Isn’t a game content, too?

The Associated Press is refusing to sign for credentials under the conditions put on control of game coverage by the SEC. OK, I think what the SEC is doing is silly, too, especially now that every damned fan in the stands can tell the world what’s happening in a game via blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and whatever comes next.

But isn’t the AP being a tad hypocritical?

Isn’t a game content and isn’t the SEC trying to assert control over that content the way the AP is threatening to assert control over news? What’s the difference between a score or a play – the very definition of hot news, no? – and a fact coming out of a press conference or news event? It’s all just information and information, once known, is a commodity that is best distributed now via the conversation. Neither institution can stop anyone with an ear from saying, “Did you hear?” And if they were smart, but they’re not, they’d figure out how to take advantage of that free marketing.

  • Rob Levine

    The courts see these issues with more nuance, Jeff.

    The AP’s best defense against *theft* – let’s call it what it is – is the so-called “hot news doctrine, established in a 1918 Supreme Court case in which the very same AP sued a competitor, the International News Service. The AP recently used that same precedent to shut down the parasitic All Headline News. You can find details here:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/07/hot-news-doctrine-defeats-aggregator-site

    The relevant precedent in regard to sports games is NBA vs. Motorola, in which the NBA sued Motorola over a text service that contained the results of sports games. The Second Circuit Court *Upheld the hot news doctrine* but ruled that the NBA did not qualify for it in this case. (Motorola’s service survived but eventually failed.) You can find details here:
    legal.web.aol.com/decisions/dldecen/nbadec.html

    So while you may disagree with the AP, they’re on very solid legal ground.

  • Rob Levine

    I’m sorry, I made a mistake. The Motorola service did not contain the results of sports games. It featured a play-by-play of the games as they happened. Apologies.

  • http://johnnemo.wordpress.com/ John Nemo

    This story reeks of greed in the sense that everyone is obsessed with trying to control their content/product with increasing insanity. The SEC and other sports leagues bite the very hands that feed their fans with this kind of nonsense. Then again the SEC is in a position of power and has all the leverage right now.

    A buddy of mine has an interesting suggestion – what if, in protest, the AP refused to rank any SEC teams in its poll? It would have national title implications/etc. Would be a gutsy move to be sure, but would force the SEC’s hand.

    And as a former AP reporter I understand how the AP is trying to hang on desperately to an outdated model of getting newspapers and others to pay for content they (mostly) aggregate and self-create, but I think the AP will die soon too, sad to say.

    Free content is here to stay, and there is literally a whole new model to selling products/services. Sad to say much of the mainstream media still doesn’t get it.

  • http://blog.syracuse.com/postscript Brian Cubbison

    The real master is Major League Baseball, which pretty much invented the concept of “expressed, written consent” for use of the “pictures, descriptions and accounts of the game.”

    Now there’s a three-way collision between broadcast rights, news reporting and fan discussion. What’s the difference between Joe Fan reporting on the game, Joe Reporter broadcasting the game and Joe Broadcaster paying for the rights to the game?

    A weakness in the SEC’s effort is that it can only go after those it has a little leverage over, through credentials or tickets, while the fan at home can keep broadcasting.

  • http://www.familygreenberg.com/index2.php Brian Greenberg

    Here’s the ultimate irony: say the AP and the Gannett newspapers can’t reach an agreement and stop covering SEC games. Faced with a lack of real-time information on their favorite teams, fans will immediately begin twittering, blogging, facebook’ing, etc. updates to each other from the stands, from their homes/TV’s, etc.. Eventually, trusted sources will emerge, and fans will “bookmark” (sorry for the 20th-century term, I’m sure there’s a better word for it now) their favorite sources.

    Then, if/when the AP & Gannett reach an agreement, their revenue model will have taken a huge hit, because most of their audience will have learned a new pattern, and will likely not return to the “old way.”

    Like Voldemort fighting the Harry Potter prophecy, these guys…

  • http://www.gamechanger.io Kiril Savino

    So admittedly I have a vested interest in this topic (my company is building real-time content distribution tools for youth sports, and we charge someone for it), but this is really fighting the inevitable.

    Someone wise once said, if you’re fighting the internet, you’re on the wrong side.

  • Rob Levine

    >>>Someone wise once said, if you’re fighting the internet, you’re on the wrong side.

    Which must be why so many Internet companies are making so much money, right? Come on – some of these startups don’t even have business plans. Most of the ones that do are vulnerable to misappropriation suits. You can yell about that all you want, but the legal precedents are pretty clear – look them up.

  • Rob Levine

    >>>if you’re fighting the internet, you’re on the wrong side.

    Which must be why so many Internet companies are making so much money, right? Come on – some of these startups don’t even have business plans. Most of the ones that do are vulnerable to misappropriation suits. You can yell about that all you want, but the legal precedents are pretty clear – look them up.

  • Paul Evans

    I have noted before that professional sports entities have already used their control to limit news about their sports. I don’t believe that certain entities should be able to own news and thus control access to it. Then those entities can sell that access only to those able to afford what it costs to know the news. Furthermore they can engage in agreements that might further limit even licensees from publishing certain news. If we don’t deem it fit, then you can’t “print.”

    What happens to “publications” that have to enter into sweetheart deals with those they are supposed to cover in order to get access? They cease being about news and become about public relations or worse, simply advertising.

    It all seems very anti-first amendment, despite any legal precedents. Moreover, it seems to hold an almost chattel potentiality. Those sport entities — or whatever corporation has control over something — then owns everything and everyone associated with that thing. The public — unless it has licensees acting on its behalf — has no right to know anything. And even if you can afford a ticket, you can’t necessarily talk about what you saw.

    Maybe AP is different. Here are the three primary tenants behind the hot news doctrine (from http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/linking/doctrine/index.html):
    One, AP invested substantial time, labor, and money in its news-gathering efforts and should be entitled to reap the benefits of this investment. The second is that the news has market value; therefore it resembles other forms of property and should be protected as such. The third is a utilitarian justification — if AP’s rights are not protected, there will be no economic incentive to expend the effort to gather the news, therefore the public won’t receive the benefits of being able to read worldwide news in the local paper.

    Perhaps most important, Justice Mahlon Pitney, the main architect of the doctrine, said AP’s rights only existed against competitors, not the world at large. But where does that leave the doctrine in a world where the internet makes everyone a potential competitor? Beyond that, at least one justice believed there should be a specific time limit on hot news. For how long, in a world of nearly instantaneous planet-wide distribution of news and information, should any entity (especially a non-exclusive one) have their interests protected? In 1919 they measured it in hours. Today should it be minutes, seconds or even nano-seconds?

    Ever further, does any of this still apply to AP now that they don’t gather or generate much of their own news — they simply take it from clients and retransmit to others, often after changing the byline. Hmm, sounds like they are doing exactly what they sued All Headline News over.

    The third leg of the legal stool seems most suspect. The public no longer needs to read worldwide news in a local paper — they can get it from a variety of online sources (many of which do more original reporting than AP). But beyond that, AP is one of the sources undercutting the need to read worldwide news in a local paper (AP sells it’s report to lots of publications, including Google news and Yahoo).

    As for the start-ups with no business plans, as we have seen over the past decade or so — the market does often, if only eventually, recognize that the emperor has no clothes. But AP, just as with the sports entities in question, aren’t really fighting those start-ups. They are fighting to limit and control the conversation. They are trying to define community and how it works on the internet even if that goes against the very nature of the internet.

    As a newspaper person and someone who believes that the free exchange of ideas and information is beneficial to society, I am appalled at the growing attempts by many entities to use legal precedents in order to limit access to news. However, I am ever more ashamed that newspapers and news organizations are becoming willing participants in that.

  • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

    All this talk of “hot news” etc. is irrelevant. If you wish to enter an SEC managed facility it is reasonable for them to insist that you agree to a contract and license agreement in order to do so. There is little that constrains what that contract might require of you. The same principle holds when you enter the premises of just about any business and are confronted with a non-disclosure agreement. You have a choice. You can enter and agree or you can stay away.
    On the other hand, if you listen to the game on the radio, watch it on television, spy through long range lenses, or look down from a balloon, then no such contractual obligations apply. Other law applies.

    While it is perfectly within the law for the SEC to insist on an onerous license, I think it is clear that doing so is simply unwise. Their business depends on the quantity and quality of news coverage. By locking out the journalists they are shooting themselves in the foot.

    bob wyman

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Bob,
      I have to chortle. Google is the only company that has ever demanded an NDA of me just for walking through the door.

      • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

        Jeff, If Google is the only company that’s ever asked you to sign an NDA, then you haven’t been to many tech companies… In any case, as you know, you can decline to sign Google’s NDA. The only consequence of doing so is that then you must be escorted at all times by an employee, you wear a visitor badge that says you declined the NDA, you can’t eat in the cafeteria, and a few other restrictions. Of course, your host might not be willing to deal with the hassle… Frankly, compared to most tech companies I’ve worked for, that’s a pretty lenient policy. Most tech companies require that you either sign the NDA or get off the property.

        Yes, I realize that non-tech companies don’t normally do this.

        bob wyman

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          I was speaking for free at a certain well known and much dreaded management consulting company a week ago and they tried to get me to sign an nda yet I as the one doing the talking. I said they should have to sign it for me. I refused. I spoke. The world did not collapse. NDAs are the worst invention of lawyers this side of making escalators talk so they can tell me how to ride them.

  • Andy Freeman

    > Which must be why so many Internet companies are making so much money, right?

    Levine seems to think that a competitor’s failure is a good thing. It often isn’t.

    > Come on – some of these startups don’t even have business plans.

    Actually, they do. What they don’t have are projections which, more often than not, are complete fantasies.

    Planning is almost always useful. Plans, not so much.

  • Andy Freeman

    > The AP’s best defense against *theft* – let’s call it what it is – is the so-called “hot news doctrine, established in a 1918 Supreme Court case in which the very same AP sued a competitor

    The “hot news” doctrine relies on some things that aren’t true this time.

    One is that links actually work. In 1918, the AP could argue that a cite “stole” revenue because there’s a significant cost to chasing paper. Links are different. That is, a piece of paper (or a telegraphed report) saying “AP says that lincoln was shot” doesn’t make it easy for the reader to access the relevant AP report. A link does.

    The other difference is even more damning to the “hot news” doctrine. There are very few “exclusives” these days. Yes, TMZ may have been the first “legit” news organization that contacted someone who told them that Michael Jackson was dead, but other people twittered that information at the same time, if not before. The hospital also released the information.

    This is a huge problem for the SEC. Everyone in the stands is a potential source for real-time game information. The SEC can argue that such reports are a violation of contract, but it’s not clear that they’d win. After all, the SEC can’t ban someone from talking about a game later.

    They might be able to ban cell phones and wireless communications devices, but folks might boycott games in response.

    • Rob Levine

      >>>The “hot news” doctrine relies on some things that aren’t true this time.

      At least one court disagrees with you, since the AP shut down All Headline News *last month*. Also, remember that even though the Second Circuit Court held that Motorola _could_ offer play-by-play information on NBA games – rendering your point about game boycotts moot – it upheld the doctrine itself.

      If you’re going to argue about what the courts should do, at least take the time to read what they’ve done already.

      • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

        Rob Levine wrote: “At least one court disagrees with you, since the AP shut down All Headline News *last month*”

        Not so fast… AHN removed all links and attribution in the articles that they rewrote and they clearly marketed their work as a substitute for the content they rewrote. Thus, there was no way that you could link from their re-writes to the AP source. Given that many of their re-writes were substantially shorter than the AP originals, it is entirely possible that the court might have ruled differently if there had, in fact, been full attribution of sources with links to the originals. In that case, a “fair use” or similar argument might have worked. As is always the case with court decisions, some questions are answered and others are left open. That is the case here.

        bob wyman

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          You clearly know more secrets than I do or can do more things with others’.

      • Andy Freeman

        > Not so fast…

        Levine’s a journalist – he’s expected to make up things to support the story that he wants to write.

  • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

    “NDAs are the worst invention of lawyers…”
    So, what is the alternative?

    Be reasonable. Unintended disclosures of information can cost a business vast amounts of money and/or market opportunity. This is particularly the case with knowledge based industries. Additionally, use of such information might subject you to insider trading regulations and, if not properly protected by NDAs and other demonstrations of due diligence could force the company to go the expense of filing public disclosures under SEC FD regulations. How can we defend against all these risks and costs without asking folk to agree not to disclose the information they receive?

    I can’t help remembering some meetings that I used to attend when working in the Washington D.C. area. I was always met at the lobby of the unnamed client’s building by two military police. Then, we would walked down the halls with one MP behind me and one in front of me. Both of them would shout “Unsecure!” over and over again and lights would flash in the ceiling. When we passed people’s desks to get from the corridor to the conference room, they would use cloth tarps to conceal what was on their desks and on their screens… And, yes, I needed to sign an NDA to get in the building (and a few other documents as well…).

    bob wyman

  • Rob Levine

    >>>AHN removed all links and attribution in the articles that they rewrote and they clearly marketed their work as a substitute for the content they rewrote.

    While I respect your point, I’m not sure that would matter to the court. In NBA vs. Motorola, the Second Circuit Court set up five tests:

    1. The organization spends money to gather information
    2. The information is time-sensitive
    3. The use of the information constitutes free-riding
    4. It’s in direct competition
    5. The free-riding would reduce the incentive to produce the product so much that its existence OR quality would be threatened.

    5 is a layup – that’s why we’re all here! 1 and 2 seem obvious as well. The first tough call is 3 – but even if links count as as promotion they’re _also_ free-riding (they do not have to be exclusively free-riding). 4 is the tough call here, but it’s also why I think this is a really smart decision. Quality blogs that contain substantial commentary on articles would not be affected. But headline summaries might – even if they link to the original source. I suspect that the exactness of the summary would matter quite a bit.

    • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

      > 4. It’s in direct competition
      A service that produces short summaries (headlines) based on longer stories published elsewhere and that also provides full attribution and links to the source could easily claim that it is not, in fact, competitive but rather serves an information discovery role which directs traffic to the source site. This argument would be particularly strong if the headline site summarizes the output of more than one and preferably many source sites. If they were wise, they would probably keep statistics on click-through rates…

      > 3. The use of the information constitutes free-riding
      As the number of source sites summarized by the headline service increases, it becomes progressively easier for them to argue that they are adding distinct and differentiating value that not only is not being delivered by any single source site but inherently *can not* be delivered by any single source site. This, combined with evidence of expense in performing the cross-site work, would tend to dilute the “free-riding” argument.

      > 5. The free-riding would reduce the incentive to
      > produce the product so much that its existence
      > OR quality would be threatened.
      If the headline site could demonstrate that it did, in fact, send traffic to the source sites that would otherwise not have gone to them, then it is likely that they could argue that they were actually *increasing* the incentives for the source sites to deliver the news product. This argument would be particularly convincing if the set of summarized sites included small sites since those small sites are likely to rely much more on externally directed traffic than they do on “loyal” readership. In fact, this ability of the summarizing “discovery” site to increase the incentives to build a new, small, or innovative news site might even be considered to be of great enough value to society that there would be a specific state’s interest in protecting those who provide such discovery services — since their operation encourages diversity of opinion, competition, etc.

      > 2. The information is time-sensitive
      I think the headline site could actually argue that they have the greatest effect in increasing “incentives” to do original reporting when, the result is time-sensitive content. My reasoning is that each news site will undoubtedly be studied by its competition. If one news site gets time-sensitive data, then all the others will immediately seek to find a permitted way to distribute that data. As each of them succeeds in this effort, the relative advantage of the original reporter will be rapidly depleted. Users “loyal” to the other sites, unless they know that they information is available on the first site, will wait until their “favorite” site reports the news. However, the summarizing intermediary can rapidly let out the news that time-sensitive news is available. Thus, the original source would be rewarded with incremental traffic and have the ability to solidify a “relationship” with the readers directed to them by the summarizing site. In this scenario, competitive sites might actually be less likely to follow-up on someone else’s scoop since they will realize that the summarizing site has probably already satisfied demand for that news. The competitors would, instead, focus less on duplication of effort and more on original reporting.
      Thus, in the case of time-sensitive news when there are multiple competing news outlets, it can be argued that the headline provider has a strong role in increasing the incentives to produce original reporting.

      bob wyman

      • Rob Levine

        I don’t agree with these arguments, but I think they’re all smart and relevant, except number 5. First, this test revolves around the *incentive* to produce news, not profits predicted by a link economy model that has yet to help most news organizations. Second, I don’t think what’s good for society is as much of an issue here as the rights of a potential plaintiff; plenty of things are good for society, but the court rarely abrogates laws if there’s not an urgent or overwhelming need for them.

      • Andy Freeman

        > . First, this test revolves around the *incentive* to produce news,

        Sending readers to an organization that produces news sure is incentive to an organization that produces news to get readers.

        Does Levine want to argue that news organizations don’t produce news to get readers?

        Or does he want to argue that links don’t send readers?

        > not profits

        hold that thought

        > a link economy model that has yet to help most news organizations.

        Since Levine doesn’t think that profit is relevant, it’s unclear why he argues it in the very next phrase.

        No matter – that argument fails too.

        Links do help news organizations; that’s why they don’t ban search engines or based on referer.

        Levine claims to disagree with the notion that links help so let’s see him get rid of them. What? He’s not willing to do so?

        > the court rarely abrogates laws if there’s not an urgent or overwhelming need for them.

        Hot news isn’t a “law” in the sense of being passed by a legislature. It’s a doctrine adopted by a court to deal with a set of circumstances that arguably doesn’t apply here.

        > Second, I don’t think what’s good for society is as much of an issue here as the rights of a potential plaintiff

        It is nice to see Levine abandon the “journalism is for the good of society” pose.

  • Rob Levine

    >>>First, this test revolves around the *incentive* to produce news,

    The incentive is money. That’s what your Chief Revenue Officer deals with while you’re at conferences.

    >>>Does Levine want to argue that news organizations don’t produce news to get readers?

    I can only speak for myself, but my organization produces news to make money. Readers lead to money. They also lead to links, reputation economics, unicorns and rainbows. But those don’t pay the rent.

    To your last point, I don’t think I’ve said much about journalism being good for society – it is, but I don’t think of what I do in such glorified terms. But I think it’s alarming that people who supposedly care so much about journalism are willing to see newspapers become charities just so other people can get rich on their work.

    • Andy Freeman

      >> The incentive is money. That’s what your Chief Revenue Officer deals with while you’re at conferences.

      What the CFO wants isn’t relevant. Levine says that the legal test is ‘First, this test revolves around the *incentive* to produce news’. If Levine disagrees, he’ll have to take that up with Levine.

      If Levine’s publication can’t convert readers to revenue, it does have a problem.

      Does Levine’s publication accept inbound links? If so, either they produce revenue or someone isn’t telling the truth to the CFO.

      Here’s today’s question. Absent a link, how does Levine expect readers to find his publication? How much is he planning to spend on marketing? (Note that revenues must cover this marketing spend.)

      “Buried” in Google’s financial statements is a rather large item called “Traffic Acquisition Costs”. Yup, Google pays to get “readers”. Shouldn’t Levine?

      • Rob Levine

        I can barely understand what you’re saying, so I’ll explain my point again. Test No. 5, which seems to be what you’re talking about, is:

        The free-riding would reduce the incentive to produce the product so much that its existence OR quality would be threatened.

        It does not have to _eliminate_ the incentive – just reduce it to the extent that its existence _or_ quality would be threatened. Is the existence of most news organizations threatened? Perhaps. Is their quality threatened? Of course it is! If it weren’t, I don’t think Jeff would be looking for ‘New business models for news.’

        This is the last thing I’m going to say about this, since it’s frustrating to argue with someone who seems willfully ignorant of the legal precedents involved, but tech utopians have a _very_ poor legal record when it comes to litigating their views. It’s great that you believe in the link economy, but judges are juries aren’t as easily convinced by PowerPoint presentations as consulting clients. Lessig does very well on the lecture circuit but fares very poorly in the courtroom. Look it up.

      • Andy Freeman

        > The free-riding would reduce the incentive to produce the product so much that its existence OR quality would be threatened.

        The “free-riding” in this case consists of a link labelled “x says y”, where the link goes to X’s site so X can monetize, as it sees fit, anyone who clicks said link.

        If Levine’s organization actually believed that links were bad for it, it would ban them using technical means. It doesn’t. Is Levine claiming that they’re wrong, that they should?

        Levine seems to think that potential readers who didn’t see links would flock to his site. Perhaps he’ll explain how they’ll know to do this and why. (One answer is marketing, which will involve significant spending by his organization.)

        Levine has previously argued that his organization should get revenue from any page that links to his content. I’ve asked if his organization does the same when it cites other folks content – he didn’t answer. I’ve asked if such payment has ever been required for citation. Again, no answer.

        This time I’ll ask a different question. If Google decides to pay as Levine wishes, what makes him think that his organization will be asked to participate? What is he going to do if Google’s response to “If you link to us, we want a cut”?is “Okay, we won’t link to you”?

  • Rob Levine

    Andy,

    I’ve never said that links are bad for any organization (just that they don’t make up for lost revenue) and I’ve never said that my organization should collect money from those who link to us (just those who summarize our work without adding to it). I’ve ended this conversation. However, I wish it to be known that you have completely misrepresented my thoughts. If you keep putting words in my mouth, you will become much more familiar with libel law than you would wish to.

    -rob

    • http://wyman.us Bob Wyman

      Levine says: “I’ve never said that links are bad for any organization (just that they don’t make up for lost revenue)”

      For revenues to be lost, there must first have been revenue to lose. When discussing online news, the old paper-based revenues are irrelevant to anything but historians. Only online revenue matters. The discussion of “business models for the news” is an effort to discover how to generate revenues in this new environment. There hasn’t been enough experience yet to speak of any “lost” revenue. (If you were in the buggy whip business during the period when automobiles were being introduced, then your incentive to work should have come from the opportunity to profit in the future from your skills in the broader leather goods business, not from dreaming about whatever money that you used to make.)

      Online, links represent virtually the only means for providing a site with the *opportunity* to generate revenues at reasonable costs. The opportunity provided by links is, in fact, the only rational *incentive* that can motivate the production of online news. While readership can be drummed up by paid advertising (online or offline), for most organizations the costs of such campaigns are prohibitive. Thus, for many news organizations, links are the *only* mechanism that they have for generating revenue. Without the opportunity that is inherent in links, there would be no incentive to offer news online. (Hopefully, that will change somewhat as news bureaus specialize and realize that they should be broadening their community touch points by doing things like sponsoring conferences, speaking tours, writing books, syndicating content, offering premium news services like high-priced newsletters, etc.)

      As Geoffrey Bilder often says: “A distributed system begets a centralized system.” Call it Bilder’s Law… So, we have distributed internet and email systems that rely on centralized domain name management. The distributed system of web sites relies on search engines to provide discovery services. Podcasting services flourished once iTunes and similar sites provided centralized access to them. The same will hold for online news sites. As long as there are more of them than anyone can keep track of on their own, the *system* of online news will require cross-site aggregators and “headline” services that direct users to the sites that can serve them best. These “centralized” discovery tools provide the opportunity for individual sites to be found and for those sites to monetize the traffic that flows to them. Without the centralized discovery sites, the online news system would be unsustainable. You may not like it but “them’s the facts!” It’s the nature of the beast.

      bob wyman

    • Andy Freeman

      > However, I wish it to be known that you have completely misrepresented my thoughts.

      Not being a mind-reader, I can’t speak to that. I have, however, accurately represented Levine’s statements. If there’s a difference between said statements and his thoughts, he’ll have to take that up with himself.

      > If you keep putting words in my mouth, you will become much more familiar with libel law than you would wish to.

      Oop, I’m so scared. Not.

      It’s unclear that Levine can get his “case” into a jurisdiction where truth is not a defense. (That being relevant because I can show where he’s said what he’s now trying to deny.) Even if he did, such jurisdictions require that the “bad things” be little known, not just that they show him in a bad light. Since I’m repeating them in the forum in which he stated them…

      Perhaps Levine should talk to his lawyer about threatening legal action.

      • Rob Levine

        I spoke out of frustration and I’m sorry about that. However, you’ve said that I’ve said several things that I haven’t – I explained the difference in parens above. Please go away now.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Rob,
      Stop threatening and attacking people here. Enough. Once more and you will be out of there permanently.

      • Rob Levine

        I’m not attacking anyone. In my initial posts, I took the time to explain a legal precedent that you were unaware of – which I think you’d would appreciate, given the fact that you advice people on these issues! I then responded when my views were grossly mischaracterized.

        For someone who spends time insulting anyone who disagrees with you – newspaper publishers, the AP, etc. – you can get pretty sensitive when the show is on the other foot.

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          You threatened a fellow commenter with legal action. That is the clearest definition of an attack.

          Get your own blog.

        • Rob Levine

          I was wrong to do that, and I apologized.

          That said, I resent the idea that people are free to misrepresent what I’ve said. There’s a big difference between asking people to pay for links and asking people to pay for copying the work of others. I will not comment further on this, except to point out that Craigslist, like the AP, has taken steps to protect its content – in its case from scrapers. Since I know you are a big fan of Craigslist, I wonder what you think of that? This is in no way an attack – it’s a serious question.

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          Rob, I’m no longer engaging. Life is too short.

        • Rob Levine

          That’s fine.

          On the off chance that anyone else cares, here’s a link to what I was talking about:

          http://battellemedia.com/archives/001930.php

        • Andy Freeman

          The link shows that craigslist either stopped oodle from extracting content without linking/attribution or decided that it didn’t like links from oodle AND did something about it.

          No one objects to the former. We’ve suggested the latter to anyone who feels that they’re not getting enough value from links.

          The latter isn’t good enough for Levine. He rants about litigation and “lost revenue”.

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