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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Boycott the Associated Press!

The Associated Press just doesn't get the Internet, like most of the Legacy Media, and has renewed it's idiotic war against people who use a portion of their stories, and link back to the original source.

My personal response has been to not link to AP Stories where ever possible if I can find a non-AP source for the story. If I can find no other source, I will put the story in my own words, and not link. 

I cannot understand why the AP is acting this way, other than to ascribe a supreme sort of arrogance or ignorance to them...and both of those characteristics often go hand in hand as far as I am concerned. The way I understand it, the Internet lives and breathes when people link to each other. I get a great deal of traffic via links, from people who may or may not agree with me. I try to return the favor, regardless of political affiliation. The AP acts like 

Even lefties have been up in arms over the Associated Press.

If I ran a newspaper, or an online news site, I would not subscribe to any AP services. I would use some of the alternatives out there,  such as Agence France-Press, Google News (just watch for AP content), Reuters, Yahoo News (again, watch for AP content) McClatchy, Breit Bart (watch for some AP content), or IPS for your blogger news and stop driving traffic to AP!  Also, if a news service uses some AP content, I only use them if I can find no other alternative as a way of denying those who use AP what little link love I can. If a lot of bloggers and online news sites did this, we might have an impact on the AP. 

What set me off on this little tirade is the news that the Associated Press is at it again, this time threatening to sue news aggregators:

I'm a bit curious what those "misguided theories" are... because copyright law and rules concerning fair use seem pretty clear, and search engines aggregating info and sending people to your site has been ruled fair use before. So, perhaps the AP chairman is talking about some other "misguided" legal theory? Another AP person claims: "This is not about defining fair use. There's a bigger economic issue at stake here that we're trying to tackle." But she neglects to say what that is, other than our old business model sucks, and we've got no freaking clue how to adapt to the changing market place, so this is the best we've got... 

Source: TechDirt (I bet they don't try to sue me for lifting part of their content and linking to where I found it).

The biggest threat to the Associated Press (other than their idiot behavior and bad business model) is the rise of citizen journalists who provide local coverage of news and events on a first hand basis, like I try to do, and some others locally are doing on blogs or social networking platforms and the local alternative papers who have websites. 

I would love to see an aggregated list of sources by geographic region, and have been building one for the past couple of years that I use for sources of information for my News Feed. I also run a widget of it on my sidebar. One day, when I have what I feel is a definitive national  directory of local sources, I'll put it up on a website I've been building for the purpose. Like so many other ideas I have, somebody has probably already done this...I think DMOZ comes close to what I have envisioned.

There are a couple of idiot bloggers who also act like the AP in their ignorance, and even put warnings in their RSS Feed against using their feed on other websites. So, I never link to these websites or blogs (except in this case to point one of them out). These people are AP-wannabes.