The AP drama

I just learned about a currently developing online drama.  Associated Press (AP) decided that they are going to charge bloggers and anyone who cites their content.  The tariff is $2.5 a word or $12.5 for five words.  Now, as I understand it, if I post here a title of AP’s article with a link to it, I will have to pay, and if i cite anything from their article and provide a link to it, i will still have to pay.

AP are explaning this move in copyright terms and are apparently threatening to sue some bloggers. Frankly, I am finding it really difficult to follow their logic.  If they don’t want people to cite and link to their content, why are they making it available online?  Either I am missing some huge point here, or peole at AP don’t understand the “rules of the game” they are into.

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2 Responses to “The AP drama”

  1. Josh Braun Says:

    Jack Lail has a good post that contains a good roundup of the story thus far.

    The AP’s getting some backlash from newspapers, who technically own the syndicate, because links to AP stories drive a lot of traffic to their sites (the same papers whose print ad revenue is plummeting). If bloggers boycott AP, as many say they are planning to do, it’ll threaten to cut papers who post AP stories out of the conversation economy.

    At the same time, some have suggested that the boycott may benefit smaller papers, as people begin linking to the local papers covering a story, rather than their wire service counterpart.

    You’re totally right that the AP doesn’t understand what they’re getting into. (A) What bloggers are doing is definitely fair use, (B) the syndicate is owned by the newspapers, many of whom appear to be pissed about the whole thing, and (C) there are myriad other sources out there, including other wire services, that are just as easily linked to. And if that happens and the AP gets cut out of the conversation economy, their readership, and subsequently their political and market leverage, will plummet.

  2. Leonid Says:

    The only think that I have to add to the roundup above, is this:
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/19/the-ap-has-violated-my-copyright-and-i-demand-justice/. (TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington complains about AP violating their own rather loose interpretation of a copyright law)

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