associated-pressYesterday, the Associated Press announced a new initiative to stop the “misappropriation of news on the internet,” pledging to work with news portals and websites that license their content and “pursue legal and legislative actions against those who don’t.” “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories,” said AP Chairman John Singleton, adding, “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more.”

On the surface, the announcement sounds like the latest effort to crack down on copyright violations, a follow-up to this years lawsuit against HOPE artist Shepard Fairey and last year’s threat to charge bloggers $12.50 for the fair use of 5-word quotes. However, as Ars Technica points out, the crackdown on “misappropriation of news” covers not just the misuse of news articles, but the news itself, preventing news outlets from reporting on AP news even in their own words. However, it remains to be seen whether the world’s biggest news service will prove to be the world’s biggest glutton for punishment in trying to track and control the facts, not just the words, in the news.