hNews Might Not Be So Bad

The AP’s diagram of their Protect, Point, Pay “news DRM” scheme looked like a joke, then I saw the parody.

Despite all the smoke and hype, Ed Felton explains that it’s underwhelming, at most. Still, hNews might be an interesting format for some blogs to adopt. Most of what the AP is rattling their saber about is in the rights (containing ccREL declarations). Felton thinks the dependence on ccREL may extend derivative usage rights, rather than limit them. ccREL, after all, “states unequivocally that it does not limit users’ rights already granted by copyright and can only convey further rights to the user.”

Okay, so hNews mightn’t be so bad, but what’s good about it? It brings together a number of pieces that we all expect in a news story (and many other stories). It makes it easy to identify the dateline and geocoding of a particular story, as well as the publisher and its principles.

Oddly, the format doesn’t appear to address media within the content, but perhaps they expect us to leverage Media RSS and rel=image_src links.