Businessweek has called it “an early skirmish in what’s likely to become a protracted war over how and where media content is published online.” Who knows, one day they may involved in one.
The “AP way,” as Jeff Jarvis called it, may go down as trying to establish a top-down business approach in a bottom-up world. Or to put it another way, trying to force ‘monetization’ through the funnel of ‘syndication.’
It’s an odd time to try to lock down content and charge for it. I recently tried out Encyclopedia Britannica (and interviewed Tom Panelas) and came to the conclusion that instead of trying to set up snipers on the ramparts of the walled garden, Britannica has basically decided to create a new type of walled garden –leaving the keys to the entrance under the mat, so to speak. If a 240-year company can recognize the value in collaboration not confrontation, a ‘younger’ content repository like AP could surely follow suit.
If they don’t want to take a leaf from the page of Britannica, how about this experiment by David Balter of BzzAgent? He’s simultaneously selling and giving away (free download) a book called Word of Mouth Manual Volume II.
“Crazy like a fox, that Balter,” says Todd Defren, whose blog PR Squared is one of the venues selected to allow those free downloads.
“Protection is no strategy for the future,” says Jarvis.
“Content wants to lose the handcuffs,” says little old me.