Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The AP Loses Their Marbles

The Associated Press has decreed that "fair use" means bloggers can only excerpt 4 words from the AP's articles; any further words will be charged at a rate of $2.50 per word.

Not only that, but the Associated Press is attempting to prohibit bloggers from quoting from the AP in order to criticize the AP, even if you pay their fee.

So, for instance, I am theoretically not supposed to quote this erroneous sentence from the AP's obituary of Cyd Charisse: "She also forged a popular song-and-dance partnership on television and in nightclub appearances with her husband, singer Tony Bennett."

The AP is apparently too slapdash to know the difference between Tony Bennett and Tony Martin, and they don't want such errors publicized. This seems to me to be a clear attempt to silence bloggers, especially those without deep pockets, and mute criticism of the AP.

I can't imagine the AP's position would withstand a Supreme Court challenge.

Update: Michelle Malkin and Patterico point out that the AP has no problem quoting from blogs at length, without offering to pay the bloggers; just yesterday the AP quoted 154 words of a Patterico post on the controversy regarding Judge Alex Kozinski. Meanwhile, the AP has been going after a blogger who used far fewer words from an AP article than the AP lifted from Patterico's site!


Blogger Kori and Ken Pellman said...

My guess is that the AP would lose this fight in court. Fair use does have limits, but the AP's restrictions are just too much.

It would be interesting if bloggers avoided the AP entirely and drove traffic to other services and directly to individual newspapers and such.

8:47 PM  

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