The Associated Press has been making controversial moves in the online space recently, including a plan to charge $12.50 for quoting 5 words of an AP story and enforcing strict social media rules on its staff. The AP has also been very critical of Google, as it sees this new news eco-system cutting into its business.
The moves haven’t been missed by Chris Ahearn, President of Media at AP rival Thomson Reuters. This week he responded with a blog post comparing AP to the lawsuit-happy music industry, saying that the incumbents “haven’t been keeping up” and encouraging news leaders like AP to “stop whining”:
Blaming the new leaders or aggregators for disrupting the business of the old leaders, or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies – they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works.
…I believe in the link economy. Please feel free to link to our stories — it adds value to all producers of content. I believe you should play fair and encourage your readers to read-around to what others are producing if you use it and find it interesting…
Let’s stop whining and start having real conversations across party lines. Let’s get online publishers, search engines, aggregators, ad networks, and self-publishers (bloggers) in a virtual room and determine how we can all get along.
It’s a refreshing take that’s winning plaudits from bloggers; we’ll be interested to see if Reuters’ actions match their words.