Associated Press declares war over misuse of content online
NEW YORK - Associated Press is moving to protect news content from misappropriation online with a series of initiatives including taking legal and legislative action against websites that use its content without paying for it.
As part of the initiative, AP will develop a system to track content distributed online to determine if it is being legally used.
The news network is concerned about so-called content scraping by a variety of news forums on the web, including major search engines like Google and news aggregators like the Drudge Report, as well as smaller sites that sometimes reproduce articles whole, and companies that sell packaged news feeds.
News aggregators and search companies have long asserted that using small pieces of articles, usually headlines and small excerpts, is allowed under the legal doctrine of "fair use".
Dean Singleton, AP chairman, said at the AP annual meeting that the news cooperative would work with portals and other partners who properly license content - and would pursue legal and legislative actions against those who don't.
He said: "We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories. We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more."
AP said its initiative would also include the development of new search pages that point users to the latest and most authoritative sources of breaking news.
The firm did not release further details but said more information would be released in the coming weeks and months.
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