AP Decides to Shoot Itself in the Foot

Most sites love it when someone links to their story. As long as you only clip a short portion of the story, all you'll be doing, essentially, is driving traffic to the linked site.

You would think that "most" would include The Associated Press (AP), but apparently not.

Rogers Cadenhead has long run a site called the Drudge Retort at www.drudge.com. Today he posted the news that the site has been targeted by the Associated Press with DMCA takedown orders. AP is complaining about a bunch of posts on Drudge Retort that contain brief excerpts of longer AP stories and links to those stories on other sites.

According to the AP, this is copyright infringement. (Here’s the text of the complaint.)

If the AP is right, then something like 99.9% of the world’s millions of bloggers are engaged in copyright infringement, simply by excerpting the articles bloggers link to.

Something’s wrong with this picture!

Fair use has always been a sticky area of the law because there are no clear boundaries to what’s acceptable; instead there is a set of principles that get weighed to determine whether the reuse of copyrighted material is considered to fall under fair use.

If you don't see how this is a stupid move, imagine this: this sort of takedown succeeds.  Sites (such as Digg, or here) stop linking to AP stories.  Although this doesn't affect AP itself, it affects the sites that carry AP licensed stories and those will eventually want to pay less - as their traffic is less.  AP, do you get it yet?
Tags:  shoot, SHO, DEC, AP, id