Don’t quote me: AP – US$2.50 a word to bloggers

June 17, 2008

Boy, has AP picked a lousy battleground in the online war.

If you want to know what it regards as fair use of its material, take a look at its price menu below (and – ok – you’ll have to squint).

AP price list

Non-profits get a modest discount.

Now, I try to link not quote by the yard, but charging $12.50 for the privilege of repeating five (yes, 5) words is sheer madness – you only have to imagine quoting a story about ‘UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’ and the meter is running! Then there’s the hyphen. One word or two?

What about ‘President George W. Bush’? Is the ‘W.’ a word?

Real journalism does cost money, and is worth supporting, but this really, really, really, really, really (that’s $12.50 please) is not the way to do it…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Hanley June 18, 2008 at 06:14

So, no company in the world has really got the hang of the online world,. But some are clearly more confused than others. Get this, to subscribe to The Australian Financial Review, the local equivalent of the FT, online, you have to pay twenty quid. If you subscribe to the hard copy newspaper, which costs twenty quid a month, you still have to pay twenty quid a month for the online version. But get this: even if you pay all your twenty quids, you’re not allowed to even forward an article to a friend or a colleague. You can’t copy and paste from the site, you can’t even link to their stories because nobody else is stupid enough to pay twenty quid, so any links will just end up witha frustrated punter being asked for twenty quid.

It goes on. I paid my twenty quid. Then I wanted to print an article. To read it. Myself. Only later. No go. This time it wasn’t a commercial snafu,. but a technical one. The site doesn’t work on Firefox, only internet explorer. I found that out after twenty minutes on the phone to technical support.

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