I don’t think so.
Since this is an AP Poll and since AP charges by the word for excerpting or reprinting their news copy, I will provide only a LINK.
I posted a few comments addressing this, but they have since disappeared. I’m not going to jump to any conclusions; I’ll wait to hear from Dark Skies on that. In the mean time, I’ll just assume it’s some sort of technical glitch.
But that’s not why I’m writing this post. As I mentioned at Dark Skies Blog, I don’t believe that A.P. has the authority to define Fair Use or copyright infringement to suit their personal interests, absent a court ruling.
Mike found this for me through a quick Google search:
In June 2008 Associated Press stated it would be defining guidelines on how many words from its articles and broadcasts could be excerpted by internet bloggers and Web sites without infringing on its copyright. Its first initiative was a letter to Rogers Cadenhead’s “Drudge Retort” news links site requesting the removal of items quoting from 39 to 79 words of AP articles. After an outcry from bloggers, A.P. admitted its letter to Drudge Retort was “heavy-handed.” It later clarified that it would challenge blog postings “when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste.” It then retreated from that position, announcing it would be reviewing its standards.
(This is one of the things I posted at Dark Skies Blog that seems to have gone missing, so you can see why I doubt that it was actually deleted.)
I have a feeling that a mysterious cloud of silence is going to fall on this issue, and that we won’t be hearing anything else from A.P. about it. I’m actually very surprised that they ever tried this to begin with. Journalists are the last people I would expect to take such an approach. Surely, they understand as well as anyone the potential impact of such action.
On Saturday, The A.P. retreated. Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of The A.P., said in an interview that the news organization had decided that its letter to the Drudge Retort was “heavy-handed” and that The A.P. was going to rethink its policies toward bloggers.
The quick about-face came, he said, because a number of well-known bloggers started criticizing its policy, claiming it would undercut the active discussion of the news that rages on sites, big and small, across the Internet.
Indeed it would.
Like I stated at Dark Skies Blog, I recently posted an excerpt from an A.P. article and I will continue to do so any time I feel like it, until a court ruling is issued against it.
But Rogers Cadenhead, the owner of the Drudge Retort and several other Web sites, said the issue goes far beyond one site. “There are millions of people sharing links to news articles on blogs, message boards and sites like Digg. If The A.P. has concerns that go all the way down to one or two sentences of quoting, they need to tell people what they think is legal and where the boundaries are.”
While I appreciate Cadenhead’s attempt at diplomacy here, I’m not really interested in what A.P. thinks is legal. They do not get to create their own personal version of Fair Use and impose it on the rest of the world. No-one does. But the point is now moot:
After that, however, the news association convened a meeting of its executives at which it decided to suspend its efforts to challenge blogs until it creates a more thoughtful standard.
“We don’t want to cast a pall over the blogosphere by being heavy-handed, so we have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this,” Mr. Kennedy said.
“We are not trying to sue bloggers,” Mr. Kennedy said. “That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do.”
I’m not sure how I feel about being the grandma in that analogy, but the point is that the rumors circulating the internet are just that – rumors. A.P. is not charging by the word for excerpting its material. In fact, the dispute appears to be over. And I said all that just to say this:
Quote to your heart’s content, fellow bloggers. It’s free of charge!
[Update: The official word is that my comments are no longer welcome at Dark Skies Blog. I’m not sure what the problem is; I was merely trying to reassure Dark Skies that it is OK to quote from A.P. articles. Since Dark Skies is described as a “news blog”, I assumed the updated information would be welcome. Apparently not. It seems that Dark Skies only wants to report a slanted version of “the news” and refuses to tolerate correction. The upside is that this has inspired another post for Rambling On. Stay tuned!]