Well, If You NEED the Money …

Dan posted this in comments yesterday but I was up to my ass in work and then a shrieking migraine so nothing except mocking that wingnut happened last night.Here’s the AP, being really stupid:

As for AP, though, bloggers may want to prepare themselves for what
is coming, whatever exactly that is. “We’re going to be learning more
ourselves about exactly how the technology is going to work” in about
two weeks, Bridis said.

But about this he is sure. “You can’t just taken an entire AP wire
feed or even an entire AP story, or even half of an AP story,
necessarily, and republish it or repurpose it,” he said. “We need the
money. The industry is falling apart.”

Dan:

Well then by all means start filing lawsuits! We had no idea youneeded the money! That clears everything up! Just think of all the troubled indistries that have sued their way to profitability!

You need money. Well, go get some. Raise the rates you’re charging. Make the case to your member papers and to the public that international news is worth paying for. Sack Ron Fournier and Nedra Pickler. Do whatever it is you need to do to make money. But stop acting like suing Google and HuffPo is going to fix this. It isn’t. GO MAKE MONEY.

Let’s be clear about this: A lawsuit, which will doubtless be lengthy because Google don’t play, will enrich no one besides the lawyers arguing it in court. Everybody will look stupid, and those impoverished reporters risking their lives sending dispatches from unholy shitholes around the world, about whom the AP pretends to be so concerned, won’t see a damn dime of any windfall that comes. Because by the time this thing is resolved a few dozen more newspapers will have been murdered, and a few more will figure out that while local journalism is priceless, yes, the Internet is a source for national and international news so why pay through the nose for AP wire copy?

By the way, as someone who saw her leads nearly word-for-word repeated on the wire, hearing the AP canting about stealing and repurposing content is a little rich and a lot hilarious. Doc once famously described them as a “car theft chop-shop without the pesky ethical quandries.” Yet now they want to lecture the Internet. I’d suggest they LURK MOAR.

A.

8 thoughts on “Well, If You NEED the Money …

  1. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    as someone who saw her leads nearly word-for-word repeated on the wire, hearing the AP canting about stealing and repurposing content is a little rich and a lot hilarious.
    Make sure to save the screen-caps, for the reading pleasure of defendants of AP lawsuits. Why keep all the hilarity to yourself? Spread the wealth!

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks a lot for including the misspelling too, A. :p

  3. Interrobang says:

    I’ve got a shitload of screencaps where the CP did the exact same thing — picked up the worst story and reprinted it word for word across the country, without much attribution. Apparently wire services think they can quote wholesale but the rest of us have to pay retail.

  4. Athenae says:

    Interro, it’s one thing if they’re picking up your copy as part of an agreement with your member paper, but if their reporters are basically lifting your sources and your words and re-reporting your story rather than give you credit, that pisses me off.
    She was a sweet kid, but one AP reporter here in town used to stand behind the TV news twinks during their standups and take notes based on what they said. I’m not kidding.
    A.

  5. The Other Sarah says:

    OMG, A, I’m so, so sorry.
    In my salad days I had everything from a fuel tank explosion to feature stories on museum collections go out over the wire — the paper usually got something back. I got a byline. Except on the rare occasions when I shot my own b&w photos (sports, features) — then I got a thin split from the wirephoto fee, and an actual byline.
    In turn, I was able to use the AP stuff, including their photos, as wallpaper once our ad department sold out my section front-page…

  6. The Other Sarah says:

    and for those of you who don’t know what it’s like to work in a local newsroom:
    You’re print. This has advantages — you can put your info down on paper and it’ll still be there tomorrow — and disadvantages: what you write is static, and can be checked up on or argued with by not just your sources but the people they’re trying to rat out.
    Your competition is either a bigger daily fifty miles or so away, local radio, both, ‘regional’ television, or some combination thereof. Their words waft away into the ether, and once they’ve pitched the scripts / notes (I did radio sports in college — a thirty-second ‘cast takes a sheet of legal paper with an outline on it) … it’s “I heard” vs. “I said,” ad infinitum, and whoever’s got the biggest swinging lawyers will win, usually.
    So having a real live honest-to-FSM scoop, a breaking news story, come in at 3 in the afternoon (when you have a 12:00 noon deadline and the print run’s done and the delivery guys are throwing papers by 1:10) is a cross between a dream and a nightmare.
    “Road trips” for feature stories are sometimes adventures shared with reps from the competition. It’s funny to watch the TV newsreaders get set up — they’ll be in full makeup and a fancy shirt / jacket (and if they’ve got any sense, blue jeans and closed shoes!) at places like under-construction reservoirs, for what the camera sees; but the tie and jacket with cutoffs and sneakers or thongs … shudder. Equally scarifying is the prospect of the shiny-new-BA journalist in full dress kit (literally, right down to the 3″ heels) trying to live-cover a refinery fire, a derailment, or a small-plane crackup. (BTDT, wore out all the t-shirts before I turned 30.)
    So for A to have to compete with a wire ‘staffer’ who’s taking notes on the teevee newsreaders’ comments … yeah. That’s soul destroying.
    I was at an afternoon paper (every time, except Sunday, which we put to bed at midnight-thirty Saturday nights) in a small market (M-F afternoon, Sunday a.m., circulation approximately 20,000) during the 1985-1988 ‘downturn’ in the oilfield economy (thanks, Neil Bush and clan).

  7. Athenae says:

    Equally scarifying is the prospect of the shiny-new-BA journalist in full dress kit (literally, right down to the 3″ heels) trying to live-cover a refinery fire, a derailment, or a small-plane crackup.
    Every damn time I wore sandals I had to go to a construction site. Eventually I learned. Best advice I ever got as a student journo: If you can’t run five miles in the shoes, don’t wear them to work.
    I also used to keep a change of clothes in my car because a couple of times I had to go to a mosque on a day I’d worn a short skirt and twice I had to go out and buy things.
    A.

  8. pansypoo says:

    i read the paper on paper. are they happy now?

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