Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Political News and Commentary Site Mortally Wounded by AFP Frivolous Lawsuit

"Do no Evil" -- Found on Google Corporate (well sort of, they really say: "You can make money without doing evil.", but my version is cooler and simpler.)

AFP, a French based newsfeed service, has sued Google for carrying it's content headlines, along with a brief summary on its news content search service This foolish and short sighted action has implications beyond the monthly income AFP feels it's entitled to. For starters the value services like Google News provide is well known in that information consumers will consume more content if said content is easily located and that is just what Google, along with many others, does. That seems obvious enough doesn't it? How many readers would you have if they had to come to your site for the reading? Answer for the Internet impared: Not many, even if your content is really good.

This particular political news and opinion site seems to agree and has the bruises to prove it. The damage to their service offering looks to be mortal. Only time will tell, but I remain doubtful. They have been damaged by simply being an AFP content consumer. They are not even named in the lawsuit, yet suffer right along with everyone else unlucky enough to be involved with AFP.

You see, AFP demands that Google remove all content related to their news feed until they pay up. Of course, if Google actually paid, everybody would then demand their share, thus ruining the Internet for all practical purposes where news is concerned. So, Google removes what AFP asked them to, gets the legal team warmed up and ready to go and waits...

That's where the mortal wound comes in. If AFP bothered to look past their own greedy interests, they would have realized all their paying customers would not see their site headlines on Google anymore either.

Either content is linkable or not, it's really that simple. AFP is telling Google their content is not linkable, so Google is not going to link. Unfortunatly for the Political Gateway news and commentary site, that means no more search related traffic from Google either and according to them that very likely means no more site period.

It's going to be much of the same story for anyone who carries AFP traffic. I'm sure there are many other sites now experiencing what the Political Gateway is. Hopefully they are big enough to carry the day. Too bad for them and worse, too bad for their readers and too bad for AFP also. Anyone affected by this folly is probably looking hard for other news sources to replace the now tainted AFP.

Carrying AFP news is now the kiss of death. I'm sure they didn't think of that before thinking hard about how to satisfy their greed. I'm sure business will be booming now huh? Schumks.

Clearly most of the Internet agrees with Google and not AFP. In the end, I'm sure AFP will come around, though I'm not sure those that used their service will be around when it's all over. AFP may not be around when it's over. Afterall, how can one run a business when becoming a customer hurts more than it benefits?

Why not stop by the Political Gateway and support them? I found their site interesting and informative. Perhaps you will also. While you are there, consider supporting news services, other than AFP.

Do no Evil indeed.


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