Google, AP reach agreement for hosted news

Google has reached a licensing agreement with the Associated Press that will allow it to continue hosting news content from the journalism consortium.

The AP, a cooperative owned by its roughly 1,500 newspaper members, has bristled at the way its content has flowed across the Web, at times without compensation or credit. The organization has leveled criticism against online aggregators for free-riding on the original work produced by its news staff, and threatened (and in some cases taken) legal action against websites that misappropriate its content.

The AP has licensing agreements with large Web portals (and many others) like Google and Yahoo through which those sites pay for the right to post AP stories and images on their news sites. But amid the ongoing saber rattling on the part of the AP and its members about legal action and the need to extract more revenue from the Web, the prospect for renewing those partnerships was called into question.

Google and the AP did not release the terms of the agreement. Instead, Paul Colford, the AP’s director of media relations, released a rather cryptic statement, saying, “Under the agreement, AP and Google will also work together in a number of new areas, such as ways to improve discovery and distribution of news.”

Josh Cohen, a senior business product manager at Google, wrote in a brief blog post that Google hopes to “work together to create a better user experience and new revenue opportunities.”

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