Help me understand. The Associated Press won a court battle recently, in which the court ruled that an aggregation service had violated “fair use” under copyright law by reprinting AP content without sharing profits.

My reaction is mixed. Only … no, it isn’t. As a content creator myself, I understand the level of thought, care, time, and effort it takes to produce quality content. The idea that someone can take the content I’ve worked very hard on, and reprint it for free makes no sense to me.

Yet people are crying that this will have a “chilling” effect on online innovation. Help me understand. What is this “chilling” effect? I don’t at all understand how online innovation and “you get to use my hard work for free” are related, other than by the desire of entrepreneurs to use my hard work for free. There’s a word for that in my book, and the word isn’t innovation.

Right now, I’m finding myself writing much, much less, precisely because I no longer find the economics justify the time spent. I have about 30 draft articles outlined, but why would I write them if they’ll just be excerpted and used to drive revenue to someone else’s site?

What am I missing?

Is content re-use necessary?

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