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A coalition of international media associations has announced a new initiative designed to avoid future clashes between Internet search engines and newspaper, periodical, magazine and book publishers that make their content available online.
The World Association of Newspapers, European Publishers Council, International Publishers Association and European Newspaper Publishers' Association are backing ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol), an automated system that allows online publishers to provide information about access to and use of their content. The information is provided in a form that can be recognised and interpreted by search engine crawlers and details the terms under which content can be used.
Publishers Find Technology Agreement With Search Engines [pcpro.co.uk]
Publishers Aim For Some Control Of Search Results
Francisco Pinto Balsemão, chairman of the European Publishers Council... said... 'It will facilitate greater access to our published content, making it more, not less available, to anyone wishing to use it...
Isn't this the status quo now? And isn't this last part so revealing?
...while avoiding copyright infringement and protecting search engines from future litigation."
Tut, tut, tut. Alleged infringement of copyright by search engines has never been an issue with the greater part of the publishing world before now. What's changed?
I see no mention in the article of search engine owners' having agreed to this. I'll look forward to their individual or collective response. Mind you, the Google spokesperson sums it all up very nicely:
'Google News is no different than Google web search in this regard: We only ever show the headlines and a bit of text. If people want to read the entire story they have to click through to the newspaper's website. And if a newspaper does not want to be part of Google News we remove their content from our index - all they have to do is ask.'
Stupid publishers; dumb publishers!
I see no mention in the article of search engine owners' having agreed to this.
That is the key.
They are trying to make a standard by decree, without taking input from the intended user. That can works sometimes, in non-adversarial relationships, or when the user just doesn't care.
I wonder if it ever even occured to them to invite Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc to the party?