which routinely run entire AP articles on their sites. Stay tuned.
*UPDATE: HuffPo tells us they are a client of AP’s and pay for the right to use their work. So that solves that problem!