I’m getting ready for class, and so will not be able to comment in any detail on the settlement terms reached between GateHouse Media and the New York Times Co. And it’s hard to know what the agreement (PDF) is going to look like in practice.
But my gut tells me that, by agreeing not to aggregate GateHouse content automatically for its Boston.com Your Town sites, the Times Co. will shift more to a blogging model, compiled by actual human beings, rather than robotically posting headlines and ledes from GateHouse’s Wicked Local sites.
“To put it in the language of online-journalism theory, they have to shift a bit from raw aggregation to something closer to curation,” writes Josh Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab. I agree — I think that’s exactly what we’re going to see.
One interesting aspect of the agreement is that the Times Co. says it will not interfere with any technological fix GateHouse attempts to implement in order to stop it from “scraping” its content.
“Gatehouse had not previously established a barrier to prevent such scraping of its stories,” writes Robert Weisman of the Boston Globe.
But in GateHouse’s legal complaint, the company charges that it “implemented certain electronic security measures” last November, which were quickly defeated by Boston.com.
More to come, I’m sure.