What Will AP Do to Bloggers?

Will the Associated Press’ new policy of going after Internet aggregators and requiring them to obtain permission to republish its content be effective?  Major portals like Google and Yahoo and sites like Drudge Report have regularly used AP stories. Now, they must have permission.  This of course protects AP’s customer base which also received a discount for subscription rates to its wire service.  With the newspaper industry reeling from advertising declines and with more papers folding, AP is taking its stand now to protect its intellectual property. 

While the AP can threaten to sue major internet outlets that refuse to obtain permission, how will it control the blogosphere?  Thousands of bloggers can at any given time, repurpose a news story that appears on an AP approved web site and post it to their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Digg or any other social media outlet.

From a business standpoint, the decision by AP makes sense.  However, the online universe is a wire service in its own right, and whether a story carries an AP byline is fast becoming irrelevant.  AP’s great power was its massive reach to its customer base across the country.  As this customer base dies off, will AP’s power be on the wane as well?

 

Tom Cosentino

 

 

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