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.

Here's one of the six disputed blog entries:

Clinton Expects Race to End Next Week

Hillary Rodham Clinton says she expects her marathon Democratic race against Barack Obama to be resolved next week, as superdelegates decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall. "I think that after the final primaries, people are going to start making up their minds," she said. "I think that is the natural progression that one would expect."

If you follow the link, you'll see that the blog entry reproduces 18 words from the story and a 32-word quote by Hillary Clinton under a user-written headline. The blog entry drew 108 comments in the ensuing discussion.

I have all the expertise in intellectual property law of somebody who's never been sued, so standard disclaimers apply. But I have difficulty seeing how it violates copyright law for a blogger to link to a news story with a short snippet of the story in furtherance of public discussion.

AP feels otherwise. In a June 3 letter, AP's Intellectual Property Governance Coordinator Irene Keselman told me:

... you purport that the Drudge Retort's users reproduce and display AP headlines and leads under a fair use defense. Please note that contrary to your assertion, AP considers that the Drudge Retort users' use of AP content does not fall within the parameters of fair use. The use is not fair use simply because the work copied happened to be a news article and that the use is of the headline and the first few sentences only. This is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of "fair use." 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.

In another DMCA takedown, AP contends that the following user comment is a copyright violation:

Well, the oil execs just put another refinery in South Dakota. Maybe they're a bunch of retards.

www.foxnews.com

Hyperion has said the project, about 60 miles south of Sioux Falls, would create 1,800 permanent jobs and another 4,500 construction jobs over a four-year period. Construction could begin in 2010.

The Hyperion Energy Center would process 400,000 barrels of thick Canadian crude oil a day, which company executives say would help the U.S. reduce its dependence on overseas oil. The company has said it will bring in the crude oil by pipeline but has announced no specific plans for that transportation link.

The user reproduced the last two paragraphs of his comment from the linked Fox News article, written by AP.

AP has filed copyright lawsuits against the VeriSign division Moreover last fall and another against the Florida company All Headline News this year.

I have no desire to be the third member of that club, but sharing links to news stories of interest has become an essential component of how millions of people read and evaluate the news today. When linking to articles, bloggers commonly include excerpts of the article for the purposes of criticism or discussion. Some AP member sites encourage this kind of reuse. Yahoo News, the source for two disputed stories, invites bloggers to use items from its RSS feeds. USA Today, the source for two others, includes a browser widget alongside articles that facilitates their submission to Digg, Mixx and other sites. Wade Duchene, the attorney who helped me win the domain name arbitration for Wargames.Com, says that what we're doing on the Retort is the "absolute definition of fair use."

The DMCA requires that the six blog entries and comment immediately be taken down, regardless of whether I think they're fair use, but users have the option to file counter-notices to AP asserting their own copyright. Because the issue affects all bloggers, I've invited Keselman to explain AP's position at more length. If she accepts I'll post it in full here on Workbench and the Retort.

Assuming I have copyright permission, of course.

More information:

Followup posts:

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

The 'man' is bringing you down aye? Start hacking them until they capiulate.


 

AP's being an idiot. When Drudgies quote an article, we usually provide a link to the source, which encourages other Drudgies to check out whether we're making stuff up, misquoting their hero, or generally slandering the other side. This means more eyeballs and hits on their article or website which translates into more revenue. Free advertising can't be such a bad thing, can it?

Unless they really believe all us people are wandering onto their site by ourselves. If that's the case, Mr. AP, I've got a server farm in Brooklyn I could give you a great deal on.


 

This is totally a bogus lawsuit and I hope that you will be able to prevail against Goliath. This is a total infridgement of the first admendment. You have the right to quote what a newspaper said as long as you don't copy and paste the story. This entire action is because the mainstream media just doesn't have a clue how to compete on the web. They hate free speech and they hate us all. Our website (racing related) blows most of the others that are owned by large newspapers.

I guess their ploy is to scare all of us and shut us down, but Americans will not stand for it. Keep the fight going, and I wish you the best. I think many will come to your defense. Ben Franklin said that we either "hang together, or we will hand separately!"


 

Simply Amazing! America is suffering from the politially correctness issue. Being PC has changed the way folks are allowed to express themselves, and thus nobody does anything anymore. And those who do get stiffled-it applies to this. AP is being stupid for doing this to Drudge or anyone else. Same thing with selling Portions and companies to countries, they own US propertys and can in one stroke detroy portions of hwat was once the USA. Kick out foreign investors!!


 

WTF? They're going after you but not drudgereport.com?


 

Understand the liberal press has no use for you! You are not a "one world" participant and probably will become par of the fairness doctrine!


 

Fuck it Rogers, it's just a blip in the grand shceme of things.......Smoke and bowl, drink a beer, and listen to some good tunes...

It could always be worse.

Ballad of


 

Hahahahahah....obviously I have been doing both.......

But hey, I got tomorrow off....sallright


 

The world has indeed gone mad. (Well, America, at least)

This could set a ridiculous precedent which would harm the news sites of the web, along with the blogs which point to them and quote them.

Nuts.

Kosso


 

We should be suing AP for diseminateng false info. Their articles, especially their headlines, are so biased and misleading they almost meet the threshold of lies.


 

Rogers, have you posted anywhere your message to which the AP responded? With that it would be easier to evaluate the AP's rebuttal.

The brief excerpt of the AP letter you published looks to me to be a carefully weasel worded and authoritative-sounding dramatic piece while staying carefully away from the actual principles of fair use.


 

Oddly enough in some small way the AP will be reducing their exposure. Drudge Retort is the third site I go to everyday. It is the first news site I look for.

The sites I look at otherwise, many of them staff their own writers.

Wonder why the AP is doing this...what is the productive value or result?


 

Snapped Shot went through this recently as well. He has some recommended links for someone in a similar situation. Details are linked right below his logo ("What happened to the pictures?"). Good luck.


 

http://digg.com/tech_news/ Associated_Press_Files_7_DMCA_ Takedowns_Against_DrudgeRetort


 

Their claim that "this does not meet fair use" is correct, since they cited something unrelated when stating that. Fair use would however still apply as a valid claim if you are properly and visibly attributing the quotes.

Frankly if you're not, you deserve to get sued. It's not hard to give credit to the reporter and publication who put the work in, without which you'd be talking about cats. Show a little appreciation.

Once you've done that, or started, I'd suggest then you can tell them to get stuffed and point them to the blogs.google search results for their next notable story.


 

Note the following from the U.S. Copyright office definition of fair use...

Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

Short version: simply stop quoting directly from AP articles. Yes, it's a standard blogger courtesy, but they obviously want to operate under a different standard. The facts are all anyone cares about anyway, and they explicitly DO NOT own them. Their purple prose is irrelevant. Simply restate anything from an AP article in your own words, and I suppose link to the article if you really feel it's necessary.

Quotations from individuals would seem to me to be factual information, but I suppose that is open to interpretation.

If they truly want to make themselves that much more irrelevant, more power to them. There are other, better news sources out there, after all.

My two cents


 

People are commenting all over, but you've only posted one paragraph of your communications Rogers. You really need to post all of the communications. By just taking the one quote, we don't know for sure what the story is. Perhaps a link to all communications, with email and phone numbers blocked out.

I'm not a lawyer, but never let that stop me. I could see where AP was coming from.

Your posters don't add to the initial posting. They don't use the excerpt in a larger work, or provide commentary. If the title and leading paragraphs summarize the story effectively, the site is actually impacting on AP's earnings by exposing enough of the story that people aren't interested in clicking through, and therefore impacting on AP earnings. Your site does solicit advertisers. You do make money from the site.

It's hard to say, though, as you've cherry picked through the material you've presented, and now you're asking the court of weblogging opinion to rule.

Give us all the facts--links to all the stories that have received the DCMA notices, and the communications. Let us express opinions based on having access to all the material, not a self-selected representation.


 

Ouch, my deepest sympathies!

If you need any advice, I'd be happy to point you to the people that helped me through my little troubles. Feel free to drop me a line, any time!

Respectfully,

Brian/snapped shot


 

Shelley: I've included the communications that relate directly to the issue that's in dispute -- whether bloggers are violating copyright when they excerpt a few sentences and quotes from a news story when linking to it.

The only stuff I haven't posted relates to how the Retort first heard from the AP in May, which was because of a few examples of users posting full text of articles in their blog entries. I neither condone nor encourage that practice, so I honored the DMCA takedowns and posted these two announcements on the Retort:

Retort: Copyright Complaint

Retort: Copyright Complaint Followup

One of those takedowns was for a blogger who just linked a few sentences from an AP story. After taking it down, I expressed my concern to AP's lawyer that it was fair use, which is what she was replying to in the quote I used in my blog entry.

If this leads to litigation, I'll post all of the documents. But I'm hoping that it's possible to resolve it more easily than that.


 

"One of those takedowns was for a blogger who just linked a few sentences from an AP story."

And the story was? And the sentences were?

You know, if you were to post a three sentence review of a mystery story, but the three sentences you pick tell who dun it, that would most likely not fall under fair use. Can you see what I'm saying about having specifics being important?

It's not necessarily the amount, as much as the use, and exactly what material was copied and the economic impact on the publication that was copied. If you copy the best bits and leave no reason for someone to click through, do you really consider that fair use? Especially when Drudge Retort profits from such copying?

I'm not a lawyer, but even I can see how this isn't a cut and dried issue of Big Bad AP going after poor little Drudge Retort.


 

Ha! These incestuous Troglodyte nitwits all steal from one another. But they will hang any peasant caught gleaning a little firewood in their forest!

Robin Hood time, baby!


 

The AP is going to go down in flames on this one. Shame on them for trying to intimidate you.


 

AP is developing a bad reputation for trying to bully and litigate their declining business model. Companies like Moreover and All Headline News and sites even like Drudge Retort a threats to the AP's business model of owning the news.

This has nothing to do about fair use, AP is simply trying to bully people and companies..

Shame on the Associated Pressd.. They steal stuff all the time.


 

From Wikipedia:

"...the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."


 

Who owns the news?


 

That most people can't properly quote and attribute sources is no secret. This doesn't invalidate their opinions. Whether your readership discerns for itself the credibility of those opinions, shouldn't concern the AP. After all, the moderately educated can discern credibility within the first few lines of any writing; bringing to the fore the cruxt of AP's problem: You're proving information gatekeepers, like itself, unnecessary. Plus, the AP fails to comprehend that heckling mal-informed idiots is a quirky source of entertainment, the pleasure of which no readership should ever be deprived. Just read the comments of some of the regulars on this site to know what I mean. In my humble opinion, you're providing a great service. Keep up the good work!


 

Smoke and bowl, indeed.

This seems vaguely robotic on AP's part, a reflex instead of malicious or defensive. Even so, they suck blue whale dick and should be hung.


 

Never mind I got totally off topic. I got autism. I went back and read your article, again. My point stands: Most people can't properly quote or attribute sources. Does that mean that only people with journalism degrees have the right to discuss what gatekeepers consider news worthy? AP is a dinosour faced with emminent extinction. Everybody sing the so long goodbye song and wave. Long live the internet!


 

Bourne

The facts of the news are fair use.. only the "expression" is protected...

It's pretty clear by looking at AP vs Moreover and AP vs All Headline News and now the Retort issue is that they want to claim ownership of the "facts" in the veil of their "Hot News" claim.

So What is next?? AP is going to sue Wikipedia? Because the Wikipedians are publishing news stories based on the facts of world and national events?


 

Why don't you try doing the attribution thing (not just a link, but the reporter and org) and add some commentary on all future posts and see if that mollifies them.

If not, solicit contributions and/or free legal help and challenge them. You might try EFF and follow their expert advice as well. You'll have plenty of extra rocks in your slingshot if Goliath comes calling again.

I respect the work of others and deserve the same respect for mine. But Goliath seeks to intimidate concessions that might be unattainable in court.


 

Mr. Drudge is not qualified to comment on anything anyway. But he makes money based on the cretins that listen to and read his words. There is a reason this country is going to hell. It's full of idiots that listen to asses like this jerk. (Excuse my mixed metaphor.) Who cares if the AP is right or wrong in this. If nobody paid any attention to this twit he would go away.


 

Counter sue for frivolous litigation, or what ever the correct lawyer term is.

It IS against the law to send legal notices to people when its pure bullshit.

If you can get a judge to decide that the AP's claim under the DMCA is so far fetched that it could only have been malicious in nature you'll have scored a major victory for fair use on the net.


 

Hhaha, the good-ol' clueless "contributing news fucks" called AP - they have the *WORST* track record when it comes to news from Europe, I swear. No wonder, they use all kind of BS submitted by contributing members- they are so fuckin' clueless I remember once occasion they were talking about Middle Ages and countries like Romania, Slovakia etc... I guess the writer - probably some localized fuckup - never took any history class, forget checking out some maps.:D

...AP, the bunch fuckin' snotty idiots with oh-so-much fuckin' clue about anything...

...well, I guess that's what you get when you are a so-called "standard" (I swear this is what these idiots have in their WIki page!) - and that's why you end up firing your correspondent when it turns out he fabricated more than 40 stories (see 2003 scandal.)

Take them to court, I bet EFF will be more than happy to do it on your behalf, a pro bono - hey, that's why I pay my membership fee! :)


 

Rogers, why you use it is most important.

Copyright was intended to encourage the creation of a public culture. People in the East were circulating their work privately because somebody would head out West with one copy, republish it under a different cover and his own name. If sued, he'd get a cousin to swear he saw the perp spend years writing it.

Copyright was to establish authorship (primarily by sending the first copy to Washington) and stop outright theft, not to prevent quoting, criticism and public discourse as ideas spread through the culture.

No matter how AP chooses to interpret fair use (absurdly for a news organization, that seems to be, "We own these words and nobody had better dare quote us"), the citations on these blogs fall squarely into the criticism and comment exceptions cited below.

It's probably not the news division that's buffeting you -- you clearly seem to be on the right side of this law here:

TITLE 17 > CHAPTER 1 > 107
Prev | Next
107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


 

"Mr. Drudge is not qualified to comment on anything anyway. But he makes money based on the cretins that listen to and read his words."

Wake up Doug. Drudge is Headlines and links. Nothing more.

As for the AP, in good time it shall die. Buh-bye.


 

See my I'd say they're morons, but that wouldn't be PC now, would it?"


 

Roger,

As most of the stories that have links go directly back to the original site, with the associated quoted material, I do not see how it would possibly fall under "misuse".

For you to get the attention of AP should tell you a couple of things, 1) You must be doing pretty good 2) They must be hurting.

Most of the standard news orgs. have seen a sever decline in readership; NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post etc. and these are the ones that AP counts on for revenue. I think they are now lashing out to find new sources of income. They attribute the fall to these sorts of web sites, but in fact it is due to the number of times we now find them printing false or misleading articles. They have lost the confidence of the public.

They will probably come to you for a "settlement" (Black mail) that they will drop the suits if you kick them xxxx everytime someone links to their web site.

Personally I would tell them to pound sand. You may want to contact the other blog groups to see if they are getting the same issue with AP. If they are you should take it back as a class action suit against AP for restraint of trade.

All the best.

Frank



 

Does this mean that, when the press publishes something false or misleading (at the risk of being taken to court by AP, I won't cite specific examples of "news" that comes out of the White House that is more often than not "innaccurate"), I don't have the right to point it out because it's illegal to "compare and contrast" to illustrate the truth and prove my point? How does one tell AP that they got it wrong when you can't cite their errors? Realistically, though, how many of us could they actually put in jail, anyway...oops, I almost forgot the Bush-approved, Halliburton-built U.S. camps for "terrorists"! Never mind!


 

Ooooooooooo! We do the same thing. Dozens of articles linked every day. Could the AP lawyers please sue us? We could use the publicity.

Pretty please? With sugar on it?


 

This is a co-ordinated attack at the freedom of the internet. It is planned by corporations to attack all the blog sites with rights of ownership and licencing suits.


 

They don't want blogger links and traffic? Fine. I say we oblige. The AP can rely on newspapers to spread their influence and raise revenue. After all, newspapers are the information source of the future, right?


 

I quote news articles extensively in order to frame discussions, especially of politics and human rights issues. Since I can't depend on the original source and URL being permanently available, I quote entire paragraphs, with attribution, as fair use. I believe as well this gives readers important background for discussion, without requiring them to have the leisure time to go physically to a library and look up sources.

Thanks, Rogers, for keeping us all up to date!


 

I wrote about AP's suit against Moreover in an earlier blog post on ContentBlogger. I went through the AP suit against Moreover in detail and found shaky grounds at best for AP's claims.

AP's claims against you appear to be even more shaky in regards to the selections that you have displayed in this blog post. You are showing just the headline and the lede sentence. I understand AP's position on this and I respect the people at AP greatly, but on this point they know that they are wrong.

They are wrong not only on the basis of Fair Use, but also on another more fundamental and important factor: you cannot copyright facts. In the examples that you provided in this weblog the information provided was not a substantially original work of authorship but simply short sentences and phrases capturing the facts of major public events. To deny the free dissemination of such facts would seem to be contrary to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Do not citizens have the right to spread the news of events to fellow citizens? Did Paul Revere say after "The British are coming" the phrase "This news is copyrighted by Paul Revere, all rights reserved?" No, allowing the fact that major events have occurred with attribution of the source is a fundamental function of both freedom of the press and of American democracy.

I would be glad to support any company wishing to defend themselves against suits of this kind as an industry expert witness. To my friends at AP, I can only say that you're fighting the wrong battle - and I do hope that you lose it for your own sake and of the sake of free-speaking people everywhere.

Sincerely,

John Blossom

President

Shore Communications Inc.


 

I wonder what the law says about tool tips as a "preview" of the article.


 

So. . .is this a test case for going after Digg?


 

I'm not sure this will actually help you in fighting back against the Associated Press' hyper-sensitive reaction to unapproved (=unpaid) publication of mere extracts from their news reports, but it may be of some interest.

As everyone knows, it's not only blogs that routinely quote news sources in the way your site does, but also forums, and the presence of a lively forum (with useful quotes) is typically helpful to the hosting site's revenue. So, have takedown notices ever been issued by the AP (or others) based on quotation by forum participants?

Perhaps an attorney specialized in copyright has heard of such a case. In the meantime, I draw the following example to the attention of readers:
www.healingwell.com

The same page contains two different posts by "Veteran Member" MitzMN. The first appears to be a complete reproduction of an article from the Minneapolis newspaper Star-Tribune, complete with copyright notice. But of course only the Star-Tribune can complain about that (if they have the nerve, they would seem to have the legal right).

Further down on the same forum page is MitzMN's second post, this time from the AP, accompanied by not only the AP's copyright notice but also its standard warning, "This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."

You might want to point this "crime" out to the AP and see if they send a takedown notice to HealingWell.com too, which has apparently been "damaging" AP for approximately 10 months, during which time the AP legal division either knew about it but didn't care, or never bothered to perform a simple Google search on the article's key phrases + the company's own name.

This could be the intellectual property equivalent of "driving while black."

(By the way, readers interested in the criminal-like behavior of America's pharmaceutical industry should search the same page for "EneMan"--the reason why I recently bookmarked it).


 

The URL in my comment just a minute ago was somehow shortened when posted. I hope this conveys the correct reference:

healingwell.com/
community/
default.aspx?f=38&m=892340

I am attemping to give only one link, so not sure why it should get cut off.


 

Rodgers,

I am with you on this one.

www.ravinglunacy.org
www.ravinglunacy.org


 

I could not be any more with Shelley.


 

I'm not a lawyer, but even I can see how this isn't a cut and dried issue of Big Bad AP going after poor little Drudge Retort.

I don't think it's cut and dried either, Shelley. There are no bright lines in fair use that you can rely on to judge whether your reproduction is legal or not in a disagreement like this.

But what we're talking about here are bloggers sharing links to news stories using excerpts of 400 characters or less (around 80 words).

I'm willing to explore user interface changes that encourage users to do more of their own writing, add supplementary links and the like. But in the times they don't, I think it should be considered fair use. There are very few news stories where an 80-word excerpt would replace the need to read the entire story.


 

As a blogger, it's your responsibility to know what constitutes fair use on your blog in regards to online news content. It is your responsibility to remove non-compliant posts..

Name of source ( newspaper's name, cable channel's name, network's neme etc.)
writers name
date
title of article
if first section of article is not used put in the word (snip) indicating there is text prior to your dublicated text
highlighted text
snip again if text is omitted

ie

My Daily Newspaper
Joe Blow AP writer
January 1, 2020

Bloggers Learn About Fair Use

snip
blah, blah, blah
snip
da da da da


 

These pricks are getting free publicity off the whole thing themselves, the last thing we need is start regulating the Internet, it will then be the beginning of the end.


 

Another attack on Internet freedom.

I guess the net neutrality people were right - it won't be long until the Internet is just another Cable TV station.


 

I worked in publishing for many years and my understanding was that "fair use" was not x number of words but rather what percentage of the original was quoted (50% of a short poem would be too much). Also which part. In a traditional news story, the lede includes the 5 Ws and the H - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. That's all you really need to know about any event. Everything that follows is elaboration. Heads are, or used to be, an art in themselves, written by someone other than the reporter, a person skilled in writing succinct, attention-getting one-liners that fit within the space requirements. I'd be inclined to protect the head and the lede.

Still, this sounds like AP desperately trying to hang onto a dying way of doing business, as are many individual newspapers across the country. With a little creative thinking, they could turn this newfangled Internet culture to their advantage. It's a cinch they won't save themselves by suing a few small fry.

If you start some sort of legal defense fund, let me know. Meantime, good luck. Hopefully they will be reasonable. They can't sue every blog on the Internet.


 

This looks like a clear case of misuse of the DMCA, and abuse of copyright. I don't know what the other 5 articles are, but the two examples in this clearly are within fair use. The Hillary clip has only 20 odd words that could be replaced to make it "non-quoted" per APs argument. Nearly half of those words are pronouns and conjunctive clauses and three others are pretty much needed to comply with English diction, so the AP is complaining in this one case about 8 possibly protected words: expects, marathon, race, against, resolved, decide, and stronger.

So I guess if anyone is going to be a blogger in APs twisted ,distorted, world-view we're all going to have to keep thesauruses handy to change a few words whenever we post.

This is clearly a case of AP abusing it's copyright and the DMCA to bully, and they should be punished for this. I'm surprised they've never gone after /.

Oh wait, /. has wads of cash to defend nasty $%^! like this, and might give them a black eye. Much better to go after some perceived small fry site.

I'm just so sick of major American News companies.


 

So does Google News need to have a license agreement with every single news source it quotes?

I fail to see how it's in AP's interest to prevent people from clicking on links to their site!


 

It's not clear to me that what the Drudge Report "published" in those seven examples was in quotes and properly attributed. If it was not, I would not consider it fair use.

I strongly agree with those that made the point that the first (and sometimes the first few) sentences or paragraphs of an article are written to convey the most important points of the story, and thus, for some people, all that they need to know about the story.

There is a fair amount of skill involved in crafting those first few sentences or paragraphs of a story.

Since the OP really hasn't (afaict) provided a link to exactly how those stories were used, I can't make a judgment. I would use the criteria implied here (proper attribution, a small portion of the article, and maybe not the whole story--enough to make a point maybe, but also little enough that a significant fraction of interested people will follow the link to read the rest of the story) to make that judgment.


 

The U.S.A. government has a nice "fair use" description (See www.copyright.gov).

On that page, the US Government states, "Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work" and describes the 4-prong test in Section 107.

Namely, in determining "fair use," the courts will look at:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

If the AP was the only party that had heard a quote (say in an interview called and held on AP property), then the AP might succeed here.

However, if there were 15 news agencies (not all members of the AP) present when the quote was stated, then the AP does not have the copyright on the quote. Unless the AP is suing all of the other "news" agencies/companies, I doubt they can sue you for the quote.

So, it is the "other" material you need to consider.

The problem with the AP's move here is as follows:

The AP will be driving bloggers to the source of the quote rather than to the news agency or agencies for the story. The bloggers will be avoiding news agency comment and coverage and will, in effect, be covering the story on their own.

If Hillary says, "I am best suited to be the next U.S. President," Is her statement a "fact?" Does Hillary own the Copyright? Did the AP get a license to include that statement in their story? Of course, Hillary would, in effect, be giving the license away anyway...

If the AP succeeds here, Bloggers will, in effect, become the news source rather than linking to the news agencies and their stories--depriving them of revenue due to lack of web-traffic. Is this what the AP wants? I'd fly to the next political event to cover the news so that all of the bloggers would link back to my blog--who wouldn't? Then the AP is "out" of the loop.

Instead of legal letters, I would have published a "suggested manner" in which bloggers could cite and quote from AP stories. This sets a standard that may or not be followed. However, I think the AP's current action "makes" bloggers not want to follow their guidelines. I would argue that the next time the AP covers a story that is ON a blog, they had better watch out... They would either be violating the Copyright or they would be setting president that their actions (and that of bloggers) is, indeed, "fair use."

I simply don't see the long-range planning by the AP in their current posturing. Regarding the Fox News statement, I do not think the AP has any legs to stand on... Does the AP own the Copyright to all statements made by Fox News? Even if they do, "fair use" still applies.

Of course, it has to be "fair use." Just as you don't want the AP to take all of your stories and "steal" your readers, the AP wants to protect their "bottom line" as well. Copyright is good, as is "fair use."


 

Well Rogers...

Like someone else said over at High Street, I always thought it would be your red headed stepchildren that would get you sued.

Oh, have the world changes.

RT


 

Honestly you have 2 routes to go.
Compliance or all out war.

If you don't want to mess with lawyers I'd comply.
Though if I were you I'd ask their lawyers to thouroughly explain in excruciating detail their take on fair use. Then also ask the lawyer to give you, in excruciating detail, how to not in the future violate their copyright. Make sure you spend many many many hours with the lawyer explaining things to you. take notes. ask questions. all that. make sure you use up plenty of that expensive lawyers billable hours. at 500 an hour or whatever lawyers charge these days that should teach the ap a lesson. if they wanna waste your time. you waste theirs right back.

Tape the conversation I want to hear it.


 

I believe AP's fighting a losing war. They may win a few legal battles temporarily, but the bottom line is that their story has not been reproduced beyond fair use in the examples shown and will certainly be read and discussed with excerpts and examples in the public forum. There are some intellectual property and copyright protections, but ultimately on the internet once their story is out "in the wild", anyone anywhere at any time on nearly any browser capable device can cut, paste, and link to AP-originated content at will. My best recommendation to satisfy AP's requirements is to not post any of their content on the internet or on any medium which could be transcribed onto the internet. (In other words, the AP should keep confidential and secret any material it does not want to expose to public consumption and discussion.)


 

Don'r fret Rogers,

If they take it all from you your red headed stepchildren will be willing to take you in and let you live in the basement.

But before it comes toi that I suggest you contact the EFF www.eff.org

They may be able to provide some guidance. They have taken up many fair use DMCA cases. Especially the ones where media companies try to expand the range of DMCA with test cases against the small potatos.

A pet project of theirs is to try and give some teeth to the provisions of the DMCA that make it illegal to file false DMCA claims.


 

"Red headed Step child'? What about his life partner and their Zed?

Bourne will have to ask his mom and stepdad for the use of the garage!


 

Rogers,

There is room in my basement right next to the autographed book you sent me ages ago.

As long as you don't mind sharing the basement with the cat box (I have 10 cats!) and the assortment of exercise equipment I never use, the space is yours to decorate as you will.

Kisses,

RT


 

Roger,

I'm Brian McNeil from Wikinews. Can't seem to find a link to contact you about this. Can you drop me an email at brian[dot]mcneil@wikinewsie.org, I'm covering this on Wikinews (which is also a potential target) and would like to ask a few questions and know if you have contact details for emailing Irene Keselman.


 

Keep fighting the good fight. Ask for donations for legal fees if you need to. Someone has to stand up to the AP and demand rights for bloggers. Thanks.


 

Old economy bumping it's head on the Web. All-in-all, this is pretty good for Drudge Retort. Free publicity.


 

Hey rcade,

Even Michelle Malkin is on your side and has taken up your case. Bet that is the first and last time that will ever happen. Check out her calculations for what the AP owes her using their own formula for charging any quote above 5 words.

Hey, Associated Press: You owe me at least $132,125!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


 

So what's next? The Screen Actors Guild will demand film reviewers who broadcast a snippet of the films they review will be asked to remove the snippets from their shows? Bullocks!


 

So should I file a suit against U S News and World Report.. They linked two of my articles recently.

Maybe I am dense, I thought it was a good thing.


 

These people , Being AP , are insane if they think they have a case .

What an exercise in greed.


 

Consider requesting that your supporters file a "friend of the court" brief in your behalf. I have no legal knowledge, that will have to come from others. But, if you find out the procedures and post them, I am sure that this will have a positive effect in your defense.

Good Luck, m


 

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.


 

This one is the blog which I like most,I would like to thanks that master brain who make all this for the readers like me.keep up writing good job.


 

One of the problems with the AP is that their whole business model isn't so different from providing an RSS feed these days. Fair use here may be an interesting case, because blogging might well cut down on their (obsolete) business model and because there's no limit to how little you can quote while being fair use. In fact, because this would seem to impact upon their business, the fair use case may be harder to make.
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