The news from this morning’s Associated Press board meeting in San Diego — they’re getting tough on Websites, especially news aggregators which reprint AP-licensed content. (Sort of like what we’re doing right now considering this story came from the AP as posted on WashingtonPost.com)

“We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories,” said Dean Singleton, the AP’s chairman and the chief executive of newspaper publisher MediaNews Group Inc. “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more.”

From the story:

The Associated Press and the newspaper industry plan an aggressive effort to track down copyright violators on the Internet and try to divert traffic from Web sites that don’t properly license news content, the AP board announced Monday.

Specifics behind the initiative are still being worked out. One idea under development would be to create a system that can help track whether news content is being legally distributed online. The AP also said it will work with newspapers and broadcasters to direct readers to “landing pages” that could offer news from the AP and its members, rather than unauthorized sites.

Copyright is an especially thorny issue for the AP and newspapers, which have seen their material spread on the Internet far beyond their direct control in a cut-and-paste age.