The Associated Press on Monday announced new efforts to contain the rapid online spread of its content, saying legal action will be taken against any Web site or online news aggregator that uses an AP story without first obtaining permission.
The wire service, in a press release, said its efforts will "protect news content from misappropriation online." This involves implementing a tracking system to check whether online content is being legally used. An AP executive said the wire service "would work with portals and other partners who properly license content."
"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories," said AP Chairman Dean Singleton.
The New York Times reported that some AP executives were concerned about major search engines and aggregators that linked to news articles or "sometimes reproduce[d] articles whole." Many of those companies claim they are protected by the doctrine of fair use, which allows certain uses of copyright-protected material without permission.