The New York Times reported on Monday, June 16, that The Associated Press (AP) wants to limit the amount of material that bloggers use under the “fair use” clause governing the use of copyrighted material. What do I mean? Let me break it down for you: The AP wants to keep bloggers from quoting AP stories in their posts.
How serious is it about this? Well, last week, the AP sent a cease and desist letter to the Drudge Retort (Yeah, I never heard of them either.) “asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from AP articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.” (NYT)
After the AP got its a** handed to it by the blogosphere, the media organization backed off a bit and decided to meet with some obscure bloggers group, Media Bloggers Association, and “others”, to discuss possible guidelines.
Wow. Another example of a member of the old guard unequipped to deal with the power and pervasiveness of new media. Instead of waging war against bloggers, the AP should find new ways to monetize its content or come up with an entirely new revenue stream. Has anyone at the AP heard of R&D? Oh, that’s right, the old media don’t know nuthin about that; they’d rather use their dwindling resources to file possible futile and/or frivolous lawsuits.
It seems that the AP is fully aware that by going full force against the blogosphere, it may end up in the same predicament as the recording industry, who when faced with a similar dilemma — file sharing– took an extremely heavy handed approach rendering itself nearly obsolete in the process. Vice President and Strategy Director, Jim Kennedy told the Times, “We are not trying to sue bloggers. That would be rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not we are trying to do.” Oh really, sounds like it to me.
For more details about the AP’s action against the Drudge Retort, please check out this great article by Simon Owens of Bloggasm (click here) which includes and interview with Rogers Cadenhead, publisher of the Drudge Retort and details about the copyright act in question.
After reading the piece, I am left with question: Of the millions upon millions of bloggers that use AP content– many in greater amounts — why is the AP targeting the Drudge Retort?
It seems that the AP and Drudge Retort have kissed and made up. The details are their agreement have not been made public. So, what about those guidelines, you ask? Well, the AP hasn’t issued any new guidelines regarding the use of their material by bloggers. (Source)
For more on this messy matter, click here.