As we wait with bated breath for the Associated Press to come down from the mountain with its own rules for "fair use for bloggers," Patrick Nielsen Hayden gives us a sense of what the AP considers fair use (found via Boing Boing). Apparently, for quite some time, the AP has had up a page that lists out prices for quoting AP text. I will quote the list prices, and hope I don't get a DMCA takedown:
5-25 words: $ 12.50
26-50 words: $ 17.50
51-100 words: $ 25.00
101-250 words: $ 50.00
251 words and up:$ 100.00
Oh, and it gets better. The AP claims that it can revoke the license at any time if it feels you're saying something negative about the Associated Press: "Publisher reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if Publisher or its agents finds Your use of the licensed Content to be offensive and/or damaging to Publisherâ€™s reputation."
Now, these are the terms that the AP has had on its site for some time -- but they explain why the AP went after the Drudge Retort for quoting less than 100 words. To the AP, that was a violation requiring a $25 license. So, while some believe that those criticizing the AP are overreacting, I'd argue that's not the case at all. This is not, as suggested, a one-time thing. This is an ongoing pattern of misuse of copyright law by the AP. And it's been pointed out to the AP in the past that these actions are wrong -- and it did nothing to change the AP's behavior. Instead, it seems to have only emboldened the AP.
This relates to DCMA Takedown notices that AP filed against Drudge Retort for quoting and linking to their articles.
Rogers Cadenhead tells Threat Level on Monday he has taken down works from his Drudge Retort blog that The Associated Press has deemed an infringement of the nation's oldest and largest news news-gathering operation's copyrights.
The AP recently sent seven takedown notices to his social news site for the offense of reposting a few sentences or more and reprinting their headlines, sometimes linking those sentences and headlines to the full stories generated from the New York-based media concern. And Cadenhead, whose site fosters commentary on others' works, said he was unsure whether he would legally challenge the AP's notices.
He said he was "absolutely" worried he could set bad precedent if he went to court. Cadenhead notes that there is no "bright line" rule when it comes to defining actionable copyright infringement in the blogosphere -- a statement backed by most copyright attorneys.
"If AP were to go after some small fish and get a ruling that running two sentences of stories was copyright infringement, that would have a chilling impact across the net," Cadenhead said. "The law lacks a bright line."