Associated Press and the Bloggers: E.L.E.

Rick Moran
If tomorrow we discovered a giant asteroid on a collision course with earth we would call such a threat an Extinction Level Event. An E.L.E. is what got the dinosaurs and is what may be occurring with the escalating war between bloggers and the Associated Press. Right now, the AP is teetering on the edge of online irrelevancy. And in this day and age, that is certainly a death sentence.

In a word - flabbergasting. As a "compromise" on what the AP considers "fair use" of its production, the wire service is prepared to offer bloggers a "deal" on excerpting their work:


The AP's disharmony with bloggers may have only just begun, as the alternative it's now offering to being served with takedown notices involves paying an up-front sum for excerpting online articles - as few as five words...

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

This is a joke and AP is rapidly becoming a laughingstock. No court in the land would enforce such nonsense. And of course, bloggers being bloggers, they have turned the tables on AP and are now demanding compensation for when AP quotes them:

Ok, let's play. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course. Unlike the AP, bloggers appreciate getting linked and excerpted. That is how we roll in the 21st century.

But let's apply AP standards for the hell of it. I have found two recent examples of the AP quoting from this blog without linking to the quoted posts or obtaining my consent for a usage agreement. In April, AP quoted from the comment thread in this post about Absolut's Aztlan vodka ad:

It turns out that Michelle Malkin, whose blog is quoted frequently by the AP, is due quite a bit of money using the AP's sliderule interpretation of the Fair Use doctrine. Don't hold your breath, Michelle, if you think you're going to collect.

Allah at Hot Air lays into AP:

What's their game here, seriously? They're turning themselves into laughingstocks and blogosphere pariahs while drumming up business for Reuters and AFP. If they're trying to establish some sort of bright line beyond which excerpts can't go without triggering infringement, then why not just lay down some reasonable-ish policy - two paragraphs maximum, say - and wait for someone to violate it, then sue to see if a court will enforce it? (Suspected answer: Because the court probably won't and the AP knows it.) I'm mystified by their thought process.


Right now, AP is in too deep to back off. I suspect bloggers are going to have to assist them in getting out of the hole they've dug for themselves but not until the wire service realizes the folly of its ways and goes back to the way  things were before some green eye shade type at AP thought they saw an untapped source of income.

In the meantime, bloggers will have an enormous amount of fun at AP's expense.


 


If tomorrow we discovered a giant asteroid on a collision course with earth we would call such a threat an Extinction Level Event. An E.L.E. is what got the dinosaurs and is what may be occurring with the escalating war between bloggers and the Associated Press. Right now, the AP is teetering on the edge of online irrelevancy. And in this day and age, that is certainly a death sentence.

In a word - flabbergasting. As a "compromise" on what the AP considers "fair use" of its production, the wire service is prepared to offer bloggers a "deal" on excerpting their work:


The AP's disharmony with bloggers may have only just begun, as the alternative it's now offering to being served with takedown notices involves paying an up-front sum for excerpting online articles - as few as five words...

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

This is a joke and AP is rapidly becoming a laughingstock. No court in the land would enforce such nonsense. And of course, bloggers being bloggers, they have turned the tables on AP and are now demanding compensation for when AP quotes them:

Ok, let's play. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course. Unlike the AP, bloggers appreciate getting linked and excerpted. That is how we roll in the 21st century.

But let's apply AP standards for the hell of it. I have found two recent examples of the AP quoting from this blog without linking to the quoted posts or obtaining my consent for a usage agreement. In April, AP quoted from the comment thread in this post about Absolut's Aztlan vodka ad:

It turns out that Michelle Malkin, whose blog is quoted frequently by the AP, is due quite a bit of money using the AP's sliderule interpretation of the Fair Use doctrine. Don't hold your breath, Michelle, if you think you're going to collect.

Allah at Hot Air lays into AP:

What's their game here, seriously? They're turning themselves into laughingstocks and blogosphere pariahs while drumming up business for Reuters and AFP. If they're trying to establish some sort of bright line beyond which excerpts can't go without triggering infringement, then why not just lay down some reasonable-ish policy - two paragraphs maximum, say - and wait for someone to violate it, then sue to see if a court will enforce it? (Suspected answer: Because the court probably won't and the AP knows it.) I'm mystified by their thought process.


Right now, AP is in too deep to back off. I suspect bloggers are going to have to assist them in getting out of the hole they've dug for themselves but not until the wire service realizes the folly of its ways and goes back to the way  things were before some green eye shade type at AP thought they saw an untapped source of income.

In the meantime, bloggers will have an enormous amount of fun at AP's expense.