After the Associated Press announced bizarre plans to charge Web publishers that use more than four words of its content, Thomson Reuters media president Chris Ahearn tweeted: “Reuters stands ready to help those who wish an alternative to the AP.”
Today in a blog post titled “Why I believe in the link economy,” Chris goes further, writing “Let’s stop whining and start having real conversations across party lines.”
The general gist:
Blaming the new leaders or aggregators for disrupting the business of the old leaders, or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies – they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works.
A better approach is to have a general agreement among community members to treat others’ content, business and ideas with the same respect you would want them to treat yours.
If you are doing something that you would object to if others did it to you – stop. If you don’t want search engines linking to you, insert code to ban them.
We agree about the better-approach part. And that, by the way, is exactly what our excerpting/link policy is: Treat those we excerpt and link to exactly the way we hope they’ll treat us.
(We’re also an AP customer. We’d be eager to work with Reuters, too, but right now it’s too expensive).
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