via TechCrunch, June 16, 2008:
Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned
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The stories over the weekend were bad enough - the Associated Press, with a long history of suing over quotations from their articles, went after Drudge Retort [a site that mocks the Drudge Report]for having the audacity to link to their stories along with short quotations via reader submissions. Drudge Retort is doing nothing different than what Digg, TechMeme, Mixx and dozens of other sites do, and frankly the fact that they are being linked to should be considered a favor.
After heavy criticism over the last few days, the A.P. is in damage control mode, says the NYTimes, and retreating from their earlier position. But from what I read, they’re just pushing their case further.
They do not want people quoting their stories, despite the fact that such activity very clearly falls within the fair use exception to copyright law. They claim that the activity is an infringement.
A.P. vice president Jim Kennedy says they will issue guidelines telling bloggers what is acceptable and what isn’t, over and above what the law says is acceptable. They will "attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright."
Those that disregard the guidelines risk being sued by the A.P., despite the fact that such use may fall under the concept of fair use.
The A.P. doesn't get to make it’s own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it's clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don't exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model - paid content.
So here's our new policy on A.P. stories: they don't exist. We don't see them, we don’t quote them, we don't link to them. They're banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.
and via TechDirt:
[...] Rather than just going after the big aggregators (surprisingly, Google settled), it appears that the Associated Press is going after bloggers for merely posting a linked headline and a tiny snippet of text from the article. In this case, Rogers Cadenhead informs us that the AP sent 7 DMCA takedown notices last week to his site, the Drudge Retort (a site that mocks the Drudge Report). In six cases, a blog post on the site quoted just a small snippet of text from an AP article (between 33 and 79 words -- nowhere near the full length of the article). In every case, they also contained links back to the original AP article. Five of the six used a different headline than the original AP article. The other complaint was about a comment to a blog post, which also included a very short snippet and a link.
On the face of it, it's nearly impossible to see how this isn't fair use, even though an AP representative insists it's not:
The use is not fair use simply because the work copied happened to be a news article and that the use is of the headline and the first few sentences only. This is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of "fair use." AP considers taking the headline and lede of a story without a proper license to be an infringement of its copyrights, and additionally constitutes "hot news" misappropriation.
Hopefully, they won't send a takedown notice for quoting that. [...]
more on this via Technorati.