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Monday, June 16, 2008

AP Bulldog Bites Bloggers!

On Friday, June 13th, 2008, the Associated Press delivered a DMCA takedown demand to the blog "Drudge Retort," claiming seven copyright violations. The violations, upon investigation, are over headlines and short excerpts of 40 to 80 words. Each blog entry included a link to the AP story on the Associated Press website.

The House Wyldstar position on the issue:

The AP needs to wake up to the reality of today's Internet.

The Associated Press over the years has used clips and quotes from other sources, claiming in their defense that such use is covered under the "fair use" doctrine. This is, in our opinion, a correct use of that doctrine. However, the AP is now demanding bloggers stop doing the same thing when it comes to their material. This is hypocrisy at its finest.

One, the bloggers are making fair use of the materials by only using excerpts and linking to the original article for readers to access, if they should so choose. This is no different than article indexes used in public libraries that point people to the correct article in the correct magazine.

Two, the AP is totally ignoring the fact that bloggers using the material in this manner is FREE PUBLICITY for the Associated Press. What business or organization in their right mind would file a complaint over someone else sending customers their way? This is sheer idiocy and definitely beneath the AP's reputation. In a single day the AP has destroyed the credibility it has taken it decades to build.

Many bloggers have responded by calling for a total boycott of the AP unless and until they change their attitude and drop the idiotic DMCA takedown demands it has issued. As a firm advocate for freedom of the press, public discourse of the issues, and preservation of human knowledge and history, I join in this call.

Organizations like the Associated Press need to rethink what they are doing. DMCA demands can be just as easily filed against them in many cases, undermining the usefulness and mission of their organization in the same way that it is undermining the efforts of bloggers to share information and participate in public debate.

Grow up AP!

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