It’s kind of sad to see Associated Press limping weakly through its struggle to determine what “fair use” means to them.
Or is it? Perhaps, it’s equally entertaining in a physical comedy sort of way. I suppose it depends on where you stand. Whether you belong to the old guard or new media?
Saul Hansell of The New York Times frames the story:
A.P. — a not for profit group of 1,500 newspapers, including The New York Times — demanded that the Drudge Retort remove 10 posts that quoted between 40 and 80 words of its articles. After a storm of protest, The A.P. backed down and said it had been too heavy-handed in its initial complaint. It added that it hoped to publish guidance for bloggers suggesting how they can use A.P. content.
According the report, A.P. isn’t sure it wants to back down now. Rather they’d like to enforce their will by battling indie bloggers with expensive lawyers.
Rogers Cadenhead, the owner of the Drudge Retort, spent two hours on the phone Thursday night with A.P.’s lawyers. He said A.P. wants to protect the headline and first paragraph of its articles. “If AP’s guidelines end up like the ones they shared with me, we’re headed for a Napster-style battle on the issue of fair use.”
As I consider this, I have to ask is A.P. necessary to me as a blogger. The answer is no. I can quote another source. Every time. Later A.P.