Careful what you write out there in blogger-world. The Associated Press is watching…and waiting.
The AP has felt cheated from the first time the first blogger took something out of a newspaper and put it in quotation marks on their blog or website. They’ve taken it on the chin for long enough, now they want you to pay up.
Here’s the dealio: cut, copy and paste anything from an Associated Press article online or in print and bloggers will be found and charged.
The rates are as follows: 5 words to 25 words for $12.50 26-50 words, $17.50, and more than 250 words will cost you $100.00. The AP will use software that will identify where AP content is showing up on the internet and send the author a bill.
First off: I can’t blame the Associated Press folks a bit for being angry. A simple Google search for one of today’s big AP stories: “Jackson Estate Confronts Fake Merchandise Dealers” finds 3,476 news articles. Some of those are obviously on news sites which pay for AP content, but it’s pretty safe to say that some of those articles are from blogs and other sites that are just grabbing quotes and other information from the story and re-printing them, so to speak, on their own sites.
We do not want a world without The Associated Press. I don’t. I don’t want our news to come from people like Perez Hilton who are looking only for eyeballs rather than honest truth-telling reporting. But if the AP doesn’t survive, and doesn’t thrive in this economy, there will be a lot more journalists creating their own web news content for profit. Then, we won’t know who to believe.
But is the Associated Press on to something by charging by the copied and pasted word? Will it stop people like me (yes I’ve done it) from posting an opinion on a story and including part of of the story itself?
Oh, and by the way, if I get billed for anything in this post, would someone loan me a few bucks.
image courtesy of Edans through Creative Commons license