Monday, June 16, 2008

New AP Rules: Bad News for Bloggers?


Well some bloggers, anyway; specifically, those prone to lazily cutting and pasting text from news stories at great length, or even reproducing whole articles.

The news agency Associated Press has sparked a furious debate over the fair use of material by bloggers after its lawyers issued a takedown notice last week to a small, independent news site that it claims had quoted too heavily from its news stories. AP said six instances of copyright violation had taken place involving seven items that contained quotations from AP articles ranging from 39 to 79 words. Yikes!

While this may not be an altogether bad thing in some respects, it remains to be seen how restrictive or practicable the guidelines reportedly now being developed by the AP are. The push back has already started with indignant bloggers like Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine and Michael Arrington at TechCrunch leading the charge.