Meltwater is a news aggregator, mostly notable for tracking news cross-language and customized around keywords, and for having a lot of disgruntled employees. Basically Google News for the multi-lingual crossed with what appears to be an aggressive telemarketing infrastructure.
Unfortunately for it, just like Google News, the Associated Press hates it and wants it to die. Unlike Google News, the AP can’t pull that one off just yet and must instead protect its precious, precious content by suing the ever-loving crap out of anyone who dares link to it.
At issue here is whether Meltwater delivered its clients simple links, which is perfectly legal, or if they actually charged for content, which isn’t. The AP claims Meltwater archived stories which were supposed to hide behind a magic paywall or something and thus they’re getting ripped off.
Of course, one could point out the entire economic model of taking stuff off the Internet or hiding it behind a paywall in the first place is counter-productive and silly, since anybody with a reasonable amount of dedication and Google skills can dig it up for free on a forum somewhere. But we doubt the AP is going to listen to us: after all, we use those criminal hyperlinks the kids talk so much about.
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