AP versus the Internet: why link access makes sense

As many newspapers announce they are considering charging for web content, putting their sites behind pay walls to compensate for decreased ad revenue, the AP’s proposal to require access agreements with news aggregators and big mirror sites may not be as detrimental to fair use standards as some are suggesting.

According to an article on Huffington Post, the AP ‘would rather destroy the link economy,’ rather than adapt to the digital age, to both the detriment of the news industry and themselves. The article then advocates replacing the AP:

The reason to replace the AP is because…it is hopelessly, mortally outmoded for the digital age and its ownership structure — I blame its board of newspaper owners more than I blame its management — won’t let it be transformed for our new reality…The AP’s primary job is to distribute content. In a content economy, that worked well. In the link economy, what the AP does is a disservice to content because it cuts the links to the source by rewriting news.

If news organizations that subscribe to the AP wire service require their own readers to pay for AP’s content, AP should also benefit. And as newspapers continue to make staff cuts in order to boost their own profits, their only hope in widespread global news coverage becomes AP reporters, anyway.

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