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AP’s Beacon Spun Off Into “NewsRight”, Reeks Of Hypocrisy And Disgraced “Righthaven”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 12, 2012

I see from reading NiemanLab that even the Righthaven fiasco and the epic spanking they got on their own “beacon” fair-use-mocking scheme hasn’t stopped the AP and its friends from trying to convince other news orgs that copyright trolling is the road to profitability:

A little history: Remember THE BEACON? Back in 2009, the Associated Press took a somewhat more antagonistic approach to protecting its intellectual property on the web. We reported on the AP’s plans to build AP News Registry, “a way to identify, record and track every piece of content AP makes available to its members and other paying customers.” Part of that plan was the beacon, a little bit of JavaScript embedded into the AP’s syndicated news feeds, which helped expose people who, in the AP’s view, were scraping or, well, over-aggregating, its material. The AP took a lot of flak in the journalism universe.

That’s been spun off into NewsRight, and former ABC News head David Westin runs it. This is richly ironic. Here’s what a NiemanLab reader has to say about David Westin:

Don’t be fooled. This will be a smarter Righthaven and there will be lawsuits. Just stand by and watch. Westin is after all a litigator.

His former employer ABC News, and all of it’s hundreds of local TV stations across the country have been stealing from newspapers since they came into existence. Every TV newsroom in the country has a morning meeting where they open newspapers and start picking stories. TV assignment editors hand newspaper articles to TV reporters on their way out the door in every TV station in the country. Except now they just print it off the web. I’ve watched TV producers type stories up out a newspaper thousands of times. TV news, even the networks, have been stealing from newspaper reporters for decades. It’s not even questioned. Every newspaper and TV reporter knows this.

Funny how Westin didn’t end that kind of rights theft while at ABC.

In fact, newspapers did that to each other — and to all other news sources — long before the advent of TV. Rewriting stories from other sources, and removing all evidence that the stories came from those other sources, is as old as newspapers themselves. Meanwhile, most bloggers actually try to follow fair-use law and cite their sources.

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One Response to “AP’s Beacon Spun Off Into “NewsRight”, Reeks Of Hypocrisy And Disgraced “Righthaven””

  1. Charles II said

    If, with DMCA, they can’t or won’t stop Free Republic from its truly egregious abuses of Fair Use, it’s hard to see that short of something like SOPA (where there is no due process) they can shut down anyone.

    Meanwhile, plagiarism off of wire service will continue to be the norm as newspapers shut down their newsgathering functions in the attempt to maintain profit margins…the business version of prosperity through austerity.

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