Why the Associated Press is doomed to become the media equivalent of a petrified T-rex femur.

Re: Associated Press claims to have discovered magic anti-news-copying beans – Boing Boing.

The Associated Press (AP)  has become a juggernaut of news gathering. there was a time when they had competition: Remember UPI? Right. No one does.

The AP is big because it is still what its title says it is: an association of press (maybe we should change that to “news” instead of “press”? Few TV stations have a need for several hundred gross tons of paper rolls any longer).

It gets its content from subscribers; subscribers get their content from the AP. It’s a great NON-PROFIT system. Yes, the last time I checked, the AP is actually a NON-PROFIT organization, serving its members, not the other way around. Directly from its website:

AP operates as a not-for-profit cooperative with more than 4,000 employees working in more than 240 worldwide bureaus. AP is owned by its 1,500 U.S. daily newspaper members.

So now the AP is freaked out that its content is being skimmed by other users not “associated” with the “press:” bloggers and the like. Not being “associated” with AP means you’re not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to rebroadcast or retransmit its content.

Yes, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

So let me get this straight: A non-profit news organization that is owned by its members who pay to distribute its content is now mad that other people are getting the content from said members and distributing it in their own ways (commenting, excerpting, fair-use stuff) so they want to make everyone pay in incremental amounts to use said content.

Right.

Good luck with the genie. She doesn’t like to go back in the bottle.

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1 comment so far

  1. pobept on

    Boing Boing ma a$$. They should consult the entertainment industry how long it takes the geeks to develop Boing Boing defeating technology!


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