AP, Blogs, set to get to work on Fair Use
…the news association convened a meeting of its executives at which it decided to suspend its efforts to challenge blogs until it creates a more thoughtful standard.
“We don’t want to cast a pall over the blogosphere by being heavy-handed, so we have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this,” Mr. Kennedy said.
Mr. Kennedy said the company was going to meet with representatives of the Media Bloggers Association, a trade group, and others. He said he hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so that guidelines can be released soon.
But James Joyner see the scourge of scraper blogs as a very real problem and is ready to work together to find a way to an answer:
I happened to discuss this a bit with Media Bloggers Association (MBA) president Bob Cox over the weekend during a phone call on an unrelated matter. As he points out, bloggers like myself are frustrated over the scourge of scraper blogs which republish our content automatically in order to generate revenue. Those sites often wind up higher ranked in the search engines than the original content and thus cheat us out of ad impressions and thus income. [...]
I, for one, would like to see some consensus build up on what constitutes “fair use” in the Internet age. My preference would be that they be established by organizations like the MBA (of which I’m a board member) working in cooperation with major media outlets such as the AP rather than via the courts, regulatory agencies, or Congress. Jeff Jarvis is right that it’s almost impossible to create a one-size-fits-all definition based on number of words or percentage of the total work excerpted. But, surely, the original creators of content are entitled to some rights to ensure they are paid for it. That’s not only fair but in the long term interests of bloggers and blog readers.
And, hey, we could all use a little (educational) comic relief right about now. So check out this brilliant little video mashup, A Fair(y) Use Tale (NOT a Disney movie), by Bucknell prof Eric Faden. More about it here.