Wednesday, June 18, 2008

But Wait, There's More! ... AP Update

We buried the lead, sort of.

When we posted yesterday - No AP Here! - about the incredibly dumbass, stupid actions of the Associated Press, if we had waited a few hours, we could have included the "new" news;

AP sets up a toll booth for bloggers citing its stories

Where the group had previously invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and sent cease-and-desist orders to at least one blogger, seeking the removal of excerpted content (in some cases as few as 17 words in length), now the press service has attached an "Excerpt for Web Use" charge for passages as short as five words in length.

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

Yeah, you got it ... They want to charge bloggers for quoting - and, in many cases, linking back to - AP content.

Sorry, but that's not in my budget. I'm all tapped, for paying to see the sun rise every morning (I wish they offered a discounted subscription rate for that).

This is ridiculous.

Is AP, without telling anybody, making some sort of crazy, screwball, Mack Sennett-like comedy?

Are they sitting in their offices, gouging eyes, pulling ears, slapping noses, ala The Three Stooges.

If they are not, boy, do they need a new PR person.

The great-and-powerful KOS weighed in ("More on the AP idiots"), offering to kick ass, then knock their teeth out for mumbling about it;
Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.

The AP doesn't get to negotiate copyright law. But now, perhaps, they'll threaten someone who can afford to fight back, instead of cowardly going after small bloggers.

Jane Hamsher, over on Firedoglake, in her "$12.50 For Five Words? “Bite Me” Indeed, AP", is also scratching her head;
I still can't wrap my head around the idea of charging someone to link to you. We've been witness to some staggeringly stupid acts on the internet, but this one really takes the cake.

Do they understand that if they sue Markos, he'll get all the traffic he can eat? Do they even understand the whole concept of traffic?

Yesterday, we asked for someone to send the AP Dale Carnegie's book "How To Win Friends and Influence People".

That's still needed.

For today, another request - Call the folks at the Darwin Awards, and see if we can streamline it for the Associated Press to zoom to the top of the list (perhaps in the area of Self-selection, which is "Cause of one's own demise").

Bonus Links

John Amato - C&L: The AP walked right into a buzz saw

Libby Spencer: AP update

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, TMV Columnist - Associated Press: A Brief Look at Fair Use and a Lost Story of The Grateful Dead

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