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June 16, 2008

A.P. VS. THE BLOGOSPHERE: Terry Heaton comments:

The real problem for the A.P. is that it can’t win this argument, and by pressing the issue, they’re very likely to end up with a business model that dies overnight. And I don’t think I’m overstating that. Links are the currency of the Web, and the A.P. hard line spits in the face of that, which is leading to boycotts like Arrington’s. The monopoly co-operative is living in the past, but it needs that past to validate a business model that is as out-of-date as traditional media itself. Now, by pressing the matter, they run the significant risk of being in a contrary legal position, and what will be left for them after that?

They’ve announced that they’re willing to create a new policy, but that, too, is fraught with problems, for it can only shed further light on the weakness of their business model in a changing environment. Bloggers know that links go to the originator of the content, which would mean linking to the A.P.’s members, not the A.P. version thereof. When that happens, media companies will rightly ask why they need an expensive middle man in the equation. Always remember that the Web disrupts the middle of any transaction, including media. As such, the most enviable position in the new world is that of aggregator, but as Google News proves, there’s not exactly a whole lot of money to be made in so doing.

(Via Michael Silence, who comments, "The AP, living in the past, is cutting its lifeline of links.")

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