According to the AP

That could be a phrase you see less often around the blogosphere.  In a truely bone headed move, the Associated Press has shown that they are not much different than the MPAA and RIAA, where they try to hold old media standards to the web, because they don’t think they are getting paid enough by everybody.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Last week, the Associated Press sent the Drudge Retort seven DMCA takedown notices, demanding that the site remove excerpts of AP articles ranging from 33 to 79 words that were linked through to authorized copies of the AP stories.

See what I did there?  I quoted another source, attributed it to them, and linked to the full article, providing potentially more traffic to them.  I did not steal their story, I followed what has been considered Fair Use, even before the days of the Internet.  Before you would have a Reference Page, Foot Notes, etc.  You needed to ensure your credited and cited your sources, but it has always been fair use to quote another source.

Not so according to the AP.  They want you to link to them, AND NOTHING ELSE.  After the inital lashback against their tactics, the A.P. backed off (sort of) according to the New York Times.

 After that, however, the news association convened a meeting of its executives at which it decided to suspend its efforts to challenge blogs until it creates a more thoughtful standard.

“We don’t want to cast a pall over the blogosphere by being heavy-handed, so we have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Kennedy said the company was going to meet with representatives of the Media Bloggers Association, a trade group, and others. He said he hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so that guidelines can be released soon.

Now, reading this at first, it sounds like maybe they learned their lesson, but in “hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so guidelines can be released soon” tells me that they are only trying to find a new tactic, because after all there are already guidelines in place as I said earlier.  It is known as Fair Use and it is already codified by the U.S. Copyright Office.

On a bit of a side note, I would love to know who decided that the Media Bloggers Association should have the right to negotiate this.  I mean, no offense to Mr. Cox and those that are already members, but I don’t know you.  You stopped accepting memberships, because you don’t even have a clear set of policies (by your own admission), and while you may very well have the best interest of bloggers in general, I do not find this to be an acceptable situation.  Suffice it to say, as an independent blogger, and not a member of your organization, I do not find that I will feel obligated to follow any guidelines set forth by this meeting and your “agreements” with the Associated Press.

It is also probably germane to point out that the Associated Press is owned by its 1,500 daily newspaper members… those very same people that have not yet been able to find a way to use the web properly and continue to bleed red ink (while blaming the Internet in general and Bloggers specifically for their eroding fortunes).  These same people that fight and attempt to keep bloggers from getting credentials because they are not part of the media.  Seems to me, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

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