jul 23

AP's Crazy Crackdown

From an NYT story about some new crazy thing the AP is trying to invent to prevent copyright infringement:

Each article -- and, in the future, each picture and video -- would go out with what The A.P. called a digital 'wrapper,' data invisible to the ordinary consumer that is intended, among other things, to maximize its ranking in Internet searches. The software would also send signals back to The A.P., letting it track use of the article across the Web.
Could that description be any more confusing? Does anyone know what it actually is? I'm guessing some sort of markup?


(sidenote, wtf spammers!)

But seriously, I've always said if they want to avoid Google as an issue, they could always modify robots.txt. One second change, and one less talking point for morons.

IF they use markup, it's not exactly rocket science to delete markup-- that is unless they actually modify the content of articles in a predictable and watermark-able way to trace their origins, which would just be nuts. (Like if they customized the spelling of certain things, or changed word or sentence order or something nutty like that.)

posted by Randall at 12:30 AM on July 24, 2009

My only theory is that the article text will no longer be in the top level HTML file, but will instead be pulled down in a subsequent request by javascript. This could potentially allow for fairly comprehensive tracking on the server side.

posted by harryh at 2:09 AM on July 24, 2009

I'm kind of surprised that people on Boing Boing and Buzzmachine are complaining about this so much. They always talk about sustainable models for web news, but the second big media producers like AP start crafting this stuff they get all bitchy.

posted by Bork bork bork bork at 6:01 PM on July 26, 2009

I haven't read BB in a few years, but based on recollection I'd suspect they're saying "it won't work," not "it's a bad goal."

Grubber: "Someone just sold the Associated Press a bag of magic beans."

posted by alesh at 10:28 PM on July 26, 2009

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