Final spasms of a dying beast

Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations (and reserves the right to terminate your license) – Boing Boing

Oh dear. From Boing Boing comes this piece of news,  like IDG’s infamous anti-linking edict of a few years back, one of those dumbass King Canute edicts destined to be swept away by the tide of progress. Here’s the deal: The Associated Press, a coprolite concept of a global news syndicate used by newspapers to fill their editorial holes with standard news (bus plunges, fungible coverage of the world’s events, items from outside of the local circulation foot print) and to share their original reportage back into the pool in return, has decided that bloggers must pay by the word when they quote from an AP article.

To me that’s like asking me to pay a toll to get off the superhighway and visit a dying town that time has forgotten.

“In the name of “defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt” the Associated Press is now selling “quotation licenses” that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words. The licensing system exhorts you to snitch on people who publish without paying the blood-money, offering up to $1 million in reward money (they also think that “fair use” — the right to copy without permission — means “Contact the owner of the work to be sure you are covered under fair use.”).”

Full disclosure, I am total copyleftist. I hate crap like this. Whenever an organization with an intellectual property axe to grind (MPAA, RIAA) starts getting “smart” about the digital world, they almost always put on the egg makeup.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Final spasms of a dying beast”

  1. Best headline anyone has put on a post about this story! I am starting to come around to the view that the AP is sorta like other middlemen that got disintermediated by the Internet, at least from a reader’s perspective.

    I don’t really need the AP to supply my local paper with news from other places anymore. I have Google News or other aggregation services to pick the best of the best from all over. If I need to know what’s up in Kalamazoo, I just click on the Kalamazoo Gazette.

  2. Let the idiots save the trees themselves! What a stupid decision.

    I have a local papaer with a 32-page local news hole.
    I love it

    be regular and be continent


  3. Heck, let’s apply the standard in reverse. Look for any old Blog post, take a 5-10 word quote out of it, and then search it in Google with “ap” and eventually, we’ll find something that predates them. Hence, they must have plagiarized, and legally responsible. Even better, they couldn’t rest on the “Gee, I didn’t know” defense.

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