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6/18/08

AP Charges for Excerpts on Blogs

The Associated Press has begun charging bloggers $12.50 for 5 words of an excerpt from their reports, and up from there. This is the latest in AP's effort to halt the reproduction of any, even a tiny part, of their news reports- and criticism of their reports. In the past, AP sent legal orders and threats to websites that published parts of their copyrighted material for incidental purposes of analyzing the journalism.

AP's outrageous actions directly oppose basic First Ammendment rights as defined by the courts. The Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107 states: "...the fair use of a copyrighted work... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright..."

Big lawyers have stretched this so that only one copy may be used for educational purposes and so forth. AP now is seeking to prohibit quotes from their copyrighted material altogether, for any purpose. I'm expecting my letter in the mail any day now.

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