The Associated Press, the venerable news agency with resources worldwide, intends to crack down on copyright violators and will try to direct traffic away from sites improperly using its content.
This is a major development in the largely laissez-faire environment in which content is cut and paste with no real accountability. AP is essentially saying it'll pursue those who aren't linking properly and who are taking its material and gaining traffic and revenue without paying.
The New York Times reported later Monday that the move is directed particularly at search engines like Google and Yahoo and aggregators like Huffington Post.
AP chairman Dean Singleton, CEO of MediaNews Group Inc., puts it this way: "We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories. We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more."
What is unclear is how it will pursue the offenders, what it will permit sites to use fairly and freely, and what others might do to follow suit. But the implications are substantial for those who have with impunity used AP content to bolster posts or even posted AP content inside their wireframes.