No AP Stories

Posted on June 16, 2008  Comments (0)

Michael Arrington, at Techcrunch, has announced a new policy Here’s Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They’re Banned. Good for him. I have long not linked to Associated Press stories due to their pointy haired boss understanding of the internet. The New York Times took awhile to understand how to respond to the new world but seems to be doing well now (so now I link to them). Other good sources: BBC (though they need to do better with webcasting), NPR, National Geographic, Science Blogs, PLoS.

Getting links is a good thing. When you have lawyers threatening people that are helping you, that is just plain dumb (and not the behavior I want to support by directing traffic to your site). Yes some bloggers do go to far and appropriate content they should not. So fine, do something about that. But you need to act sensibly, not like they have been (and that is not just limited to the problems that have landed them in trouble recently but their lack of making effective use of the internet for years).

The A.P. doesn’t get to make it’s own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it’s clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don’t exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model – paid content.

So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.

Related: When Fair Use Isn’t FairProgrammable New York Times On the WayMore Dinosaurs Fighting Against Open ScienceWhat is Wrong with Copyright Taking Public Good for Private Special InterestsScience Journal Publishers Stay Stupid

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