Note to Associated Press: You Can’t Fix Stupid

Found this in Jason’s Falls’ tweet today, and it just reminded me of the awful divide that exists between those in the “traditional” (read: declining readership) and “new” media (read: millions of new platforms for user-generated content per year.)

In about the dumbest public relations move in recent memory (and I am counting Microsoft and Yahoo! in this one), the Associated Press has said that they do not want bloggers linking to and quoting their stories. That’s right, they do NOT want the additional traffic generated from the additional links.

Here’s what Colleen in BuzzNetWorker had to say:

Recently, the Associated Press threw down a gauntlet and started a great big hairy fight with bloggers. The gist of the matter is that they’re they don’t want bloggers to quote from their stories. They asked one blogger to take down seven posts from in which quotes from AP stories were used. The quoted pieces varied in length from 39-79 words.”

I am not a lawyer, do not play one on television and don’t have a good grasp of “fair use.” But in a note to our pals at AP: if the publications in which you syndicate your content were losing more and more readers every year, thus reducing your relevancy (and ad revenue) why on earth would you NOT welcome more traffic?

I just wrote an article that will probably go up in Media Bullseye tomorrow, but one of my points was, as online professionals, we need to know when to get the lawyers in the room and when to keep them out. They seem to have that problem at the Associated Press.


P.S. – Just to boost their traffic a little, here’s a link to the AP site.



  1. I’m sure a blog post might be coming from me, but I’m just so astonished at the complete lack of vision and understanding from what I’ve always considered a visionary and open news organization. It’s like the Catholic church suddenly excommunicating people who watch R-rated movies, but bring their kids to mass. WTF?

    I’ll probably just point people to your Media Bullseye thing and let it lie. My big, fat mouth will get me in trouble on this one, I’m sure.

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