Associated Press Going After Blogger for Posting Story Snippets
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://techdirt.com/articles/20080613/0117561394.shtml' target='_blank'>http://techdirt.com/articles/200806...117561394.shtml</a><br /><br /></div><em>"Last fall, the Associated Press claimed that it was ready to change to face the new internet world -- and that meant not just being a gatekeeper, but joining in the conversation. As we noted at the time, though, AP execs said all that, only to immediately follow that up with plans that looked like it was trying to become a new type of gatekeeper. It didn't help that the company had also just sued VeriSign's Moreover division for linking to AP stories along with a title and a tiny excerpt. That sort of thing is clearly fair use -- but the AP doesn't seem to think so. And, now, it's expanding its target list. Rather than just going after the big aggregators (surprisingly, Google settled), it appears that the Associated Press is going after bloggers for merely posting a linked headline and a tiny snippet of text from the article."</em><br /><br />This has to be one of the most idiotic things I've seen this year - a news company like the AP suing people for using short content snippets and linking to the story. Note that they didn't target Web sites who were ripping off the stories in full, or even sites that were using quotes but not linking back to the story - both examples of legitimate gripes on the part of the AP. Nope, they chose to go after a site that was doing something that is the backbone of content on the Web today: pulling a short quote and linking to the story where you got the quote from.<br /><br />I'm really disappointed that Google settled - that would have emboldened the AP to a huge degree, because quoting snippets of AP text and linking to the story. In fact, it's probably not a stretch to say that when Google settled it probably convinced some AP lawyer that if they got the mighty Google to bow to their threats, a bunch of bloggers would be no problem. They're going to realize how incredibly wrong they were within a few weeks, or perhaps a few months if they're especially thick-headed.<br /><br />There's some further coverage over on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/16/heres-our-new-policy-on-ap-stories-theyre-banned/">TechCrunch</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.buzzmachine.com/2008/06/16/ap-hole-dig/">BuzzMachine</a>, and I'm going to follow Michael Arrington's lead by implementing a new policy on all the Thoughts Media sites: we're going to avoid linking to <em>any</em> Associated Press story until they reverse their idiotic stance.