Saturday, June 14, 2008

Boycott AP

By Libby Spencer

The legacy media is always handwringing over its imminent demise and just can't understand what happened to their lock on the information chain. Well, idiotic vendettas like this one is one reason. The AP is harassing the Drudge Retort, for alleged fair use infringement. I'm no lawyer, but looking at the posts they're complaining about, it doesn't look like a violation to me.

Jeff Jarvis explains the irony.

This complaint comes from an organization that leaches off original reporting and kills links and credit to the source of that journalism. Yes, it has a right to reproduce reporting from member news organizations. But as I point out here, the AP is hurting original reporting by not crediting and linking to the journalism at its source. We should be operating under an ethic of the link to original reporting; this is an ethic that the AP systematically violates.

What would be better for journalism would be for aggregators — Daylife (where I am a partner), Inform, Google News, Pro Publica — to link directly to original reporting without rewriting it through its mill. That is what is happening in Ohio, where newspapers are now sharing original stories. If the AP doesn’t watch out, that is what could happen everywhere.

Jeff goes on to note that it isn't difficult to link to the original source material that AP routinely fails to credit and furthermore, the original has better reporting.

I've often thought the legacy media is obviously run by people who don't understand the internets. The AP's lunacy here would seem to prove the point. Linking is good. It builds traffic and if we all get on board with the boycott, I think they'll soon figure out that they need a little more fairness in their 'fair use policy' or they'll find their overpriced product has become obsolete.

Update: It's growing already. Here's another thing the legacy media doesn't understand about Blogtopia (y!sctp). It's nimble and when pressed can organize action in mere hours. Already, the AP boycott has an official home, the UnAssociated Press.

Mosey on over to show your support and sign the petition and of course, (speaking for myself only) please join the boycott. Use alternative sources such as Agence France-Press, Reuters, McClatchy, or IPS for your blogger news and stop driving traffic to AP!

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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