Far be it for the simple gadget bloggers here at CrunchGear.com to comment on legal issues concerning fair use and quoting other news sources, but if you’ve been following the Associated Press brouhaha over the past week or so, you’ll know that plenty of people are pretty riled up.
If you haven’t been following the debate, the short version is that the Associated Press now wants to charge people to quote its articles. There’s a sliding-scale fee that begins at $12.50 for quoting between 5-25 words from any AP article. This flies in the face of the concept of fair use which (very basically) allows people who report news to quote snippets of other people’s work without violating copyright, so long as we’re using that content to help explain whatever we’re reporting.
So the Associated Press wants us to pay to quote their articles now, but a recent AP article (found here) actually quoted an article that our own Michael Arrington (the guy who owns TechCrunch and CrunchGear, if you weren’t aware) wrote over on TechCrunch (this article, here). See the quote in the image at the top of this post.
At twenty-two words, the Associated Press would owe Arrington $12.50. He says…
Am I being ridiculous? Absolutely. But the point is to illustrate that the A.P. is taking an absurd and indefensible position, too. So I’ve called my lawyers (really) and have asked them to deliver a DMCA takedown demand to the A.P. And I will also be sending them a bill for $12.50 with that letter, which is exactly what the A.P. would have charged me if I published a 22 word quote from one of their articles.
Next time, A.P., ask permission before you quote me. I work hard to create content, and it just isn’t appropriate for you to simply cut and paste it into your own product and then sell that to others.
Where’s Nelson when you need him? Haw, haw!