In a move to ensure it’s place next to the buggy whip in the annals of history, the AP has come up with a new copyright protection system that will try to limit the evil bloggers and pirates from “stealing” their content. It appears that the AP wants to become the RIAA of Internet news by policing who is using their materials and stealing their precious content. You see, the morons at the AP want to actually stop people from linking back to their articles. Sounds like a good business model.
The AP wants to use a DRM (Digital Right Management) tool to stop bloggers and Google News from copy and pasting and linking to their articles, ensuring that no one will ever read them. The system works by trying to put all their content into a digital container to stop Google and others from accessing their precious content. As most of you know these DRMs have been so very successful in stopping music and video piracy, so the AP thought, hey, the RIAA and MPAA are totally irrelevant and clueless, let’s join them. How much traffic does the AP think they will generate if Google News doesn’t link their awesomely awesome content? The only problem with these DRM protection sources is that there are easy ways around it, such as revealing the page source code and taking screen shots. Also, it’s not like the AP is the only news source out there. Some how Reuters is able to provide lots and lots of news content and they’ve never threatened to block content or sue their users for stealing their content.
The bigger point here seems to be, like the rest of the legacy media, the AP is attempting to perpetuate a system that is dying. They are desperately clinging to a business model that simply makes little sense any longer. If the AP were really smart they would implement a completely different kind of monetizing system. Instead of charging bloggers $3.50 per word, charge a minimal fee, say $20 bucks a month, to give blogs the rights to simply repost full articles on their sites. Or, they could charge blogs .50 cents per story to repost the entire article on their site. I’d happily pay this amount and never “steal” their content again. Think of the thousands of blogs around the Interwebs that would also fork over such minimal amounts and how much the AP could make off micro-payments. This is a business model that would actually succeed. Instead, the AP will continue to cling to their old system of protecting their oh-so-awesome content that is churned out by monkey’s somewhere in New York or DC. Beware the vaunted AP copyright protection system could get you too!