Posted by: Witch Doctor | August 9, 2009

WD Apology (12) – The Future?


Part 12 of The Witch Doctor’s apology on behalf of My Black Cat’s recent outburst expresses concern about the future of the Freedom of The Internet if the plans of  The Associated Press in the USA and The Media Standards Trust in the UK creep.


“Times Reader 2.0 is now powered by Adobe AIR. Get your latest in newspaper delivery for only $3.45 a week. It’s 7 days of the best journalism in the world.”


Nothing wrong with that.

They say newspapers are falling on hard times – the recession is going to last a long while, advertising revenue is going to fall, and the Internet is not going to go away.

This is good value for money.

But where may this tunnel lead?



The package that the Associate Press have in mind involves the use of “Built in Beacons” in their “Wrappers’.

The Media Standards Trust calls it DNA.

These tracking mechanisms will tell them when and where copyright is being breached.

But what exactly is COPYRIGHT?

Is it the heading of an article?

Is it a brief quote from the article?

Is it a link to an article?


The Witch Doctor is not a lawyer and does not know the answer to that.

On 23 July 2009, The New York Times carried an article by Richard Perez-Pena that had the heading:


You need to register but it’s free.

Tom Curley is the president and chief executive of Associated Press.

Read carefully what The New York Times reports he said:

“the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.

Asked if that stance went further than The A.P. had gone before, he said, “That’s right.”

Think about it carefully too.

And more:

“If someone can build multibillion-dollar businesses out of keywords, we can build multihundred-million businesses out of headlines, and we’re going to do that,” Mr. Curley said.”

Links are the cement of the internet. They hold it together and make it function.

Without links, the internet would be paralysed similar to the way you would be paralysed if your nerves in your brain and body were unable to synapse.

So, AP have a plan – to charge for the cement of the internet.

Imagine if every link on the internet had a dollar sign attached to it.

My Black Cat seems to think that the Associated Press with The Media Standards Trust / Common Purpose in tow are trying to redefine the Laws of Copyright, the legal principle of “Fair Use,” and a 90 year old doctrine of “Hot News.” She says they must be Mad, Sad, or Bad.

Is it any wonder that conspiracy theories flourish?

More soon………

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  1. I have been reading this series about the MST with interest and look forward to the next episode.

    It seems to me that there is something fishy going on at the MST.

  2. I’m afraid I’ve got another scary one for you.

    ‘Personal Budgets’ are all the rage where I’m currently working in Social Services, I didn’t realise the idea was also creeping into the NHS.

  3. Giving people money to buy their own care. What could possibly be wrong with that? We all know that government workers are inefficient and that individuals are better placed to to sort out their own needs and buy what they need on the open market. Any intelligent middle class person would know that. What is scary about that catlady23? Surely you are not saying that in social care the process doesn’t work and is more trouble than it is worth?


  4. No, it wouldn’t be my place to suggest anything like that!
    All I can do is sit on the sidelines and wait for it to become obvious to the powers that be *sigh*


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