Four Words For Free

I’ve been following the controversy about the Associated Press and its attempt to charge bloggers for excerpting content. Jeff Jarvis has had an extended discussion here and here, and many bloggers are just boycotting AP and declaring its content off limits, including some of the big ones like TechCrunch.

So it was interesting today to read from Nick O’Neill that apparently AP considers quoting anything more than four words a copyright infringement.

I agree with Jarvis that AP needs to seriously re-think this strategy. I’m not a lawyer, but there is such a thing as “fair use,” and as Jarvis says, you can’t assign a specific word count to it.

The link ethic in the blogging community strikes me as much more genuine than the rewrites AP does, generally boiling down the writing of its member organizations and removing the credit from the original article’s author.

What do you think? Will you join Jarvis and Arrington in bypassing AP, and just quoting and linking to original sources?

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 13. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

0 thoughts on “Four Words For Free”

  1. What would AP do if it could only cut & paste four words from the stories of real reporters? As a former newspaper hack, I’d have a heckuva case against AP for stealing my stuff. Boycott ’em. Who needs a wire service in the new world anyway.

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