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AP Takes Bloggers on in Copyright Fight; Arrington Boycotts It

AP declares war on bloggers

The Associated Press is battling small online news sites — in essence, bloggers — that have "quoted too heavily" from its stories, reports the Guardian.

The news site takes issue with bloggers that quote large excerpts from a news story, even if they link to the original article.

Irene Keselman, the intellectual property governance coordinator for the AP, sent a letter to the Drudge Retort, arguing its long quotes from AP news stories fall outside of "fair use" parameters.

"The use is not fair use simply because the work copied happened to be a news article and that the use is of the headline and the first few sentences only," said Keselman.

Founder Rogers Cadenhead of the Drudge Retort argued that sharing links to news stories is "an essential part of how millions of people read and evaluate the news today."

The quarrel ignited a dormant debate about proper interpretation of "fair use." Influential bloggers, including Jeff Jarvis and Michael Arrington, leaped into the fray to defend fair-use blogging activities.

"AP doesn't get to make its own rules around how its content is used - if those rules are stricter than the law allows," said Arrington, who also announced plans to ban AP articles from TechCrunch, a popular tech news site.

The AP may be waging war against a valuable source of traffic for its publication. "Heavy bloggers," which account for 84 percent of time spent on blog sites, are more likely than average users to consume news and entertainment online (via comScore).

Last year, a survey found that eight in 10 business journalists used, or plan to use, blogs as primary or secondary article sources.


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