Woot To The AP: Nice Story About Our Sale — You Now Owe Us $17.50

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Gotta love those guys at Woot. They just sold to Amazon for $110 million, but that’s not stopping them from calling anyone out as they see fit. In this case, we particularly love it because they’re calling out the AP — and they’re doing so right on their highly trafficked homepage.

You see, Woot noticed that the AP covered the story of their sale five days ago. But in doing so, they also noticed that the AP used a number of quotes from CEO Matt Rutledge’s blog post about the sale. According to the AP’s own ridiculous rules for using quotations, Woot figures that the AP owes them $17.50.

The AP has been banned on TechCrunch for two years now because of this ridiculous rule. In fact, we’re breaking our own rule here by acknowledging they even exist. But this is too good to pass up — and it’s actually similar to something we did a couple years ago, trying to charge the AP $12.50 for their usage of quotes from us. To my knowledge, we’re still waiting for that check.

But Woot is more forgiving than we are. They’re willing to cut a deal:

But, hey. We’re all friends here. And invoicing is such a hassle in today’s paperless society, are we right? How about this: instead of cutting us a check for the web content you liberated from our site, all you’ll need to do is show us your email receipt from today’s two pack of Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones, and we’ll call it even.

Yes, Woot is letting the AP skip out on the money they owe if they simply buy a couple of the featured products today on Woot. Good idea. And they’re backing it up: “Don’t force us to pass this matter to a collection agency,” they write.

Best of luck with those jokesters, Woot.

Below, find the key blurb from Woot’s message to the AP, which hopefully they won’t charge us for since we don’t try to enforce the same ridiculous rules the AP does:

The AP, we can’t thank you enough for looking our way. You see, when we showed off our good news on Wednesday afternoon, we expected we’d get a little bit of attention. But when we found your little newsy thing you do, we couldn’t help but notice something important. And that something is this: you printed our web content in your article! The web content that came from our blog! Why, isn’t that the very thing you’ve previously told nu-media bloggers they’re not supposed to do?

So, The AP, here we are. Just to be fair about this, we’ve used your very own pricing scheme to calculate how much you owe us. By looking through the link above, and comparing your post with our original letter, we’ve figured you owe us roughly $17.50 for the content you borrowed from our blog post, which, by the way, we worked very very hard to create.

[thanks Anurag]

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