The Associated Press is striking out against aggregators. This is the first shot across the bow at web-based news distributors. A battle is brewing here. The AP is gigantic and conceivably has some sway in this fight since the number of member papers who are part of the association.
A.P. executives said they were concerned about a variety of news forums around the Web, including major search engines like Google and Yahoo and aggregators like the Drudge Report that link to news articles, smaller sites that sometimes reproduce articles whole, and companies that sell packaged news feeds.
They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it.
As time goes on, you’ll likely see the battle lines continue to be drawn over paid content and newspapers that are willing to try different models to generate revenues. I certainly don’t have the solution, but I can’t help but feel that this NPR story about Frank Zappa’s greedy widow is perfectly analogous.