On Thursday, the Associated Press said they plan to require licensing agreements before any Web site can link to a news organizations’ articles. Their proposal questions how news should be shared on the Internet and challenges fair use policies. And it seems many news organizations and journalists are against the AP’s proposition.
Ken Richieri, The New York Times Co.’s general counsel, told Doug Lichtman, a UCLA professor, that he thought fair use protections works “a lot better in the analog world than they do in the digital world.” He also said that online news aggregators do not necessarily constitute a copyright issue, as the AP has declared, though they do foster unfair competition.
Further, an article on Huffington Post argues that the AP’s licensing requirements would destroy not only the Internet, but the AP itself:
That would kill the Internet. It also would kill the Associated Press and the news organizations it cons into joining its dangerous crusade — make that its cartel — for no one will link to them and they will not be heard.
And here’s another problem: Jane Seagrave, senior vice president of global product development at AP told the Washington Post that the AP will use software that will enable them to determine what is being read on individual computers, a disturbingly Big-Brotherish method for tracking links.
This could ultimately lead to the extinction of the AP, said John Palfrey, a law professor and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard:
If people think that there’s a greater likelihood that on an AP story, people could track down what they are reading, they are less likely to make the choice of that particular story rather than another story.