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AP to Charge Members to Post Content Online 171

Posted by Zonk
from the sing-for-your-supper dept.
oboreruhito writes "The Associated Press has announced that, effective Jan. 1 2006, it 'will begin charging newspapers and broadcasters to post its stories, photos and other content online.' The article says online portals that are already subscribed to an online service won't be affected; the change is that newspapers and broadcasters, which have had the privilege of posting online at no extra charge over their usual licensing fees for print or TV, now have to pay extra. How will this affect sites like Google News and Fark?"
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AP to Charge Members to Post Content Online

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  • Fark? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@@@icebalm...com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:48PM (#12283777)
    Why would it affect fark? They just link to em...

    OMG F1R57 P057!
    • Re:Fark? (Score:3, Funny)

      by timtwobuck (833954)
      Wellll, because what if all these stories are no longer posted because there was a fee required?

      Fark, Google and the like wouldn't have much news to link to if the news was never posted...

      I personally don't really enjoy about:blank
    • Exactly. Some news source will put AP stories online; it's not as if the stories will disappear completely. Fark can just link to the well-heeled sources which get the license from AP to make the stories available.
    • Re:Fark? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Patik (584959)
      OMG F1R57 P057!
      Since we're talking about Fark, that should be OMG B00B13S!
    • It would be interesting if they stopped carrying the items they now have to pay for.

      In fact, they could start some sort of P2P news sharing for stories, which would get around this proprietary news source. I can see the bean counters at the newspapers wanting to do something to cut costs, especially if the fee structure is predatory.

      So corporate P2P news sharing actually sounds like the beginning of a decent business plan.

    • Why would it affect fark? They just link to em...

      Maybe the TF'ers would see few less resubmissions of the same story?

    • Interrogative, What THE F..K?

      That was a pretty neat:

      "OMG F1R57 P057!"

      arrangement of "first post" claim by the parent poster.

      As for FARK, IFF they have to pay, they'll probably be yelling, "INT WTFARK"?

      (And, API might be thinking: "These FARKERS are going to PAY! if they don't PAY...")
      (hehehheh, laugh)
  • Google and Fark? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justforaday (560408) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:50PM (#12283823)
    How will this affect sites like Google News and Fark?

    My guess is not much at all. It's the sites that Google and Fark link to that will need to pay the AP. If the number of AP newswire sites drops, it will most likely be made up for by homebrewed stories citing the AP newsfeed as a source.
    • If people refuse to pay AP and find other sources for news, it will mean that AP will be forced to change its online pricing model.

      However, it could also mean that those who pay AP pass these along to the consumer via Google News and Fark, which could lead to BugMeNot getting slashdotted every time a news story breaks.
      • You seem to be confusing who the AP's customers are. It's the newspapers and broadcasters that then pass that information along to the consumer. It's the middlemen that are being affected, not the end-user (well, not directly at least). I seriously doubt you'll find the BaltimoreSun or NewYorkTimes as a user in bugmenot's database...
        • If AP charges newspapers and so on for posting its content online, they will pass that cost on to the consumers.

          However, most people get their news from Fark, Slashdot, Google News, Yahoo News, and other news congregation sites. With linking, users of those sites would have to pay to read the article. Hence, the newspapers will pass the cost to consumers via Google and Fark. Some might use an ad-based model, but most will use a subscription model.

          And if these newspapers use a yearly subscription model, yo
          • However, most people get their news from Fark, Slashdot, Google News, Yahoo News, and other news congregation sites. With linking, users of those sites would have to pay to read the article. Hence, the newspapers will pass the cost to consumers via Google and Fark. Some might use an ad-based model, but most will use a subscription model.

            So people will just link to the CNN or FoxNews version instead of some podunk newspaper in Iowa that happened to cut and paste the AP article online. The New York Times

        • You don't need bugmenot to read the AP wire. the usernames/passwords are well known and easy to figure out... Not that I would do anything like that.
    • You kidding? More room for Boobies links (or Weiners if you are into those...)
    • Don't Despair! (Score:3, Informative)

      by ImaLamer (260199)
      There is always Wikinews [wikinews.org], a public domain news source.
    • Re:Google and Fark? (Score:5, Informative)

      by nacturation (646836) <nacturation.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:41PM (#12284390) Journal
      This is a non-story. These two paragraphs FTA sum it up well:
      About 300 commercial Web sites, including popular destinations such as Yahoo, AOL and MSN, already have been buying AP content, said Jane Seagrave, the news cooperative's director of new media markets.

      But price increases are often a prickly issue for the AP because it's a not-for-profit cooperative that is owned by its customers _ the traditional media that form its membership.
      So it's like the RIAA charging member bands a bit more to allow websites to post sound clips. What's the big deal here? Hundreds of websites already pay to have it online. All this does is end the free ride for traditional print publications to stick it on their site as well.
  • hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:50PM (#12283825)
    Google might be affected a little, but anyone that is paying the AP to carry the story will still have it posted, and google (or fark) could get to it that way.

    Depending on how much they are charging, though it might force other sites to start charging online subscruption fees, as a large amount of free news will not be there anymore...
  • Google News hotlinks there images from the stories in question... so I'd guess that there is no issue, since they are not really a news site, just a link to other news sites, a news site search engine basically.
  • Fark! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:51PM (#12283837) Homepage Journal
    How will this affect sites like Google News and Fark?"

    More boobies links!
    Thanks, AP! : )
  • by glenrm (640773)
    One of the things I like about Google news is they don't draw a line between AP/NYT/ and other online content like slashdot or inquirer.net don't see how this would effect them at all.
  • well, Google will simply not take AP feed directly, but will continue with other feeds - who in turn would have used paid AP feed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    By MICHAEL LIEDTKE
    Associated Press


    Just think. In the future, it would have cost the Sun Sentinal to print this "story" stating that the AP will be charging to post their stories...
  • by stonedonkey (416096) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:54PM (#12283878)
    It just links to them. Same with Google News. Google posts a blurb, but its length is short enough to avoid copyright infringement (i.e., less than 100 words). The images in Google News link directly back to the domain where the story was posted. Sounds like the AP is asking everyone to prioritize Rueters over them, inadvertently. It also sounds like the AP is starting to recognize the Internet as a very influential source of information. It's not nearly ubiquitous as radio and TV, but it reaches a powerful demographic.
    • All this will mean is that there will be fewer sources to link to. FARK and Google and other sites that post news links will only be able to link to providers who pay the AP fee, like Yahoo! (which already pays AP, Reuters and other license fees and won't be otherwise affected by this announcement). Instead of seeing "and 3,257 related" on Google News, you'll just see "and 2 related".

      Does Google News index Yahoo! news stories? I can't remember if I've ever seen a Yahoo! news link on Google News. I wonder i
    • Sounds like the AP is asking everyone to prioritize Rueters over them, inadvertently.

      That is probably for the best: AP articles read as if they were written by, and for, illiterates; much like Slashdot.

    • Assuming that there are some online licensees for AP content, Google News will cite them. I'd actually prefer that Reuters quit letting sites post their content locally; it annoys me to see "Headline" and 225 copies of the same Reuters text. Thanks, I can read Reuters articles via the link to reuters.com; if I choose Ha'aretz as my reference for a story, I'd like a Israeli perspective, not a Reuters story that an Israeli paper decided to license. Of course, if I'm reading Ha'aretz, I'd like to have a blurb
  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:56PM (#12283903) Journal
    Not so sure about Google and Fark which are purely online, but it seems logical that traditional newspapers will pass on the cost to their print subscribers.
    • I agree. The days of free online subscriptions are most likely over after this is implemented.
    • traditional newspapers are on their way out, at least national ones. local papers will have their place for some time yet, at least one more generation. It makes a lot more sense, if you must have a paper copy, to laser print the articles you actually want on a daily basis. To me, it seems most likely that traditional newspapers will pass on.
    • Not so sure about Google and Fark which are purely online, but it seems logical that traditional newspapers will pass on the cost to their print subscribers.

      It does seem logical, until you realize that most of a newspaper's revenue comes from advertising, not subscriptions. This extra cost will likely have much more effect on the cost of their advertisements than the cost of their subscriptions.
    • Possibly. Personally I think this can unintentionally be a good thing...with news feeds becoming more expensive, it may tip the scales in favour of more local reporting, or more 'in house' journalists. Alot of newspapers now have a skeleton journalist pool and rely heavily upon newsfeeds for the bulk of their content. Unfortunately those feeds are aggregators...you won't get investigative reporting similar to Watergate, or Iran-Contra, or the Liberal sponsorship scandal.
  • Still, this has been a long time in coming. Popular sites like drudge/google news linking pictures from the AP wires, AFP, and other sources are:
    #1: Not liscencing the content, which is exactly what the AP's et alls standard business practice is,
    #2: Actually costing money due to bandwidth.

    I don't think it's going to be long untill the major wires actually close their content to subscribers only. It would be a sad day for me, as I love getting my news hot off the wire, but I can understand why the AP/Reuters/AFP/UPI would do it.
    • Bzzt, wrong answer.

      In the case of Google News,

      1. It should qualify as fair use, given that it is merely a fuzzy thumbnail... otherwise Google Images would have been destroyed by lawsuits long ago.

      2. They aren't using AP's bandwidth, since the thumbnails are hosted on google's servers.
    • Most online newspapers, I think, will not close off their content... it would kill their business. Sure, some of them already charge for access (WSJ, NYT, etc.) but most of them make money by posting news stories for free, and having people see the ads on the side of the page. These sites will be willing to pay a little premium to get access to news articles, since they more than recover these costs via ads.

      With things like Google News out there, the consumer will tend to read the online news sources that
    • I wouldnt be so dire.

      First off, the blurbs and images are clearly fair use. Not to mention it drives traffic to articles listed at the "top" of each google news section. Its like being slashdotted x1000.

      It actually doesnt cost the newspapers bandwidth. Google resizes and hosts its news images.

      Lastly, its going to be the kiss of death for AP, Reuters, online newspapers, etc if they went all RIAA on everyone. People will just shift to competitors.
      • Upon checking Google news, I find you and other posters are indeed correct, the images are hosted by google news.

        But drudge, and many other sites, leech bandwidth the organizations hosting the images.

        In the case of newspapers, you can write that off because it will drive eyeballs to your ads.

        In the case of the wires, they're gaining nothing. Their business model is to sell organizations access to their content. People are increasingly getting their news online, and they aren't paying for the content. B
      • Lastly, its going to be the kiss of death for AP, Reuters, online newspapers, etc if they went all RIAA on everyone. People will just shift to competitors.

        Competitors? What competitors? The AP alone employs 3,700 people and feeds stories to 15,000 print and broadcast subscribers world-wide.

    • While sites like drudge might switch, I don't think many newspapers would stop using stories from AP just because they have to pay extra to put them online. The larger ones will just pay the license fee and continue. For the smaller ones this will likely be the final straw that makes them realise that their online presence isn't making any money anyway. This will cause them to scale back to just posting local, self-written news or can their website altogether.

      And honestly I think that is inevitable. There
    • AP is simply moving to a model that Reuters has used for decades.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:57PM (#12283911)
    > How will this affect sites like Google News and Fark?"

    Your dog will want 1 of 1,390,000 steaks?

  • by shashark (836922) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:58PM (#12283925)
    "About 300 commercial Web sites, including popular destinations such as Yahoo, AOL and MSN, already have been buying AP content, said Jane Seagrave, the news cooperative's director of new media markets."

    Most of the commercial web-sites are already buying content. It'll be mostly small-time portals and bloggers who'll be really affected. Think of all the blogs cross-posting APs content.

    Also, bloggers who post APs content on there websites might be discouraged to do that henceforth. Imagine, if bloggers are not allowed to link content to AP/reuters or other authentic news sources -- blogging might suffer.

    Hell, even slashdot carries AP articles. Will Slashdot be affected ??
    --
    All your content are belong to us.
    • Will it affect you if /. were affected?

      And what would the effect be if you were affected?

      Sorry, dumb joke.

    • I know several lawsuits have been thrown around for linking to content, but have any of them actually succeeded?

      Linking and quoting someone elses work that is published without requiring a licence to be agreed to are fair use.

      I can still link to NYT even though I have to be a member to see the article, so what difference will this make to bloggers?
    • As a blogger I am horrified when I see someone post the full text of an AP story on their site. Quoteing is one thing, but putting the entire article in a blog post is blatent plagirism. On the same note I'm bothered by people who submit Slashdot summaries with the same exact language of the AP/Cnet/Tom's Hardware story they are submitting.

      Then again, there is Wikinews [wikinews.org], where "All content of the Wikinews Beta is in the public domain."
      • As a blogger I am horrified when I see someone post the full text of an AP story on their site.

        As a computer engineer, I am horrified whenever I see someone mindlessly cling to outdated and unrealistic ideas about information. The internet makes copying information effectively a zero cost operation, it is what the internet was designed to do. So stop fighting it, accept and embrace it and the new business models it makes possible.

        Quoteing is one thing, but putting the entire article in a blog post is
        • Okay, very right on the second point...

          I must argue however that ease of cut and paste and the low entry into a copy and paste operation isn't a reason to rip off AP or any other content producers.

          The Internet wasn't designed to copy works without limit - it was designed for entirely different purposes. In fact, I'd argue that the Internet makes copying not needed as redundancy should allow my originals to be accessed from any location.
          • Well unless you are concerned that either the site might take it down, or your audiance is to lazy to actually break the flow and hyperlink away.
          • The Internet wasn't designed to copy works without limit

            That is not what I said, I said it makes copying an almost zero cost operation. From that basis, a number of "new" ideas naturally follow, including that it is natural to make a copy if doing so increases convenience.

            In fact, I'd argue that the Internet makes copying not needed as redundancy should allow my originals to be accessed from any location.

            Each time it is accessed, it is copied. Just because some copies are more permanent than others
            • So copying your Slashdot posts, your website and everything else and putting on a site full of ads is okay with you? I can just rape you for content because proxy servers cache a copy?
              • Yes, absolutely ok because:

                1) You will pay for the bandwidth
                2) Anyone else can do the same, thus reducing the price "paid" (either via adverts or a subscription service) for the DISTRIBUTION to near marginal cost

                I know it is hard for people to wrap their head around the concept but distribution and creation are two entirely seperate kinds of work - the current copyright cartel grew to power by conflating the two which was easy to do when every "virtual" copy required a corresponding physical copy with a n
                • No, I get that distribution and creation are two different things.

                  However, the Internet gives - not removes - my power as a creator to control *who* distributes. I can blacklist certain users, domains, IP ranges and user agents. It's all about control.

                  No matter, create your own data. Don't rely on AP for your news!
                  • However, the Internet gives - not removes - my power as a creator to control *who* distributes. I can blacklist certain users, domains, IP ranges and user agents. It's all about control.

                    No, it does not give you any more control than you have in the real world. All those mechanisms you list are about limiting access to your ORIGINAL, but have zero effect on copies. Once someone has a copy in their posession none of those mechanisms means squat. If they did, we would not even be having this dicussion bec
  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:59PM (#12283944) Homepage Journal
    How does this affect me?
  • by lysander (31017) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:02PM (#12283971)
    How will this affect sites like Google News and Fark?

    Why do slashdot articles end with inane questions that obviously aren't interesting or useful? They just drive discussion away from actual article. Instead, we have a whole page of people agreeing that this almost has almost no impact on Google or Fark.

    (Yeah, yeah, offtopic.)

  • Sites like google news just provides link to the orignal site. This is FREE advertisment for the orignal sites. But some of these News sites like AP are so ignorant that they dont realize the value of this free advertisment. Their loss.

    Also while aggregating news for Newster.net [newster.net] I realised that many news sites insert advertisment in their RSS feed. Now this is the stupidest thing that a publisher can do. Newster publishes the headlines and links it back to the orignal site. I thought that was FREE advt en

    • Sites like google news just provides link to the orignal site. This is FREE advertisment for the orignal sites.

      • Google News doesn't just link to the sites, it uses part of the information on their main page.
      • Is that covered by fair use? IANAL.
      • It is free advertisement to news sites? Well, Google could collect some fees from them (it's not like they were starving) to recover their AP fees.
      • Google itself is a wee bit bigger than most news sites that license AP material. Paying some fees to AP or AFP won't
      • Is that covered by fair use? IANAL.

        IANAL, either; however, I was in charge of the course reserve collection for a university library for a while, and was charged with writing our copyright policy.

        There are no official rules for what constitues fair use. For printed materials (which AP articles are, I would say, even online) the rule of thumb that most people go by is ten percent of the total words of the printed work.
    • Strange that an advertisement post complains about advertisements...
    • You can't just hand-wave and apply some subjective label and presume the issue goes away. The content repurposing debate has just begun, and don't be surprised if by time it is over, linking and republishing the first paragraph (aka the summary) will be considered legally tantamount to publishing the content.
  • I can think of a few possible outcomes:

    1. Online newspaper sites become more inundated with ads. An annoyance that can be somewhat mitigated by Firefox+Adblock.

    2. Articles by independent and/or local writers will become more prominent.

    3. The AP gradually slides into irrelevance (from an influence and mindshare perspective at least), as newspapers reduce the number of AP stories posted online and other syndicated news agencies pick up the slack.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:11PM (#12284062)
    This has to do with letting newspapers, etc., use the feeds they get from AP for online press. The newspapers are paying for the premium of having breaking stories delivered in preformatted form so they can get them out with little work. They pay so they can their news on time so their readers can in turn get their news on time through them. All the article is stating is that the AP is instituting a pricing cchange for this service that they have been providing and that it will affect what existing customers are paying.
    Aggregators and bloggers link back to these sites but since they don't pay for an AP feed they have to wait for the news to be posted. Their situation has not changed as a result of AP's policy since they were never customers to begin.
  • Google/Fark (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Barking Dog (599515) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:11PM (#12284064) Homepage

    This decision won't affect Google and Fark at all, since they simply link to other sites that post the AP's content. It will affect Yahoo! News, since they do post original AP content.

    BTW, it's a PITA to use the AP's content. I used their feed to add headlines to the site for a TV station [kezi.com]. They can't just have an XML feed; noooo, they have to post XML-formatted articles to a usenet server, adding an extra layer of complexity. You have to fetch the most recent post from the headline group, parse it for the links to the articles, then fetch the articles, then parse them for links to the image content, then fetch those articles, then parse them for the image content, which has to then be watermarked with the AP logo (or labeled directly underneath the picture; running it through ImageMagick to add the watermark was easier). (And to make matters worse, I had to write the stuff to do this in Perl running on Windows.)

  • I think allot of "mainstream" news sites with go subscription only. On Local Paper site may go to a password protection schema, buy the daily paper the password goon fro 24 Hours, buy a yearly subscription get a 12 month password, or something like that. Who knows. I just think its puts a hamper on the freedom of information. I for one Like using Fark and Google News. I think sites like Fox News and CNN will still be free.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seems to me that all the talk about google is off topic.

    This has no effect on my ability to post a link to an AP story, say on Yahoo.com.

    What it does is target places like http://www.nj.com.

    This is the web site of the Newark Star Ledger. For years, this site has been taking stories off of the New Jersey state wire and posting the stories on line, without paying anything addionally to the AP.

    All this change means is if nj.com wants to continue posting state wire stories to the web site, it will have to p
    • I'm more worried. The paper I work for is a student daily, we also subscribe to the AP wire. Now, here's the thing - our website (to my lament) is shovelware. If we run an AP story, can we now place that on the web, or does this only count for direct AP feeds?
  • Does that mean they'll only charge slashdot once for dupes?
  • Same Ol' From AP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Trifthen (40989) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:28PM (#12284236) Homepage
    To be honest, this doesn't really surprise me. I work for a company that provides newspaper-centric ISP services, and we've fought with AP for years over feeds, images, you name it. We host many of their partners, and we reduce the overal bandwidth between us and AP by doing a single aggregate feed which is only enabled for genuine AP-carriers. Yet time after time, we've had to argue with AP over the article posting rights of their own customers.

    This is yet another kink they're throwing into the mix, as now we have to know which of the AP partners have actually paid for online publishing rights. This will likely irritate our programmers, and probably reduce the amount of our customers re-publishing AP data, but that's about it.

    Personally, I don't understand the point of publishing AP online if you're a local paper, anyway. Often this data isn't differentiated from the paper's own articles, and ends up getting archived as such. Many papers these days require registration or pay-access to their archives, which are now diluted with articles that have been replicated thousands of times over by newspapers all over the country.
  • New Slogan:) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:28PM (#12284241) Homepage Journal

    Maybe the AP will have explicit notifications in each story proudly proclaiming that

    This News was sponsored by Someone Who Can Afford to Bring it to You and Who Wants You to See This.

    [It's just about that way already anyway.]

  • by argoff (142580) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:48PM (#12284495)
    It will force news gathering and dissamation away from central media sources to a more distributed outlets that are harder to manipulate and have more direct accountability as a whole. It will also bring more individuality and integrity to the news process.

    I can't count how many times I've seen the same old garbage re-hashed by diferent reporters who didn't know a damn thing about the story other than what the AP report told them. Hell, why didn't they just cut out the middleman and let me read the AP story myself without all the spin and personal BS opinions.

    The truth is, what this is really about is the media industry living in a wet-dream that says "nobody should get reliable news free of charge, tracking, or advertizements" - well I hate to tell them this, but they can and they should ... and if the big media industry dies becasue of it, then that is their problem, not mine.
  • Does anyone know whether Yahoo pays AP for their photos off the wire? For years I've been using the "news photos" link from news.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] to see up-to-date photos. Do you think this free service will end now?
  • by surfcow (169572) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:03PM (#12284696) Homepage
    Reuters must be happy. It's about to gain a serious foot up on AP.

    What were they thinking?
  • But all the stories I come across (OK, a lot...) are the same, i.e. identical, all with the (AP) tag at the end. So what difference would it make if they disappeared to an extent? AP must be losing money H over F to try this stunt.
  • Cluetrain impact (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ka9dgx (72702) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:56PM (#12285320) Homepage Journal
    They'll go down in authority as less and less eyeballs see AP news stories. Given the short attention span of people, in 5 years nobody will have ever heard of AP, and mistake it for Access Point, or some other acronym.

    Market forces correct a lot of stupidity, and they'll correct this as well. I for one welcome our new more diverse media, which will result.

    --Mike--

  • Am I confussed? (Score:2, Informative)

    by kryptik_79 (238375)
    Unless I'm mistaken, this will not effect google and fark... "The article says online portals that are already subscribed to an online service won't be affected"

    Newspapers and broadcasters that currently liscense AP's material for their print/broadcast mediums will now have to pay an additional liscense fee to reproduce it within their online properties.

    I see nothing wrong with this

  • Ah, the days when I was a young news clerk, my hands black from changing the ribbon on those electromechanical wire-service teletypes which were then the primary source of news.

    5 bells signified a Bulletin, and 12 bells a Flash, defined in the AP stylebook as a story of overriding importance that can be told in four words or less. Needless to say, the sound of 12 bells would bring every other activity in the newsroom to a halt as everyone huddled around the teletype.

    Flashes occur very, very rarely.

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