“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.”
I find this more than just a little interesting given p2pnet routinely quotes excerpts from the mainstream and non-mainstream media in posts.
I’m always at pains to provide a first link the originals in the body copy, as well as mentions within stories, and to add a link to the headline and date at the bottom of each.
But nonetheless, excerpts they are, as Yoda might have said.
Cadenhead kicks off with >>>
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.”
And in reference to the Associated Press, he goes on >>>
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.
In another DMCA takedown, AP contends that the following user comment is a copyright violation:
Well, the oil execs just put another refinery in South Dakota. Maybe they’re a bunch of retards.
Hyperion has said the project, about 60 miles south of Sioux Falls, would create 1,800 permanent jobs and another 4,500 construction jobs over a four-year period. Construction could begin in 2010.
The Hyperion Energy Center would process 400,000 barrels of thick Canadian crude oil a day, which company executives say would help the U.S. reduce its dependence on overseas oil. The company has said it will bring in the crude oil by pipeline but has announced no specific plans for that transportation link.
The user reproduced the last two paragraphs of his comment from the linked Fox News article, written by AP.
I have no desire to be the third member of that club, but sharing links to news stories of interest has become an essential component of how millions of people read and evaluate the news today. When linking to articles, bloggers commonly include excerpts of the article for the purposes of criticism or discussion. Some AP member sites encourage this kind of reuse. Yahoo News, the source for two disputed stories, invites bloggers to use items from its RSS feeds. USA Today, the source for two others, includes a browser widget alongside articles that facilitates their submission to Digg, Mixx and other sites. Wade Duchene, the attorney who helped me win the domain name arbitration for Wargames.Com, says that what we’re doing on the Retort is the “absolute definition of fair use.”
The DMCA requires that the six blog entries and comment immediately be taken down, regardless of whether I think they’re fair use, but users have the option to file counter-notices to AP asserting their own copyright. Because the issue affects all bloggers, I’ve invited Keselman to explain AP’s position at more length. If she accepts I’ll post it in full here on Workbench and the Retort.
Assuming I have copyright permission, of course.
Meanwhile, “The Associated Press is trying to back out of an Old Media-New Media fight that it didn`t quite mean to pick,” says the Los Angeles Times, going on:
“The 162-year-old news service will sit down with representatives of a bloggers group Thursday to devise guidelines allowing Internet commentators to use excerpts from AP stories and broadcasts.
“The AP provoked outrage in the blogosphere last week when it issued a blunt legal demand that the Drudge Retort, a small online news and commentary site, remove seven posts containing snippets – all less than 80 words long – from AP stories. The website, named in satirical homage to the much-larger Drudge Report news site, promptly complied with the demand but started the furor by calling attention to the incident in an online posting.”
As a point of interest, quite a while back, I had a brief conversation with an executive on a major wire service, the name of which begins with A.
The subject was excerpts.
I can’t remember his name and admittedly, he was from the advertising side of things, but his observation was nonetheless interesting.
He told me A? had no problem with excerpts so long as they linked clearly back to the original and weren’t ridiculously long.
Jim Kennedy, AP vice president for strategic planning, “acknowledged that the legal tactic was heavy handed,” says the LA Times, adding:
“Faced with the withering reaction from the blogosphere, Kennedy and other AP executives … met on Friday and decided that ‘we were maybe pressing this too far,’ he said. ‘Our gut feeling was that we needed to rethink it’.”
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