Time To Boycott AP?

The internet, and bloggers, have changed the way news is disseminated, digested, and spread.  Further, thanks to the vigilance of thousands upon thousands of bloggers and their readers, news stories that may have been taken for granted now have their veracity and validity tested on a daily basis, and for the most part, I think we are a better informed people because of it.

It’s not just the spreading of the news, but the challenging of it that makes what we do here so vital.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to inflate my role, or bloggers roles, we have not nor are we likely to replace major news sources as the prime means through which people are informed of current affairs, but the strength of our combined voices from the left and the right I think is growing into a more powerful check on the control that major media outlets have on the information market.

But not if the associated press has anything to do about it.

It would seem as though the AP has taken to litigating bloggers’ usage of its stories under the ridiculous guise of Fair Use.  I say ridiculous because in some cases we’re talking about the quoting of as few as 18 words.

I have to agree with Cernig; this is pretty much bullying.  And like Cernig, and I would have to say a pretty strong majority of other bloggers out there, I simply can’t afford a litigation case brought against me because of what I do here.

Actually, now that I think about it, Mike would likely be the man who would have to face the charges as the owner of the site, which makes it worse as I wouldn’t really like to see him litigated for something I have done.

And what’s the point?  Are bloggers siphoning off traffic from the AP?  Are we losing money for them?  Are we even improperly crediting them?  In all cases, the answer is most likely a resounding no.

In fact, I would venture that bloggers linking to AP stories probably nets them more traffic as most bloggers who have gotten over the opening learnig curve of blogging link back to their sources.  Thus, the AP shouldn’t necessarily be trying to bully us, but should be encouraging our usage of their stories

In any case, I’m not going to use AP as a source any further; as Cernig also rightly points out, in this day and age, you can usually find the story somewhere else.  I won’t speak on behalf of my fellow bloggers here, as I don’t have the opportunity to discuss the matter with them at the current time, but at least for me, the boycott begins now.

When the AP drops its suit, and makes it clear that I’m not, or Mike won’t get hit with a lawsuit just for being a part of the national debate and using them as a resource, I will not cite, link to, or quote the AP, and I encourage other bloggers to do the same.

6 Responses to “Time To Boycott AP?”

  1. Kathy says:

    Kyle, does this include AP articles picked up by other media, like the major newspapers? If it’s an AP article on the Washington Post, and we quote from it, AP sues us?

  2. tas says:

    Kathy, reading Roger Cadenhead’s piece on this (he’s the one the AP is suing), yes — AP noted one of their stories published by Foxnews that a Drudge Retort reader linked to in comments. So in that, not only is the AP suing for linkage from a different news service, but if the link is generated by a commenter… So even if the blog author doesn’t publish it, they still want to whack them.

    I don’t think this case has wings (though I’m certainly not a legal expert). Media agencies pay the AP to have a news feed of their stories, those stories get published, and then the links get passed around so other people click on it; then they see the advertising from the news agency, and that advertising revenue goes to pay the Ap for their news feed services. Unless the AP doesn’t want money, I don’t see what the impetus is for this case.

  3. Sans says:

    “Are we even improperly crediting them? In all cases, the answer is most likely a resounding no.”

    LMAO. What is this, your first day on the intertubes ?
    You’ve never seen a blog before if you think proper attribution of news quotes is the norm rather than a rare, rare exception.

    This is the appreciation shown by people who lift articles produced by professional journalists off news sites who’ve paid for the right to show them, then reprint them on their blogs as their content for which they derive traffic and advertising revenue.

    Why shouldn’t you be sued for that? Music and video pirates get done for this type of behaviour all the time. What makes you special?

    “It would seem as though the AP has taken to litigating bloggers’ usage of its stories under the ridiculous guise of Fair Use. ”

    No it doesn’t seem like that unless you don’t know what any of those words mean. “Fair use” is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement, not grounds for pursuing the litigation.

  4. tas says:

    My, the trolls come out in full force for everything these days, it seems.

  5. Kilo says:

    “My, the trolls come out in full force for everything these days, it seems.”

    So the new definition of a “troll” is someone who knows what terms mean and correct you when you don’t?
    If I do it twice does that make me a “fascist”?
    LMAO. Just STFU about subjects you know nothing about, fool.

  6. tas says:

    Kilo, maybe a troll is someone who’s being an asshole and is wrong, ever thought about that?

    And here’s something about a subject I supposedly don’t know about, which you claim to:

    “The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.” ”

    Make sure you don’t trip over the facts on your way out the door, fuckwad.

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