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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

If you can’t beat’em…ah…ah…ACAP’em

Posted by direwolff on September 25, 2006

Less than a week ago I wrote a post on the Belgian courts upholding a ridiculous copyright infringement claim against Google. Well, just when you thought that madness had reached it’s peak, this seems to have emboldened other staid news publishing companies in the European Union to help take publishing rights two steps back. Known as the Automated Control Access Protocol (ACAP), the news publishing industry is trying to lock down their content by the use of this protocol in ways similar to what the music industry has been trying to do with DRM (digital rights management technology). I don’t know about most people, but the reason I no longer start with the news sites for my news is that none of them on their own provides the breadth of perspectives and views that one finds on places like Google News. At no time do I feel like not going to the site to read the full story, and no time do I feel that Google News has provided sufficient content that I know the perspective that will be shared in the article. So why would these publications feel otherwise? More importantly, when was the last time they checked their logs to find out from where the traffic they’re getting is coming from?

As I said before, if there’s any one out there with aspiriations of providing a good news site, all of this couldn’t be better news for you given that you could effectively displace these complacent news providers and benefit from getting linked to by Google regularly.

Here are some of the other bandwagon riders:

Other groups involved with the ACAP program are the European Publishers Council, the International Publishers Association and the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association.

  • Quick side note, thought it was funny that when I did a Google search for “Automated Control Access Protocol” I got this. Looks like their wishes are being lived up to already. If I were Google & Yahoo!, I’d nip this in the bud and stop linking to any of these whining news publishers right now. Sure, this may reduce some of the content on their respective news services, but more likely this limited number of publishers will suffer immediately and will likely loose enough ad revenue from the reduced traffic referrals in the short term to either put them out of business online or for them come back to the search engines groveling for mercy. My lack of compassion for them lies in having watched so many publishers drag their feet and dismiss the Net over and over again, and once they saw the opportunities, they still moved slowly. Now, they want back what they believe is rightly theirs, but what they’ve missed is that it’s their readers that are the most important and from whom revenue is generated online and whom they need to be serving, rather than trying to leverage their copyright for only their self serving gains. That just pisses every one off.

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