I think the AP may just have fired the first volley in their own Waterloo (and maybe the MSM as we know it) with their recent policy fiasco. The AP will soon learn that, meh we don’t really need them. News is spreading around the web more freely and with NowPublic on the scene even reporting is getting hyper-local again.
In sifting through the deluge of posts on this I really liked Jeff Jarvis’ statement:
In Saul Hansell’s NY Times report on the AP affair, they only dig themselves deeper, saying they don’t want us to quote their stories but to summarize them. That, you see, is the AP way: the mill. That is not our way: the ethic of the quote and link. The AP is still trying to preserve its way. But, as I often say, protection is no strategy for the future. In the story – which, note, I’m only summarizing here, without the quotes from the AP that might better state its stance (ahem) – the agency comes off like a policy ping-pong game, going back and forth: We want to threaten but not to sue, we want to be reasonable but we’re still going to demand that Cadenhead take down excerpts, we don’t know what the hell to do. Maybe back off, AP. Because we won’t.—BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » AP, hole, dig
However, I like balance and I think Joe Duck pointed out an equally important fact, bloggers love a controversy and often suffer from type first, think later:
As usual the blogging community is quick to attack attackers without giving enough thought to their reasonable concerns about flagrant copyright violations with no attribution to original authors or sources. It would be nice if in conjunction with the AP story boycott bloggers would work *twice as hard* to give MORE attribution to original sources. I’ve found myself in disagreement about this with other blogs but I continue to think the solution is to make it standard form to provide a link to original material you reference in your blog. This was standard practice in the early days, but as links became the key currency of the web people stopped using them as much, and started using them more strategically.—AP News Boycott is the News « Joe Duck
There are always two sides to a story (at least), and I think there is something to be said for being watchful of your copyright. Yep lots of blogger do abuse the quote and link style. We have see both sides of this here. Lots of our blogs are scraped and, yeah, I’ve rapped more than a few knuckles for copying too much content (and even plagiarism, which made me blow my stack when I learned of it).
However, the AP has blown it. Look, you could have done something to win bloggers over. How about a blogger relations advisory group? Even if it’s “unofficial”, it would be a huge step in the right direction. But, well they opted for a heavy-handed “we’re the AP and we’re News” approach, and sorry, that doesn’t fly with folks. Not anymore.
Am I joining the “AP, you are dead to me” group. Yep, sure am. If I see an AP by-line in a news item, I’m going to by pass it and if I need to post about that bit of news, I’ll find another source.
Could my mind be changed? Oh sure, of course it can. But there are eight words I need to hear first:
Mea culpa, Mea culpa. Maxima culpa, Maxima culpa.
Oh and a call to be on a blogger relations group would be cool too. ;-).