The AP has announced it is going to use an automated system to monitor the use of AP content on the Web, looking for copyright violations. The empire is fighting back. From the press release:
I think there are three possible broad-stroke outcomes:
2. The AP’s automated system is set on a hair trigger. The AP protects its copyright so well that no one ever hears from it again.
3. The AP acts inconsistently. It sends scary letters to teenagers who copy three paragraphs about the Jonas Brothers and sics lawyers on a professor teaching a course on media studies. No one understands what the AP is doing, so we all get scared and hate it.
To start with, it’d be great if the AP’s copyright warnings didn’t just tell people what they can’t do, but also told them what they can do, and encouraged us to re-use the material as much as possible. On the other hand, since one of the aims of the new system (according to the press release) is to facilitate the use of pay walls, I expect we’ll see more of the AP’s content making itself irrelevant.