In the greatest example of cutting off one’s nose to spite their face, the AP has decided to start a war with the blogosphere by charging them to quote and link from their articles. I wrote over at rightjuris about how the AP has decided to follow other dinosaur industries like the RIAA and MPAA by using frivolous law suits in order to discourage user’s from quoting and linking to their “news” (I use the term lightly in relation to the AP) stories. They have decided to completely ignore any claims of the Fair Use Doctrine, which allows others to use small quotations (like book reviews and countless others do) in their own work. The irony of this is that the doctrine was developed in relation to the Freedom of the Press clause in the 1st Amendment. So now we have a major “news” agency essentially violating a doctrine that has worked to their advantage for decades. Their attempt to charge for content ignores the new paradigm of the Internet in its entirety. The world is changing and the way we get our news is changing. 20 years ago you had about 10 sources of news that was responsible for disseminating the goings on in the world. Now there are literally thousands. If I don’t like the New York Times, not only will I not subscribe to their print resource (do they still have a print resource), but I will probably find a news outlet that colors their reporting that is more in line with my thinking. So, the A.P. is desperately trying to hold onto their domination of the old media, the long term consequences be damned.
It seems to be that $2.50 is a pretty hefty per word charge, but what do I know. One must wonder how much traffic is driven to the AP site by bloggers around the Internet on a daily basis from this evil practice of linking and quoting? How much revenue could the AP garner from working with the bloggers instead of driving them away? There are many of blog sites that make multiple-millions per year just off advertising. One would think the AP would see those dollar signs. Instead, the AP has started a firestorm of criticism and boycotts based on their decision to bar bloggers from quoting their materials (which they can’t legally do any way). Well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. While I do not speak for all of Rightpundits, I will be joining my fellow bloggers in a boycott of this asinine policy. If they don’t want me driving people to their “news” sites, that is fine, I surely won’t. Could someone please start playing “Taps” I think I hear the death cry of the MSM.