s skippy the bush kangaroo: yikes! wait til they find out we call them "asspress"!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, June 13, 2008

yikes! wait til they find out we call them "asspress"!

the associated press has filed 7 digital millennium copyright act takedown requests against the drudge retort, which is basically a community blog. the creator of the drudge retort, roger cadenhead, tells us on workbench:

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.

here's one of the six disputed blog entries:

clinton expects race to end next week

hillary rodham clinton says she expects her marathon democratic race against barack obama to be resolved next week, as superdelegates decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall. "i think that after the final primaries, people are going to start making up their minds," she said. "i think that is the natural progression that one would expect."

if you follow the link, you'll see that the blog entry reproduces 18 words from the story and a 32-word quote by hillary clinton under a user-written headline. the blog entry drew 108 comments in the ensuing discussion.

i have all the expertise in intellectual property law of somebody who's never been sued, so standard disclaimers apply. but i have difficulty seeing how it violates copyright law for a blogger to link to a news story with a short snippet of the story in furtherance of public discussion.

ap feels otherwise. in a june 3 letter, ap's intellectual property governance coordinator irene keselman told me:

... you purport that the drudge retort's users reproduce and display ap headlines and leads under a fair use defense. please note that contrary to your assertion, ap considers that the drudge retort users' use of ap content does not fall within the parameters of fair use. the use is not fair use simply because the work copied happened to be a news article and that the use is of the headline and the first few sentences only. this is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of "fair use." ap considers taking the headline and lede of a story without a proper license to be an infringement of its copyrights, and additionally constitutes "hot news" misappropriation.
jeff jarvis of buzzmachine feels much like we do: this is killing a fly w/an atomic bomb. and the fly wasn't even bothering you in the first place:

this complaint comes from an organization that leaches off original reporting and kills links and credit to the source of that journalism. yes, it has a right to reproduce reporting from member news organizations. but as i point out here, the ap is hurting original reporting by not crediting and linking to the journalism at its source. we should be operating under an ethic of the link to original reporting; this is an ethic that the ap systematically violates.

what would be better for journalism would be for aggregators — daylife (where i am a partner), inform, google news, pro publica — to link directly to original reporting without rewriting it through its mill. that is what is happening in ohio, where newspapers are now sharing original stories. if the ap doesn’t watch out, that is what could happen everywhere.

i have also objected to the ap doing a deal with google that put google in the content business, hurting the ap’s members and other sources of journalism. we should want google to link to original reporting. but the ap insisted on google licensing its content.

in its complaint against cadenhead, the ap is flouting fair use and fair comment. it is ignoring the essential structure of the link architecture of the web. it is declaring war on blogs and commenters.

so let’s fire back. i urge bloggers everywhere to go to the ap and reproduce a story at length in solidarity with cadenhead and drudge retort.
we're not going to do that in this post. we have often linked to and reproduced parts of asspress stories, always staying within the confines of the fair use law.

we figure calling them "asspress" will be enough to tic them off.

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posted by skippy at 1:22 PM |


and what if calling them asspress doesn't work ???

spit wads at twenty paces ???

you wanna get sued, dontcha ???

which BEGS the question ...

where exactly DOES one sue a kangaroo ???

might we soon need those kangaroo courts that bush is creating in Cuba ???

watch out Skippy, the weather in Cuba is brutal right now

and don't drink the water



how'd I do on that eye test ???
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:36 PM PDT  
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:25 PM PDT  
As we have seen from other law suits like Spocko it creates bad blood to the plantiff. To sue and harass your customers is not a good way to go. They seem to forget we can effectively lock out the AP and cause their revenue to drop. Not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you.
commented by Blogger Demeur, 11:10 AM PDT  
Lemme see if I've got this straight. The AP is suing people for linking to their articles?!?! That is the most brilliant Web business strategy I've ever heard!!
commented by Anonymous PhysioProf, 11:48 AM PDT  

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