I’d say they’re morons, but that wouldn’t be PC now, would it?

June 13, 2008

Jeff Jarvis
From Mike BurgessOver at Slashdot, I stumbled across a post by Soulskill: AP Targets Blog Excerpts With DMCA Notices. I’m thinking, “Not good.”

Then I went to Jordan Golson’s article, AP targets bloggers over story excerpts

The Associated Press, the not-for-profit news cooperative, has filed DMCA notices against social news/blog The Drudge Retort for posting short excerpts of AP stories. In a letter to Rogers Cadenhead, the owner of The Retort, the AP believes “the Drudge Retort users’ use of AP content does not fall within the parameters of fair use.”

The “AP considers taking the headline and lede of a story without a proper license to be an infringement of its copyrights, and additionally constitutes ‘hot news’ misappropriation.”

Ah, hell, that’s what I just did to Golson. I’m in trouble now.

Rogers Cadenhead posted AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort wherein he writes,

I’m currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing “‘hot news’ misappropriation under New York state law.” An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.

The Retort is a community site comparable in function to Digg, Reddit and Mixx. The 8,500 users of the site contribute blog entries of their own authorship and links to interesting news articles on the web, which appear immediately on the site. None of the six entries challenged by AP, which include two that I posted myself, contains the full text of an AP story or anything close to it. They reproduce short excerpts of the articles — ranging in length from 33 to 79 words — and five of the six have a user-created headline.

Ah, damn. Did it again.

Jeff Jarvis at his Buzz Machine told the AP to f**** off

In its complaint against Cadenhead, the AP is flouting fair use and fair comment. It is ignoring the essential structure of the link architecture of the web. It is declaring war on blogs and commenters.

So let’s fire back. I urge bloggers everywhere to go to the AP and reproduce a story at length in solidarity with Cadenhead and Drudge Retort.

Er, Mr. Jarvis, you don’t get it. If The Drudge ReportRetort, and you, I might add, would do more than link to the article, but make it clear that they are linking to content they didn’t write, and along the way, provide attribution to the writer, we probably wouldn’t be having this battle in the blogosphere. I suggest that The Drudge ReportRetort is bad blogging without regard to the spirit of fair use. Give credit where credit is due.

I’d also say, Mr. Jarvis, that your call to reproduce an AP story is manure. You posted the AP story Cedar Rapids struggles to endure historic flood; you didn’t give credit, as the AP has done, to the writer, Amy Lorentzen. You think you talk a good game, Mr. Jarvis, but you have degraded the work not of the AP, but of Ms. Lorentzen. Give credit where credit is due. How would you like it if I copied your words without an attribution of more than a link? How would you like it if I presented the material as if I had written it, and provided no additional commentary?

Mr. Jarvis, Mr. Cadenhead, you gentlemen don’t get it. Play by the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law, and you wouldn’t be facing court action.