In what some are saying will be an attack against ALL Internet users, it appears that the AP is ready to sue web sites that use its content without permission. In what appears as a shotgun approach to what AP sees as a problem, it is poised and ready to attack everyone, everywhere, who dares to use its content without permission. But what is confusing is how it self describes its motives for going into attack mode. In a recent news article at the N.Y. Times, the AP representatives spoke on their objectives, which seem unclear as to their purpose.
In the N.Y. Times article it states:
They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it.
The group’s new stance applies to thousands of news organizations whose work is distributed by The A.P., as well as its own material, but the debate about unauthorized use has focused on newspapers, which are in serious financial trouble, and which own the A.P.
I can understand the purpose of their recent decision since it is newspapers that appear to be suffering the brunt of the economic downturn when it comes to news releases. It goes on to say this:
“This is not about defining fair use,” said Sue A. Cross, a senior vice president of the group, who added several times during an interview that news organizations want to work with the aggregators, not against them. “There’s a bigger economic issue at stake here that we’re trying to tackle.”
So the AP is not trying to define fair use. Then what is it trying to define by threatening lawsuits? It then does an about face and says this:
One goal of The A.P. and its members, she said, is to make sure that the top search engine results for news are “the original source or the most authoritative source,” not a site that copied or paraphrased the work.
So which is it? Is the AP targeting those that steal its stuff, at least in its eyes, or is it the lack of revenue it receives from search engines that do not show the original authoritative source? Or is it both?
Or it is the fact that the newspaper industry has seen its day and this is a last ditch effort to survive?