Wednesday, April 8, 2009

AP and lawsuits

In February of this year, the Associated Press (AP) found itself being sued by street artist Shepard Fairey. AP was in negotiations with Fairey over the use of an AP photo that was transformed into the Obama image we've come to identify with his presidential campaign of hope. AP, having employed the photographer who's shot was the inspiration for the poster, believes they are owed credit and compensation because of copyright laws.

Now, AP has decided they're going to take on Google and other web aggregators for distributing news without compensation to AP and their member newspapers. Searches turn up newspaper articles that are online, then pair them with ads for which the aggregators are paid These ad monies do not go to the originators of said search hits but only to the aggregator.

Europe has already filed suit against Google, blocking them from distributing articles from certain newspapers. (it's unclear if they're blocked from harvesting ) Trouble is, users don't care about the finances - all they want is the information. Google leads them to X newspaper where they find the story that meets their need. What happens if they don't find what they're looking for? Does that suggest the user will troll the Internet until they find the newspaper's website? Does that mean the user will turn to the more traditional avenues of information searching - gasp- a library? What's a reasonable solution that nets the newspapers credit and money without biting the hand that feeds the user i.e. web aggregators?

No comments:

Post a Comment