Inside the AP Circus
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Associated Press has managed to piss off thousands of bloggers and blog readers.
The aging news organization has announced it will attempt to create its own standards as to how web-based publications can utilize its material, essentially overruling existing “fair use” doctrines that allow publications to use small excerpts of copyrighted content under valid circumstances.
The battle began when the A.P. asked blog site Drudge Retort to remove several items that included small excerpts of stories, all with citations and accompanying links to the original content.
“We figure that having writers in the thriving medium of web publication quote us and link back to our content can only hurt us,” Associated Press Vice-President and Strategy Director Jim Kennedy never said.
“I mean, that sort of thing increases our visibility, reinforces our brand, provides free marketing, and ups our search engine ranking. Hogwash, I tell you. Hogwash,” he neglected to add.
The A.P. has stated that it might be more appropriate for blogs to use “short summaries” of its articles instead of “directly quoting” them, saying it would be “more consistent with the spirit of the Internet” to avoid even “short direct quotations.”
Executives also commented that one can effectively capture the true meaning of any given article in very few words and thereby reduce the need for long, drawn-out summaries that rehash the material stated in the aforementioned original article in an extended explanation that may or may not fit into a single absurdly long yet grammatically correct sentence.
While the sentiments have drawn a largely negative reaction, some have expressed joy at the A.P.’s bold stance.
“It’s about goddamned time,” exclaimed a five-foot-seven Danish drummer who wished to remain anonymous. “The entire Internet has been pissed at me for more than a decade now. Finally, someone else did something worse.”