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June 16, 2008

TechCrunch boycotting AP

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch is boycotting the AP based on the AP's recent actions with regards to links and quotes of its stories.

The short of it is that the AP is trying to restrict bloggers from linking and posting short snippets of its articles claiming that it does not fall under the "fair use" clause of the copyright laws.

According to TechCrunch's post:

A.P. vice president Jim Kennedy says they will issue guidelines telling bloggers what is acceptable and what isn’t, over and above what the law says is acceptable. They will “attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright.”

Add in that apparently AP employees are going around and posting the contents of a letter from Kennedy in full on any blog that seems to reference the incidents that have occurred.

So TechCrunch has a new policy:

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.

At the risk of upsetting a future employer, I will join in this crusade until the policy is changed.

The linking policy was something that was encouraged for all of AP's clients by blogger David Cohn aka "DigiDave" back in May as something that would help save them money and make their news organizations more innovative because as he saw it, the AP was not looking out for its clients anymore. The result?

As I see it: This would allow newspapers to run more original local content, save money and build serious brand loyalty. The AP does none of these.

At a time when newspapers are trying to innovate to keep their consumers around, and trying things like radical front page redesign instead of forward thinking, maybe they might want to start paying attention.

(Link to DigiDave found through Brian Boyer's Sixth W)

This entry is tagged: AP, journalism, New York Times, newspaper, TechCrunch, technology

Posted by bmiraski at June 16, 2008 9:03 AM