AP Cracks Down on Aggregators: Look Out Google

Apr. 6.09 | About: Alphabet Inc. (GOOG)

The Associated Press said Monday that it will sue news aggregators - read: Google - that use its content without permission, another effort to save what’s left of the newspaper industry.

The news cooperative didn’t specifically name Google in its statement but resentment has been brewing against Google and other Web aggregators that profit from AP’s content, specifically by placing ads on the portal pages where those stories are indexed and displayed.

In a statement, AP Chairman Dean Singleton said the news cooperative would work with portals and other partners who properly license content – and would pursue legal and legislative actions against those who don‘t. “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories,“ Singleton said.

In January, Google pulled the plug on a print-ad project that started in 2006 with 50 newspaper partners and grew to more than 800. The idea was that advertisers could use Google to also place print ads, thus creating a new revenue stream for newspapers and producing more relevant advertising for consumers. Nice try. But in the end, it didn’t work.

The Associated Press held its annual meeting Monday morning in San Diego, as part of the Newspaper Association of America’s annual convention.

Ironically, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is scheduled to deliver the NAA’s closing keynote for the convention and is expected to offer his perspective on newspapers, journalism and Google’s role in the future of the newspaper industry.

I wonder if he’ll be introduced by Singleton or greeted with a round of “boos” from the audience.