August 4, 2009

Who Put the "Ass" in Associated Press?

The recently-publicized Associated Press approach to copyrighting the news includes such stupidities as
To this stupidity it appears that through the inadequacies of the system they have chosen to use for licensing we can now add
  • Charging people for things that were never said:
This does raise some interesting questions, however. Since I now have a license (purchased for $12.50) from Associated Press to quote these words, are they going to sue me for defamation (against which my defense would be "fair comment") or will they instead fall back on their terms of use, which does not allow me to use licensed material in a way "derogatory to Publisher"?

Given the huge popularity of this blog (not) I suspect this one will sneak under their radar, but if it doesn't (and assuming I am neither subjected to a gag order nor rubbed out by hired gorillas) I shall report back.

UPDATE: About five hours later I received a refund on the grounds that the quoted material was not part of the referenced article:
So it appears that the system isn't quite as asinine as it might at first seem. But Associated Press still need to get a clue, I think.


Doug Napoleone said...

A better thing to do would be to license an actual part of an article, but one where a 3rd party is being quoted in which that party owns the copyright. Then contact that copyright owner and let them know that the AP sold said license to their words.

Granted the AP would have the ability to freely quote someone else under sane interpretations of copyright law. But under their warped sense a license is needed and they will collect it, but that collection and granting of licenseis illegal under federal law.

Paul Moore said...

... and yet, even though they never said it, "you may not post this excerpt". Huh? Have they got veto rights on everything they didn't say?

Unknown said...

The third comment on that article is interesting:

Apparently the AP doesn't even check if they have the right to sell you the content you're trying to license. They just count words and charge you.

Unknown said...

Oops. I read the linked article, but not your actual post apparently. :)

My comment was pretty much covered by information in your post.