[LINK] 'Linking' Associated Press

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Apr 12 21:38:46 AEST 2009

The AP's Desperate Attempt To Outlaw Search Engine Links
By Rich Ord - Fri, 04/10/2009 - 18:59 

An Associated Press (AP) win could kill "fair use" and change the 
Internet as we know it.

The AP is launching an all out assault on any use of its content that is 
not licensed (purchased) for use by Internet publishers and search 

The AP believes that desperate times call for desperate measures and that 
means demanding royalties from any company profiting from any aspect of 
their content. 

When Google links to an AP story in a search result with an Adwords ad on 
the page the AP expects to be paid..

>From the AP's perspective, the concept of 'fair use' is primitive and 
counter to their desperate desire to prevent their demise in an ad 
supported Internet content economy. 

The Associated Press Board of Directors, which is made up mostly of 
newspaper executives, has issued a member call to arms against anyone and 
everyone who misappropriates AP content..

Sue Cross, a senior vice president of AP told reporters as printed in the 
New York Times:

" When asked if The A.P. would require a licensing agreement before a 
search engine could show specific material, Ms. Cross said, “that could 
be an element of it,” but added, “it’s not that formed.”"

Obviously, the AP doesn't consider a link that goes with the republished 
headline or snippet sufficient payment. 

The AP's stated goal is to make it illegal either through the courts or 
by new laws to link (with a quote) to copyrighted content on the Internet 
without the permission of the copyright holder.

If the AP is successful, and they clearly believe they will be, then the 
Internet will be changed as we know it. Linking (with snippets or not) to 
the content of others could become a permission based concept where one 
only links (and quotes) after they have received the appropriate approval.

If content owners like the AP can sue search engines for unauthorized use 
of their content and win a share of their ad revenue, then the Google 
apple cart could be turned upside down.



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