The Associated Press argues for a no-tolerance prohibition regarding its work product

April 7, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

The Associated Press is going to war against all websites and bloggers who use any part of its work, even small snippets, and it is publicly threatening a barrage of lawsuits. The AP’s threats are even aimed at search engines.

If the AP is successful, and they clearly believe they will be, then the Internet will be changed as we know it. Linking (with snippets or not) to the content of others could become a permission based concept where one only links (and quotes) after they have received the appropriate approval.

This battle is starting to remind me of the plague of RIAA suits against music downloaders.   It seems to me that the AP is going to need to live with the legitimate exception of “fair use.”  I realize that there are many abuses out there–I’ve seen blogs cutting and pasting entire news articles without any attempt at meaningful comment.   On the other hand, I’ve seen many sites making legitimate comment on news articles that really do fall within the fair use exception.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this issue as it develops.

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Category: Law, Writing

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    It seems to me that the AP would be shooting itself in the foot with this kind of stupidity. They provide the service of dissemination of current news information and are not the only news service out there. Using a legal manipulation in this manner will will destroy their own market as there are many other news services that will happily replace them, while their own lawyers bankrupt them.

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