That’s what it’s going to cost you to excerpt in your blog any content published by the Associated Press under it’s new pricing structure. According to a pseudo FAQ on copyright that the AP has published:
Don’t use your browser to cut, copy, and paste content. It is wrong and, in most cases, illegal.
That right there might cost me under the new guidelines.
The potential scenarios for what are and are not billable excerpts are a nightmare, and articulated fairly well at BetaNews. Jeff Jarvis sees this as the beginning of the end for the AP, and bloggers everywhere are yelling and screaming and debating the impact. And how this plays out is important for our own understanding of how to teach this stuff to our kids. I know that Gary’s comment on my previous post about this is an important point in the debate despite his cynicism, and I hope he draws it out more here. But this is another benchmark in the disruption, another test that I find fascinating on many levels, and one that is worth our attention and conversation.
Corrie Bergeron says
What’s amazing is that after the blowback to their intial announcement they seemed to retreat a bit and say they would be taking another look at the policy. This is nuts. Reuters or AFP should jump in with a “PLEASE quote us!” CC-Attrib-NC offer.
Tom Hoffman says
They really have no legal standing to demand payment for quotes. Copyright law does not back them up.
A lot of bloggers seem to be complying by calling for a boycott of AP content. Not sure if that’s a better approach than proceeding as normal and fighting DMCA takedowns, etc., but I wonder how the AP will respond.
Does it cost anything to simply link to their articles? I don’t think this is enforceable. How they gonna stop folks from quoting? What about paraphrasing?
Doug Sadler (SadOne) says
Is it your impression they are serious about this or trying to feel out the waters again for an alternative motive?? Shock and awe and then slip in something else?
Bill Fitzgerald says
AP’s stance is hilarious. I’d love to see them take this to court and lose their shirt on this.
Jim D says
Hey,the education price is only $7.50 LOL!
I find this ridiculous. The cases the AP is fighting are examples where the blog cites a short bit of an article then links back to the blog. That seems like fair-use to me for copyrighted material.
I’m not sure I agree with the boycott of the AP by bloggers. It’s not like that’s where they were making money anyway (maybe this is their way of trying to squeeze some out of bloggers). I’m more in the “everyone-should-quote-AP-using-normal-fair-use-guidelines-and-the-AP-can-be-derned” camp. 🙂
Megan Golding says
I’m with the other folks who have called an excerpt fair use. The fair use law as posted on the BetaNews link you provided said “(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;”
So, a blog without ads is nonprofit, right?
I understand the AP’s point — and Gary hit on it in his comment — that they need to make money off of their work. But an excerpt? But we’re not talking about reposting the entire article, just quoting a section.
Interesting news, thanks for sharing!
It’s silly to say that supporting the right to quote will cause writers to lose their jobs (although you can be sure “the Internet” will be blamed as the cause of future cuts by the AP).
The key to profit in this new world where anyone can make a perfect digital copy of anything for zero cost is outlined in the article Better Than Free. Instead of trying to sell your easily-duplicated content, focus on selling improved characteristics of the content: immediacy, personalization, interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage, findability, etc. The AP is taking the same, naive “I’m not changing, you can’t make me” approach the music industry did, when they should be changing their business model.
Real writers want to be quoted. The AP’s out-dated view of media and content distribution is what will endanger their writer’s pay.
Arthus Erea says
Obviously, this is entirely unenforceable. I will never pay to use a short except and would fight this to the courts if they tried to stop me. Short excepts clearly fall under fair use, and thus this policy is legally unenforceable.
I’ve seen lots of comments (including some above) to the effect that the AP would “lose their shirt” if this issue ever went to court. However, unless I was able to get the backing of the EFF or another organization with lots of pro bono lawyers, it wouldn’t take more than few hours of legal fees for most of us to be on the losing end of the deal.
And that’s what large media companies are counting on. They know that those of us who don’t have deep pockets will have to back down when faced with a big legal conflict.
The only way to counter that possibility is to have thousands of bloggers openly discussing the issues and actively exercizing their fair use rights. Publicizing the conflicts also help educate others about the realities of copyright law.
Arthus Erea says
Actually, there *is* recourse which doesn’t require extensive legal support. It is relatively easy to file a counter-claim. In most cases, the AP would back down if the counter-claim was filed.
Since few of the cases would actually make it to court, the EFF could support those few bloggers.
The AP just doesn’t have the legal support to file enough claims for this to actually work, especially since member papers are discontented with this heavy-handed policy.
Amelia Thatcher says
Silly AP, trying to compete with the Internet. RIAA already tried this, remember?
Gary S. Stager says
I’ve offered an alternative model here…
Alex Reid says
This isn’t about money, at least not directly; that is, I don’t see how short quotes on a blog could really cause a loss of income. Instead this is about the general threat of bloggers to news corporations. As everyone has said, all this is already established under Fair Use and by common law.
In addition, since the news industry receives special protections under the first amendment, it would seem to me that we ought to be able to view their work differently in relation to copyright. What’s the point of protecting the freedom of the press when all it really amounts to is protecting someone’s commercial interests?
I realize that’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but perhaps news agencies need to remember that the reason we protect them is because of the importance we place on the information they produce and our ability to discuss it. If we can’t freely discuss the news, then it’s value is greatly diminished.
sylvia martinez says
It seems to me that there are two issues here. One is fair use. AP is clearly trying to draw a line in the sand that does not recognize fair use. That seems outrageous and unnecessary. Not sure why they are picking this fight, perhaps it’s just a legal maneuver. It’s easier to defend a hard line and it gives you room to negotiate. I doubt if they really care about us and our little blogs.
And really, do most people quote the AP anyway? Imagine this, if AP “wins” and then an AP story runs in the LA Times, can you quote the LA Times? After all, the AP got their money.
However, beyond fair use, it seems to me they have a right to ask for compensation for their IP. The AP exists as a way for news orgs to gain access to good reporting at a lower cost than sending out individual reporters. AP guarantees quality by paying reporters and managing them well.
Now comes the Internet and everything is so much easier to copy. But the value of a real reporter is still the same, and it still costs money to put a qualified person in Jakarta or Botswana. Are we just supposed to rely on people who happen to be there who will blog for free? Do we just trust anyone with access to a browser? Won’t we then just be at the mercy of reporters who don’t disclose their sources of income/bias?
Arthus Erea says
The present debate isn’t over the right of the AP to maintain its IP and make money off of it. Nobody here thinks that we should be able to copy entire AP articles or that content should just be free.
No matter how much people try to muddy the waters by bringing up irrelevant details and making factually inaccurate arguments, the core truth remains the same: the AP is trying to claim that there is no such thing as fair use, when copyright law very clearly states there is.
Alan Kwan says
They are just asking to become irrelevant.
Mike Del Muro says
So, the AP will have the time to hunt down and track the IP addresses of millions of bloggers who use a few words of a story?
Scare tactic used against the wrong crowd.
Maria H. Andersen says
I think bloggers should unite under a creative commons license to charge AP writers when they rip off OUR BLOG POSTS for their news stories.