Here we go again: AP Files DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort
UPDATE: AP’s Jim Kennedy emails:
The Associated Press encourages the engagement of bloggers — large and small — in the news conversation of the day… Bloggers are an indispensable part of the new ecosystem, but… There are many ways to inspire conversation about the news without misappropriating the content of original creators, whether they are the AP or fellow bloggers.
Full text here. Headline corrected for clarity (added “Retort”). Original post begins here…
Worth watching… CLOSELY!… Rogers Cadenhead:
I’m currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing “‘hot news’ misappropriation under New York state law.” An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.
The Retort is a community site comparable in function to Digg, Reddit and Mixx. The 8,500 users of the site contribute blog entries of their own authorship and links to interesting news articles on the web, which appear immediately on the site. None of the six entries challenged by AP, which include two that I posted myself, contains the full text of an AP story or anything close to it. They reproduce short excerpts of the articles — ranging in length from 33 to 79 words — and five of the six have a user-created headline. [...]
I have no desire to be the third member of that club, but sharing links to news stories of interest has become an essential component of how millions of people read and evaluate the news today. When linking to articles, bloggers commonly include excerpts of the article for the purposes of criticism or discussion. Some AP member sites encourage this kind of reuse. Yahoo News, the source for two disputed stories, invites bloggers to use items from its RSS feeds. USA Today, the source for two others, includes a browser widget alongside articles that facilitates their submission to Digg, Mixx and other sites. Wade Duchene, the attorney who helped me win the domain name arbitration for Wargames.Com, says that what we’re doing on the Retort is the “absolute definition of fair use.”
The DMCA requires that the six blog entries and comment immediately be taken down, regardless of whether I think they’re fair use, but users have the option to file counter-notices to AP asserting their own copyright. Because the issue affects all bloggers, I’ve invited Keselman to explain AP’s position at more length. If she accepts I’ll post it in full here on Workbench and the Retort.
Assuming I have copyright permission, of course.
Some analysis from ReadWriteWeb:
There’s a certain social contract emerging where readers expect full RSS feeds to be published with the understanding that they will not engage in widespread republishing of the full feeds on other sites. In this case, the AP is not holding up its side of that social contract. Maybe it doesn’t want to be a participant in the society of new online media.