Monday, June 16, 2008

No More Associated Press

Until this situation is resolved:

Bloggers beware, Associated Press are on the warpath, starting bogus copryright suits against those linking and quoting even the merest fraction of an AP news report. Roger Cadenhead of the Drudge Retort:

I'm currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing "'hot news' misappropriation under New York state law." An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.

Fair Use And The Associated Press

Atrios named the AP Wankers Of the Day. Since I haven't noted any hypocrisy here, I can't oblige by naming them the "Hypocritical Wanker(s) of the Day", but stay tuned. Looks like Rahm Emanuel will hold that title for a while longer.

My policy has always been to be to follow the rules of fair use that I learned - for any story longer than a few paragraphs, only quote a small part that gets the idea across, then provide a link. This is a system that works well on the Internet. It allows me to make a point, and it gives the creator of that article traffic, and potential revenue. If the AP doesn't want to play that way, I can live without them, as can most bloggers.

Over at FireDogLake, Jane Hamsher adds:

The AP will probably be slow to learn the lesson, because it will see no immediate impact if people like me won't link to them any more because we don't want to be sued. I mean in our world, how crazy is that? Like I'm going to sue Atrios for linking to me? That's just insane. We live on traffic, our revenues are based on pageviews. The same can be said for the online outlets that the AP is selling its product to -- newspapers across the country. It's the Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle who will feel it if nobody will link to their AP stories. They are, in effect, buying a product that will not generate traffic they need in order to sell ads to support themselves.

Associated Press: Dinosaurs of the Internet

That's it in a nutshell - the AP is screwing its own customers by doing this. Be sure to let your local paper know what the AP thinks of them.

By the way, please do not quote the AP in the comments at SnS, either. I'll have to remove the comment if you do.

UPDATE: Clicking on the "Boycott AP" banner above will take you to the UnAssociated Press, a site that's keeping track of this issue. Of course, it also has an online petition you can sign. (h/t Lindy)

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