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Google Reveals Payment Deal with AP 59

mytrip writes to mention a ZDNet article concerning a deal Google has struck with the Associated Press. The search company has ended a dispute between the two organizations by agreeing to pay for the articles and content it delivers via its Google News service. From the article: "Financial terms were not disclosed. Consequently, it's unclear whether the deal involves a flat fee or paying AP according to traffic statistics. On the surface, paying the Associated Press seems to conflict with the stance Google has traditionally taken regarding its Google News service. Because Google News is an aggregator, the company has argued, Google is not obliged to reimburse news outlets for linking to their content. But Wednesday's announcement said the AP content will be the foundation for a new product that will merely complement Google News. Thus Google maintains that the deal supports its original stance on fair use."
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Google Reveals Payment Deal with AP

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  • Monopoly play (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:52AM (#15851708)
    Anybody else thinking of running a news aggrigator will eventually have to lay out the cash. This is how capitalism works, you take something availiable to everybody and put a fence around it. In the case of computing, the fence is simply a barrier to entry, see also software patents.
    • Re:Monopoly play (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amrust ( 686727 )
      I myself have never understood why news sites wouldn't want a popular aggregator like Google News pointing visitors to their news articles. Some of said articles would likely never have been viewed in the first place by some readers, had it not been for an aggregator. They appear to be cutting off their arm to spite their finger.
      • by Fishead ( 658061 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:14AM (#15852252)
        He he he, exactly.

        I wonder how this will play out? My theory:

        1) AP forces Google to sign a contract based on traffic
        2) Google puts AP articles last.
        3) AP traffic drops to 3%.
        4) AP crawls back to google and apologises.
        5) ???
        6) Profit.
      • I bet they actually like getting linked, but they see it as something that they might be able to extract money from. Why get only free advertizing when you could get google to pay you for it? It's actually a pretty popular business plan. Like the telcos and net neutrality. Why get only free content that makes my service actually worth having when I can get google to pay for it? new patented business model: get something for free from google, then force them to pay me for it.
      • Re:Monopoly play (Score:3, Insightful)

        by morcego ( 260031 ) *

        I myself have never understood why news sites wouldn't want a popular aggregator like Google News pointing visitors to their news articles.

        Because then you will only access their sites when there is an article that interests you, and you will go directly to the article, missing all the ads/offers/surveys (etc) on the rest of the site.

        Take Slashdot, for example. I can't remember the last time I visited its main page. I simply look the the RSS Feed to see if there is something interesting. Same for NYT and ma

        • Excellent point. And I'm quite sure that's their line of thinking.

          In way of explanation, here's mine...

          X >> Y


          X = # People viewing story deeplinked via news aggregator
          Y = # People who randomly found said website, and navigated to page manually.

          I may be completely wrong in my base assumption, though.
        • It should be trivial to let the google newsbot spider the actual news, but to redirect live visitors referred from through the usual craptastic ads and registration pages. I fail to see where the difficulty is, here. I suspect the agreement is about something else entirely.
    • Re:Monopoly play (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aquaepulse ( 990849 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:29AM (#15851785)
      I'm not sure that's really a fair analogy. The AP is actively creating content that Google and others simply regurgitate, they are not trying to replicate the work of the AP. That is, the AP is not trying to stop Google from hiring reporters and setting up its own wire service. Unlike software patents which seek to prevent any party from examing the patented technology and then reimplementing it. Truly more despicable.
    • AP arent 'putting a fence' around anything, the 'news' still exists in a format available to anyone willing to experience it. AP simply add their own value to their interpretation of events and sell that, theres nothing stopping you from getting that same news from other sources or straight from the original source.

    • This is how capitalism works, you take something availiable to everybody and put a fence around it.

      Yeah, I much prefer how news is handled in a communist system. They don't put a fence around it, they just shoot the messenger, or put him in prison for the rest of his life.
      • Re:Monopoly play (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordLucless ( 582312 )
        You do know that disliking capitalism does not necessarily mean you endorse communism, yes?
        • Re:Monopoly play (Score:3, Interesting)

          I think it is always important to remind people of the tried-and-true *alternatives* to capitalism. These boards are highly critical of capitalism, and I agree it has its share of "warts", but, as Churchill so eloquently said:

          "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

          Choose your poison.
          • The point is that there is a vast middle ground between communism, in which a tiny cabal of government officials make economic decisions for everybody, and abstractions such as "the people" are idolized while real people are screwed; and the current form of hypercapitalism, in which a tiny cabal of corporate officials make economic decisions for everybody, and abstractions such as "intellectual property" are idolized while real property accumulates in the hands of oligarchs. False dichotomies such as those
            • And my point is ... as bad as capitalism is, communism is much worse. Sure, there are shades of gray between those two extremes (unfettered property rights versus no property rights [the state owns everything]), but the OP was not being subtle in his/her criticism of capitalism. The comment was meant to reflect negatively on capitalism in general (whatever socialistic flavor one practices) because it criticized the notion of property rights, the fundamental underpinning of any capitalistic system.
            • hypercapitalism

              Hypercapitalism? What fucking color is the sky in *your* world? The current system of economic mismanagement, in case you haven't noticed, is firmly rooted in corporate oligarchy backed, supported, and enforced by bought-and-paid-for government legislation and police power. This sure as shit isn't capitalism, by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Re:Monopoly play (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, I much prefer how news is handled in a communist system. They don't put a fence around it, they just shoot the messenger, or put him in prison for the rest of his life.

        What you're describing is not a direct consequence of an economic system, try...

        Yeah, I much prefer how news is handled in a totalitarian regime. They don't put a fence around it, they just shoot the messenger, or put him in prison for the rest of his life.

        The problem is that this has absolutely nothing to do with what the OP said, thu

        • Typical. Ad hominem attacks. Why am I not surprised that when I say something bad about communism around here I am immediately called disparaging names.

          For the record, Communism is an economic system, as is Capitalism. The comment was about how Capitalism works, specifically as it applies to the dissemination of the news. My comment merely pointed out how every country that uses communism as its economic system uses a different, much less desirable technique, for distributing news. True, those countries
          • Typical. Ad hominem attacks. Why am I not surprised that when I say something bad about communism around here I am immediately called disparaging names.

            People who have a fetish or an axe to grind about something like to wander off topic and try to turn every conversation into one about whatever it is they are obsessed with. This is bad enough even when they know what they are talking about.

            When they hijack worthwhile threads in order to parrot the same nonsensical stereotype-driven propaganda we can already
            • When they hijack worthwhile threads in order to parrot the same nonsensical stereotype-driven propaganda

              I know just what you mean. That is why I had to say something to him. Thanks for backing me up, though. Appreciate it.
    • Re:Monopoly play (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stubear ( 130454 )
      If Google is allowed to cal litself a news aggregator and link freely to AP articles, then why shouldn't the NYT or the Washington Post be able to do the same? You don't think they write all their own stories do you? Many news agencies utilize AP stories because the AP has people around the world already in place and who write stories about events in their locales. Google got caught with its pants down and tried to play the "shiny new intarweb" card and the AP didn't blink. If you want to utilize AP sto
      • Yeah, there's a major difference. The NYT and Washington Post reproduce entire articles, Google reproduces a short blurb and then directs people to the original news article. How can you not tell the difference? Since when is "freely linking" copyright infringement? Where in the copyright act does it make a hyperlink an infringement of copyright? Furthermore, would a short 2 or 3 sentence blurb that is designed to get people to view the original news story (and thus click on their ads) not fall under the do
      • If you want to utilize AP stories you have to pay for their service, period. There's nothing wrong or nefarious about this practice whatsoever.

        I agree with your wiewpoint, completely, but there is an alternative to 'paying' for the AP, and that is: to 'contribute.'

        Even a small-town paper can take advantage of AP's wide web (oops, bad word, sort of) of correspondents, by submitting their own stories of local news. When AP sees there is quality in the writing, or any bonafide utility to the stories, the s

  • AP are scared (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    the AP has been making a push for modernization, and now estimates that 20 percent of its revenue comes from online sources.

    Sounds like AP are scared of Google competing with them. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
    • Re:AP are scared (Score:3, Informative)

      A minor correction [] concerning the 20% figure (revenue of AP from online content) - BusinessWeek say it should be 14%.
    • Re:AP are scared (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NewsWatcher ( 450241 )
      AP are scared of Google "competing" with them? When Google hires thousands of journalists to write news for their site then they are competing with AP. What they are doing is not competition. Google is effectively the Napster of news. They take news from all over the world and let people get free access to it.
      That is fine for sites that offer free news, but AP doesn't. If you think what Google is doing is A-OK, try to imagine what it will be like when one of the world's largest news agencies goes under. Thi
      • What you just said is utter bullshit, plain and simple. Google News only links to news that is available for free online in the first place, and furthermore, it links to the original news article, not a Google copy. Most news sites operate based on advertising income, and under the assumption that the ads will make it profitable for a news site to show those stories. Google News drives people to those news sites, increasing advertising revenue.

        Or is it your position that hyperlinks are illegal? How about Go
  • by Atario ( 673917 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:56AM (#15851716) Homepage
    Sounds like they'll actually be delivering whole AP articles, rather than snippets with links. Which might mean people wouldn't have to go to regular newspaper/TV-news sites to get those AP articles they all regurgitate.

    We may soon find out just how much those sites were "hurt" by being linked from Google News, once they lose that sweet AP article traffic...
    • I agree - even the summary says that Google is planning on a new service with AP stories.

      Many people will say that this drifts away from Google's main mission [] because it doesn't "send people off" to other websites, which is the core of web searching.

      However, this should make AP articles (and maybe Reuters + others later?) faster loading, ad-less, and centralized. Plus, it's not the first time Google has helped by not "sending people off": they've done it to Usenet, blogs, maps, and all their new conte
      • You're right, but the articles probably won't be ad-less. Google's real mission is advertising, so they'll use the exact same text ad infrastructure as adsense, adwords, etc.

        It'll be interesting to see how news sites react. The value of AP content to them will presumably go down, as it will no longer be attracting Google clicks. (At least, I hope Google News will stop returning 200 identical hits that link to the exact same syndicated story....)

        Some might also look to strike similar deals with Google, thoug
    • Google might finally be turning into Yahoo. With regard to your title, Google used to believe in exactly the reverse.
  • Small clarification (Score:5, Informative)

    by nascarguy27 ( 984493 ) <nascarguy27@gmai ... m minus math_god> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:13AM (#15851756)
    The AP-Google deal is for a future news product not the current news content that is used in the current Google product. A reuters article [] explains. From the Reuters article, "'It's a licensing agreement that lets us use original AP content in new ways than we have used in the past for Google News,' Google spokeswoman Sonya Boralv said."
    • Nice (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Google makes a deal with AP, and you link to Reuters for the scoop. Classic.
    • Well....

      Logically they have to say that it's for "something else".

      If they (admit that they) are just paying to link, then they've set a precedent that would mean that they would have to pay AFP, Reuters, and every other new organization.
    • The AP-Google deal is for a future news product
      Wow, so AP and Google discovered that, when combined, they can look into the future!
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not aware of any suit from AP... A*F*P is suing google... Which means google is paying another news agency for special features, not just regular news.
    • Go me for reading a subtext in the article that wasn't even there... *cough*
      *shifty eyes* What I REALLY meant was...

      Isn't it funny that Google's paying one news agency for full news articles, whilst several other newspapers have tried to sue google for linking to their stuff with tiny excerpts. Who do you think is getting the short end of the stick here?
      • Re:AFP not AP? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by carpeweb ( 949895 )
        ... several other newspapers have tried to sue google for linking to their stuff with tiny excerpts.

        I've never understood the "deep linking" controversy or -- more to the point -- how linkees had any cause to object. But I guess at least here the issue is "tiny excerpts". How tiny? Full text would clearly be a copyright violation. So, how tiny does an excerpt have to be in order to qualify as fair use? At least that's a reasonable basis for dispute, as opposed to linking itself.

        It seems to me tha
  • by runlevel 5 ( 977409 ) <> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:40AM (#15851962)
    From what I saw on the Associated Press's website (, they have no free access to their news content. I would guess that Google's aggregator has been getting its AP - and all other - content from the AP's customers, such as the New York Times and other large newspapers. The good thing about pulling from several of these sources is that a variety of sides to one issue show up in Google News. I'm worried that Google's new deal with the AP will lead to a direct pipe for AP articles in whatever the new product is. Every source has its biasses and a domination of AP content could lead to a deterioration of the level view I'm used to getting by seeing a number of articles on the same subject throgh Google news.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:11AM (#15852042)
    Google stopped indexing AFP content from the past agreement. I wonder how well that worked out for AFP's numbers? My guess is they took a nosedive, leading to this more of a compromise deal with AP.

    If you think about it, google could wipe out just tons of online news sites if they wanted to. Podunk and east buggywhip little news paper sites can afford to pull wire feeds. Google could do the same and just *drop* any places that are just redundant coverage of the same story once they have paid for it. They get copy and images from the feeds, so no real reason to index all those other places. Pull up any google news article, take a gander at the "all xxx-number related" links. Looks like around 99% identical to me. For that matter, they could hire freelancers by the droves around the planet and give a lot of the old established press services a thorough scare. Be a reporter, actually get looked at on the net with some numbers, stick with the old school news services, be limited to dead trees print if lucky. I bet a lot of the current freelancers that the wire news feeds use would jump ship quickly given that choice.
  • Remove duplicates? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LS ( 57954 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:23AM (#15852075) Homepage
    I don't know if they could do this without inking the deal, but quite often the majority of news stories in a single entry on Google News are copies of the same AP news wire article. Perhaps this will give Google an opportunity to mark articles as the same, or somehow reduce clutter.
  • by lwu ( 913743 )
    Then it implies that Google can run AdSense ads along side AP stories. More ad revenues!
  • Would be great if i could make an deal with google too for my own articles ^^ i would write all day and night =)
  • If the AP wants money, Google should just drop them from their index. Others would rush into the void with ad or other means of supported sites. I'm betting that Google is more powerful than the AP since Google is the new world emerging, while AP represents the old world fading.
    • So the new world order is "proof by intimidation"? Throwing one's marketshare around to get whatever one wants sounds pretty evil to me.

      The AP is one of the few worldwide organizations that is actually in the business of news gathering. Google News is basically a big AP/Reuters gateway considering how all the big stories are 90% wire reports. I'm glad to hear that Google is actually paying to license some of the content they shovel at you.
      • You mean the content they push you off their own website to see?

        I've asked this a couple of times now. Could someone please point out specifically which section of the copyright act Google is not in compliance with by linking to other peoples' articles?

        And could you all please quit with this evil crap? Calling any company evil makes you sound like a paranoid nutcase.

  • just exclude ***themselves*** from being spidered / searched / archived / cached? Why, robots.txt exists for these uses. See .py?topic=8843 []



    for further Google specific examples.

    Or, can someone explain to me what I am missing from their rationale?

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