The AP has filed truly noxious takedown notices against Rogers Cadenhead's community-created Drudge Retort, arguing copyright violations for quotes from 33 to 79 words long.
This sounds like what those of us who live in the 21st century call "blogging". In this case, for example, I'm quoting Jeff Jarvis, linking to his site, and sending him some of the Guardian's lovely link juice. Jarvis gets more readers and becomes more famous, while his site becomes more important in Google's view of the world. You'd have to really clueless to object....
The other thing that pisses off JJ (as he has pointed out before) is that AP is taking stories from member news organizations and not linking back to them:
the AP is hurting original reporting by not crediting and linking to the journalism at its source. We should be operating under an ethic of the link to original reporting; this is an ethic that the AP systematically violates.
Jarvis therefore suggests linking to the original journalism, rather than "the homogenized AP version of the news".
AP seems to have shifted into damage limitation mode, and AP's Jim Kennedy (VP and Director of Strategy for AP) left a comment on Jarvis's Buzzmachine blog at 12.41pm. The same comment was added to TechDirt's post on the issue.
Let's admit that AP does have a problem, because there are Web sites that just steal news feeds. So the real question boils down to whether Cadenhead's site is stealing or quoting, crediting and linking, ie blogging. As far as I can see, it mainly links via headlines, without saying where the link is going. (In the example at the top, it's The New York Times.)
It's not black and white, and it would be interesting to hear a judge rule on whether it's fair use or not. Until that happens, it would help if AP specified exactly how many shades of grey it will allow.....
Update 1: Jeff Jarvis comments: "I just wrote a (more temperate) followup post trying to explain to the AP that they didn't understand they were calling the bloggers unethical when the bloggers were following their ethic of the quote and the link, as you point out. I also propose that the AP start to follow this ethic."
Update 2: Today (Monday), The New York Times says: "The Associated Press, one of the nation's largest news organizations, said that it will, for the first time, attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The AP's copyright."
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