Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

The latest from the "don't quote me on that..." department.

The Associated Press is facing a flurry of criticism by both bloggers *AND* major newspapers for sending seven DMCA takedown notices to the Drudge Retort, claiming that users linking to AP's stories were violating their copyright and committing "'hot news' misappropriation under New York state law." 

In none of the cases were the exerpts more than 79 words, and in one case, the post had as few as 18 words from an AP story, which clearly falls under the common definition of "fair use".  Indeed, the 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law specifically cites that the “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment" is one of those activities that is commonly viewed as fair use.

Sadly, the Associated Press draws no distinctions.... in fact, one of the DMCA notices sent by the AP specifically targeted a user's comment citing an AP story.

To make matters worse, AP Vice President and strategy director Jim Kennedy, when put on the spot, has chimed in with some distinctly unhelpful comments:

"We are not trying to sue bloggers. . . That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do.”

Nope. You're merely *threatening* to sue grandma and the kids, while openly accusing them of being thieves for having the audacity to cite your stories and promote your business. Distinction noted. I'm sure that if push came to shove, the Associated Press wouldn't actually take grandma and the kids to court, for fear that the judge would laugh at their case and make them pay grandma back for all her legal fees... plus penalties. 

I mean, why go to court, when fear and intimidation work so well against the 99.95% of people who don't have the money, time, and/or balls to risk the potentially catastrophic downside of fighting such policies?!  

So, you'd normally think that the pushback would stop at the blog level, wouldn't you?! Well, apparently not.  Indeed, the Washington Post's riposte is remarkably sharp and pointy...

"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 so I will ban / ignore articles by the Associated Press... and I encourage all of you to do the same, until AP apologizes to bloggers and backs down from their position.

Feels kind of strange siding with "the man" to help stick it to the other man, don't it?! 



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