AP has a point, but not with me

As a blogger that often reproduces excerpts from commercial media, perhaps I should be worried about this:

Can Associated Press control the blogosphere?

To citizen journalists out in cyberspace, AP’s proclamation against one little aggregate site (much smaller in comparison to, say, Digg, etc.) rang like a shot across the bow of fair use, especially after an AP spokesperson announced that, from here on out, the news agency would take action against blogs, “when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste.”

Even though I cut and paste copy from AP stories myself, I happen to agree with them. Some bloggers do indeed abuse the intent of fair use by reproducing articles at length, not for reference, but for profit motives or other personal gain.

Of course, that is only my opinion, and copyright law is open to varying interpretation. I don’t doubt some folks feel Okiedoke exceeds the boundaries of fair use at times. All I can say is that I try not to as far as I understand it.

Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.
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The only guidance is provided by a set of fair use factors outlined in the copyright law. These factors are weighed in each case to determine whether a use qualifies as a fair use. For example, one important factor is whether your use will deprive the copyright owner of income. Unfortunately, weighing the fair use factors is often quite subjective. For this reason, the fair use road map is often tricky to navigate.

Unlike some bloggers, I will not boycott the use of AP stories, but will ignore AP’s demands for licensing fees, with which I disagree.

Excerpt for Web Use
License parts of this article for republishing on your website or intranet. Pricing based on the number of words excerpted.
Excerpts are priced by the word.

Words Fees
5-25 $ 12.50
26-50 $ 17.50
51-100 $ 25.00
101-250 $ 50.00
251 and up $ 100.00

Maybe I’m just being critical, but that’s ridiculous.

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