Submitted by Art Neill last modified Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:46pm
The AP says it is taking aim at "wholesale theft" with new technology that is aimed at targeting reposting of "entire articles." The new technology is supposed to simply flag questionable articles for lawyers and paralegals to then review.
The question is will the new technology be so limited? Or, will the AP use the technology to follow the same path it took filing DMCA takedown notices falsely characterizing the law regarding the Drudge retort's postings as follows:
"...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 ."
It is interesting to see AP editor Ted Bridis back off significantly from AP's position in the Drudge Retort situation. Bridis tells Ars Technica that
"What I'm talking about, and what has really riled up our internal copyright folks, are the bloggers who take, just paste an entire 800 word story into their blog. They don't even comment on it. And it happens way more than most people realize."
This passively acknowledges that there are instances where even complete copying of an article for commentary, criticism, education, would be legitimate. Bridis even acknowledges that the AP uses fair use everyday. Indeed it is difficult to imagine the AP without fair use. Certainly automated commercialization of entire AP articles without permission is illegal, but it is important that the lawyers tasked with policing content for the AP respect fair use as established in the law, and steer clear of using more narrow, internally defined guidelines (as traditional media often does in overzealously policing its IP rights).
So bloggers be wary, if not beware. Think about the way you use and reuse content, but don't be afraid to exercise what is a right to use content in fair use .
Visit New Media Rights' Citizen's Guide to Fair Use to learn more.
"Breaking News" by Flickr User A Hermida , under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike , and therefore this entire article is shared under CC 2.0 BY-NC-SA as well.