To the surprise of the Drudge Report, last week the Associated Press (A.P.) sent them a letter requesting that several items containing quotations from AP articles be removed from their site.
Apparently, the A.P. isn’t too happy with people reposting or reusing their content, and is willing to take concrete steps to prevent this.
According to the New York Times, the A.P. issued a statement defending its action on Friday, saying it was going to challenge blog postings containing excerpts of A.P. articles “when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste.”
Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of the A.P. had some interesting words on the subject:
“We don’t want to cast a pall over the blogosphere by being heavy-handed, so we have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this. Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see. It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context. As content creators, we firmly believe that everything we create, from video footage all the way down to a structured headline, is creative content that has value. We are not trying to sue bloggers. That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do.”
One blogger, Michael Arrington, was not too pleased with this announcement, and vowed to ban A.P. articles on TechCrunch.
“Drudge Retort is doing nothing different than what Digg, TechMeme, Mixx and dozens of other sites do, and frankly the fact that they are being linked to should be considered a favor …So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.”