Did the AP just declare war on news aggregators?
John F Williams | 17 Feb 2012

To the AP, every news aggregator is a potential threat It is determined to fight rather than adapt.

LIKE ANY other traditional news entity, the Associated Press newswire has been under pressure for some time from digital media. It has been even worse for AP because they are primarily distributors.

Instead of trying to find ways to adapt, the AP seems determined to fight it with everything it has, including lawsuits:

Meltwater — which was founded in Norway, in 2001 — provides an electronic version of the old-style news clipping services. It’s a distribution service that competes directly with traditional news sources without paying license fees to cover the costs of creating those stories. It summarizes content not just from the AP but from hundreds of other public sources.

But according to the CEO of AP, it is a parasite that leeches off the newswire’s content illegally:
The AP is determined to fight rather than adapt. It is interesting to note that  the Associated Press is providing some kind of public service that is important to democracy, etc. when in reality, the newswire is simply a content-distribution service that is owned by its member newspapers.

The AP seems determined to fight this reality, however, and to do whatever it can. When you combine this latest lawsuit with the fact that the AP has forced Google News and others to license its content, however — even just to provide an excerpt of a few sentences and a headline.

The Associated Press may be trying to create the impression that its dispute with Meltwater is a special case and doesn’t apply to other news aggregators. It is clear that the newswire is threatened by the web and the democratization of distribution, but putting up walls and filing lawsuits is a waste of time and money.