The Death of Print, Part IX

I’ve read a zillion stories about the death of print, specifically newspapers, over the last year or so.

My local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, has gotten so small that on Monday’s I’m afraid a gust of wind will blow the paper down the street.

Today comes the latest strategy to “save” print, courtesy of the Associated Press. The A.P. has decided to sue “web aggregators” like Google who use their content without their permission.















First, this amazing quote:

In a speech at The A.P.’s annual meeting in San Diego, William Dean Singleton, chairman of the group, said, “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”

which is odd given the actual implementation by Google:

Google News shows headlines and a sentence or two of an article, but to read the entire piece, the user has to click through to the news organization’s own site. The company has argued that that limited use is allowed without permission.

I’m not lawyer, but sounds pretty legal to me.

The kicker is this money quote:

In a statement, The A.P. said it would develop a system to track news articles online and determine whether they were being used legally.

So, instead of spending R&D money on creating products that will drive users, they are going to create systems that provide defensive mechanisms? We’ve seen this movie before (starring the RIAA) – this must be the sequel.

Bet it has the same ending.