AP YouTube Content “Misappropriated?”

Plus Research on How Search Engines/Aggregators Drive Traffic

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The Associated Press is both angering the web and making it laugh this week. By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the AP’s announced plans to "protect" it’s content from "misappropriation." If not, WebProNews Publisher Rich Ord has a good piece on that here.

News has now come out that the AP is even going after its own affiliates for…embedding YouTube videos uploaded to the site by the AP itself, embed code and all. Now one might think that when you upload a video to YouTube and leave that embed code enabled, the purpose is for sharing content. After all, that’s the whole point of YouTube as I understand it. Evidently the AP sees YouTube in a different light, or whoever uploads their content is unaware of the ability to disable embedding, a feature that is often used by other content producers (though the reasoning behind this itself is still baffling to some).

Google's Webmaster Central YouTube Channel

Here’s what a YouTube Channel looks like (This is Google Webmaster Central’s). I’d show a screenshot of the AP’s, but wouldn’t want to "misappropriate" it. And I certainly wouldn’t want to "misappropriate" it by linking to it.

"In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness," says Erick Schonfeld.

As the greater Fair Use debate rages on, Hitwise has put together some research looking at how the relationship between news content and those the AP alleges are "misusing" content. "Search engines and news aggregators were all somewhat implicated as those who may be misusing content, so we decided to take a look at their impact upon driving traffic to news websites, which ultimately generate ad revenues," writes Hitwise’s Heather Dougherty. Search drove 22% of traffic to news and media sites in March. Look at the following graphs:

Share of Referrals to News & Media

Upstream News & Media Referrals

Share of Referrals to News & Media

"Although several of the online aggregators are at the heart of the content distribution argument, they do successfully send visits to news properties rather than keeping them upon their own websites," says Dougherty.

Every so often, the AP comes out and brings up their debate again. It’s been going on for years. Will the way it is done change or will the AP and other publishers find that they simply need to adjust to the times? Here’s what Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks.

AP YouTube Content “Misappropriated?”
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  • mpheadley`

    They are shooting themselves in the foot going crazy and going after anyone without any clear targets.

    I think sites and people, especially google, should give them what they want and eliminate all links to the AP and let’s see what happens.

  • http://pokerknave.com Jack Reynard

    In truth is this such a big issue or just another reason to create a storm – as they say the worst thing about people talking about you is people not talking about you…

  • http://www.Nurburg.eu FaTe

    Any advertising is constructive if it sheds light and creates a following which I can only guess by now is the AP’s intention. It would be nice if they just rolled over and died…wait if I say the wish it doesn’t come true right?!

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