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AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-getting-this-whole-blogging-thing dept.

Censorship 177

mytrip points out a blog posting by Rogers Cadenhead, author of the Drudge Retort blog, who says: "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 Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment. The AP material they object to consists of snippets of from 33 to 79 words. Cadenhead claims his lawyer believes that all fall squarely within the province of fair use.

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My first suggestion (4, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818309)

Is to figure out if it's six or 7.... article says 7, summary says 6.

Re:My first suggestion (5, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818335)

In other news, I'll go ahead and try to figure out of it's 6 or six.

AP Stylebook (2, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818449)

Consult the AP stylebook.

Re:AP Stylebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818765)

=)

AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort

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.

Here's one of the six disputed blog entries:

        Clinton Expects Race to End Next Week

        Hillary Rodham Clinton says she expects her marathon Democratic race against Barack Obama to be resolved next week, as superdelegates decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall. "I think that after the final primaries, people are going to start making up their minds," she said. "I think that is the natural progression that one would expect."

If you follow the link, you'll see that the blog entry reproduces 18 words from the story and a 32-word quote by Hillary Clinton under a user-written headline. The blog entry drew 108 comments in the ensuing discussion.

I have all the expertise in intellectual property law of somebody who's never been sued, so standard disclaimers apply. 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.

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.

        www.foxnews.com

        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.

AP has filed copyright lawsuits against the VeriSign division Moreover last fall and another against the Florida company All Headline News this year.

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.

Re:AP Stylebook (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818895)

This doesn't appear to be exactly the same but take a peek here:

AP and Google in the past [silicon.com]

It seems that AP has had some experience with even large sites/companies in similar situations in the past.

Re:My first suggestion (1)

rakzor (1198165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818583)

In other news, I'll go ahead and try to figure out of it's 6 or six.
Good luck with that... I bet you $20 it's six.

Re:My first suggestion (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819715)

Here's the full text of the original story. Normally I don't do this but I don't see Drudge objecting. Anyhow according to Internet Law I have Mashup Rights because I added some <quote> and </quote> tags before I posted. This paragraph is also orginal content that I wrote without using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V at all. And I added a link to the original story.

http://www.cadenhead.org/workbench/news/3368/ap-files-7-dmca-takedowns-against-drudge [cadenhead.org]

AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort

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.

Here's one of the six disputed blog entries:

Clinton Expects Race to End Next Week

Hillary Rodham Clinton says she expects her marathon Democratic race against Barack Obama to be resolved next week, as superdelegates decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall. "I think that after the final primaries, people are going to start making up their minds," she said. "I think that is the natural progression that one would expect."
If you follow the link, you'll see that the blog entry reproduces 18 words from the story and a 32-word quote by Hillary Clinton under a user-written headline. The blog entry drew 108 comments in the ensuing discussion.

I have all the expertise in intellectual property law of somebody who's never been sued, so standard disclaimers apply. 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.

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.

www.foxnews.com

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.

AP has filed copyright lawsuits against the VeriSign division Moreover last fall and another against the Florida company All Headline News this year.

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.

Re:My first suggestion (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818361)

An AP attorney filed six Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.
six for blog entries plus one more making seven.

very much OT (1)

vague_ascetic (755456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819575)

but for reasons that should be fairly obvious, given the rules a Slashdot, I am not able to reply without resort to AC or creating a sock, and I hate socks.

Anyway, what is you definition of a handful? On one side: one is less than a handful [senate.gov] ; and on the other side: 66 is more than a handful [house.gov] .

cheers

DUPE (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818561)

DUPE (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819269)

Interesting quote from the AP (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818709)

One of the problems with the AP is that their whole business model isn't so different from providing an RSS feed these days. Fair use here may be an interesting case, because blogging might well cut down on their (obsolete) business model and because there's no limit to how little you can quote while being fair use. In fact, because this would seem to impact upon their business, the fair use case may be harder to make.

That said, they have an interesting way of justifying things [nytimes.com] . Pay attention to those last few lines:

Mr. Kennedy argued, however, that The Associated Press believes that in some cases, the essence of an article can be encapsulated in very few words.

"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," he said.

But he also said that the association hopes that it will not have to test this theory in court.

"We are not trying to sue bloggers," Mr. Kennedy said. "That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do."

That's right. They're saying at least we're not as bad as the RIAA. Where's NYCL? :-)

Re:Interesting quote from the AP (5, Insightful)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820469)

One of the problems with the AP is that their whole business model isn't so different from providing an RSS feed these days.

An RSS feed delivers summaries of news stories. To create those stories, somebody was paid to go out (outside - you know, leave the computer and keyboard behind?) and gather news and photos. That's qualitatively different than delivering an XML feed, wouldn't you say?

blogging might well cut down on their (obsolete) business model

The blogosphere is largely an echo chamber, with no voice (i.e. reportage) of its own. No voice, no echo, no blogosphere... get it? Original news reporting happens outside that sphere, then it gets repeated, via RSS feeds, copy-n-paste etc., within it.

Without actual news stories to quote and make fair-use copies from, bloggers would be left to writing about taking their dog to the vet, or how the baby barfed on grandma's shoes, or whatever.

I mean, look at /. - with no stories to link to, we'd all be talking about Linus's latest kernel module, now wouldn't we?

ho-hum (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818311)

Prepare to see "fair-use" to be vindicated, and AP running with it's tail between it's legs...

Re:ho-hum (2)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818385)

Prepare to see "fair-use" to be vindicated
Fair use still exists? K3wl.

Re:ho-hum (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818715)

> Fair use still exists? K3wl.

Wait for the news sites to post their news with DRM protection. A simple html tag is all that is needed. It does not need to be functional with any systems.

Then anyone copying information from the site is clearly breaking the DRM technology implemented by the page and is open to liabilities for possessing and using DRM breaking technologies.

Re:ho-hum (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818857)

Wait for the news sites to post their news with DRM protection. A simple html tag is all that is needed. It does not need to be functional with any systems.


So wait... If I just put tags on my site it will make it be uncopyable? And if it isn't readable by at least IE, no one will read the posting so I guess that could mean that it is uncopyable if no one reads it to copy it... But as for it being a simple HTML tag, that is impossible, perhaps with JavaScript, PHP, or Flash it would be possible but there is nothing in HTML that would prevent me from just going to the source and copying and pasting that text either. And either way, if this gets main stream popularity, the developers of Firefox or any other web browser could chose to ignore the (no doubt non standard) HTML tags and just display it in text.

Re:ho-hum (1)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819201)

It's a joke dude. The DMCA outlaws circumventing a copy protection system (no matter how weak it is, re adobe and its rot13).

Well actually, that doesn't sound like a very funny joke.

Re:ho-hum (1)

flatlyimpressed (1180455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819561)

Hey man, don't give them any ideas! ;)

How about a cock in your mouth? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818777)

Selfish thief!

Just because something is on the web doesn't mean that the people who made it don't deserve to get paid:

-Real news sources
-Movies
-Music albums
-Software

This message is addressed to the slashdot crowd at large. Stop stealing content and bandwidth, parasites!!

kdawson, dupe, again. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818317)

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/13/2228232

Is the search function really so hard to use?

Slashdot Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Slashdot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818357)

DMCA in this case refers to the Dupes Make Cmdrtaco Angry

Re:kdawson, dupe, again. (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818515)

"Is the search function really so hard to use?"

Yeah because Slashdot's search function is second only to Google.

How long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818319)

Before we're aggressively posting AP quotes everywhere just to prove a point?

When they have something worth quoting (1)

freenix (1294222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818481)

I'll exercise fair use rights. Don't hold your breath.

And in other news.... (5, Funny)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818343)

SourceForge, Inc. files 32,819 DMCA notices against its daughter site, Slashdot.org, for blatantly reproducing its own stories, such as this [slashdot.org] one.

Re:And in other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818535)

Parent is not off topic, click the link.

This story has been on /. once already.

Re:And in other news.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23820549)

SourceForge, Inc. files 32,819 DMCA notices against its daughter site, Slashdot.org, for blatantly reproducing its own stories, such as this [slashdot.org] one.
You mean "SourceForge, Inc. files -51 DMCA notices against its daughter site, Slashdot.org, for blatantly reproducing its own stories, such as this [slashdot.org] one." ...

Fair? (0, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818347)

The real Drudge site links directly to stories, and doesn't keep "snippets" or other content. This guy needs to wise up.

Re:Fair? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818653)

The real Drudge site links directly to stories, and doesn't keep "snippets" or other content. This guy needs to wise up.

When using only small parts of articles that is fair use [wikipedia.org] and is legal.

Falcon

Re:Fair? (3, Informative)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820593)

Fair use is (1) a legal defence in a copyright violation case, not a right; so (b) whether a snippet counts as infringement is therefore up to a judge (and possibly a jury) rather than being a hard and fast rule.

I'll say it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818355)

If you want to be considered a real journalist, GO OUT AND FIND NEWS ON YOUR OWN, and write something ORIGINAL about it.

Merely pointing to or cut and pasting someone else's original thoughts does not make you a journalist. When you depend on SOMEONE ELSE to write something, you are merely a parasite, unoriginal. What if I released the Linux code as "my own", would you say "oh look at him, he's a coding genius"? Or would you tell me to write my own code?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Re:I'll say it again. (5, Insightful)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818377)

Some of the DMCA takedowns are user comments on posts that quote other articles. I'm pretty sure that I'm not attempting journalism by posting this comment on slashdot

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818415)

Letters to the editor are not journalism. But the articles they're discussing are.

Comments in a blog's discussion threads are the exact parallel. Except the comments are much closer to journalism, because they're not edited as much, so they're a closer reflection of the actual world outside an editor's head.

Re:I'll say it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818997)

We really ought to stop the AP now, lest we let the situation overflow and drown out reason. Similar to this story the AP is running...

Officials are placing millions of sandbags on top of the levees along the river in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri to prevent overflowing. There is no way to predict whether these levees will break, said Ron Fournier, a spokesman with the Army Corps of Engineers in Iowa. "That's a crystal ball that nobody has," he told the AP.
Source: Associated Press [ap.org] , EILEEN SULLIVAN, Feds: 26 levees could overflow if sandbags fail. [Jun 16, 9:25 PM EDT]
And the crushing thing to me is, I felt the need to check "Post Anonymously".

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819521)

And the crushing thing to me is, I felt the need to check "Post Anonymously".

But you were emphasising the 'fair use' principle, and you even went as far as quoting the source - why post anonymously?

If your post isn't the epitomy of fair use, I'll eat my dictionary :P

Re:I'll say it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819149)

Actually, that is exactly what you are doing. Your success in the endeavor can be measured by the quality of your post. In this case, I would say you are far off mark. But you do start out by claiming this was not your goal. Then what did you hope to accomplish by publishing your comment in a fixed medium about a news topic?

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818403)

This made me laugh only because it's posted on Slashdot which a site that links to news. Maybe instead Taco should write everything himself? Of course not. Sites that link to crap have their place... granted there are enough of them already in my opinion. Between Slashdot, Digg, and a handful of good porn sites, do we really need the rest of the intarweb?

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818647)

Between Slashdot, Digg, and a handful of good porn sites, do we really need the rest of the intarweb?
Nope, thats about it.

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818835)

notalwaysright.com is a good one to add to the list. Then, we're done.

Re:I'll say it again. (5, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818697)

...and a handful of good porn sites...
[Citation needed]
Please?

Re:I'll say it again. (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819527)

If it's good porn, you've got a hand full :o)

Re:I'll say it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818785)

Slashdot doesn't claim to be anything more than links to, and commentary about, news. They're not really advertising themselves as journalists.

Roland Piquepaille's blog [primidi.com] is a great example of the OP's complaint. He (Roland) finds other people's articles and research, writes a half assed summary, and pretends he's some trendy blogging journalist.

what is the deal with "drudge retort"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818381)

The first time I wanted to visit this Drudge site I'd heard about, I punched in the obvious url and ended up at the "retort" instead. Isn't that some kind of copyright violation? I know that parody is considered fair use, but the "retort" doesn't seem to be primarily about parody.

Re:what is the deal with "drudge retort"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818437)

wow... pretty daft, are we?

the left-slanted text?

the obvious more "liberal" tone to the site?

"red meat for yellow dogs"?

can you really be that dumb?

Re:what is the deal with "drudge retort"? (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819761)

I think he's right. This Drudge Retort guy is clearly taking advantage of the Drudge Report's high alexa rating. And most of his original content is scrapped.

He can go on about parody, mashups and so on. But in the end it reminds me of Victor Lewis Smith's quip that "imitation is the sincerest form of being an unoriginal thieving bastard"

Re:what is the deal with "drudge retort"? (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820085)

The first time I wanted to visit this Drudge site I'd heard about, I punched in the obvious url and ended up at the "retort" instead. Isn't that some kind of copyright violation?

Err... no. Titles are not protected by copyright. URLs are not protected by copyright. Single words are not protected by copyright.

The length of the quot e not important in absolute (2, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818387)

All will agree that this is fair use if drudge retort quote 79 words out of 790. But this is less defensible if the quote is 79 words out of say, 91.

Re:The length of the quot e not important in absol (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818471)

as long as drudge is providing the info where they took the quote stuff from, i don't see how AP has a case in this. They provide a link to original story on AP its not stealing if you are giving the credit to the original writer in these cases

Re:The length of the quot e not important in absol (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818707)

Um... so I can give credit and it's not considered stealing? I'll remember that next time the RIAA comes after me.

"But your honor, I attributed the songs correctly!"

Re:The length of the quot e not important in absol (4, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819913)

"as long as drudge is providing the info where they took the quote stuff from, i don't see how AP has a case in this. They provide a link to original story on AP its not stealing if you are giving the credit to the original writer in these cases."

There's a persistent meme on Slashdot that artists should be happy that their stuff is simply being shared and listened to. If they make even a peep about trying to make a living from their craft, they're branded as greedy businesspeople, not artists.

Looks like people are starting to think the same way about journalists, too. That's sad.

If the Drudge Retort fellow thinks that there's not much value to the AP articles which he excerpts, then great -- he can stop using them, and switch to a news service which is less profit-oriented and which allows free distribution of their content (provided he can find a suitable replacement). But if he thinks that using the AP source material is a benefit to his site and to its readers, he can license it, just like real news sites do.

He seems to be playing it down the middle -- the AP content is worth reproducing on his site, but not worth paying for.

The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (5, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818389)

Under heavy criticism from people who actually know how the Internet works [dailykos.com] , the AP has retracted its DMCA complaints:

Last week, The A.P. took an unusually strict position against quotation of its work, sending a letter to the Drudge Retort asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.

On Saturday, The A.P. retreated. Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of The A.P., said in an interview that the news organization had decided that its letter to the Drudge Retort was "heavy-handed" and that The A.P. was going to rethink its policies toward bloggers.

The quick about-face came, he said, because a number of well-known bloggers started criticizing its policy, claiming it would undercut the active discussion of the news that rages on sites, big and small, across the Internet [...]


But the AP still doesn't really get it (if it can get away with destroying it, where "it" is "fair use"):

Still, Mr. Kennedy said that the organization has not withdrawn its request that Drudge Retort remove the seven items. And he said that he still believes that it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones.

"Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see," he said. "It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context."

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (2, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818477)

"Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see," he said. "It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context."
That would be fine if controversial news didn't disappear off websites.

I had several such examples on my underreported.com blog where I had to take screenshots because I knew it would soon get "disappeared" (or I just happened to still have it open in one of the 20 browser windows I had open and when surfing to the news item again to ponder it, it was "hey, wait a minute.") I certainly wasn't the only one who had to do it.

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818567)

Yes, IFRAMEs don't serve to let the publisher of the external content control the integrity of what they're "pointing to".

If HTTP included content signing that could at least let the publisher of the link help readers clicking it to see that the target content has changed. Eventually there will probably be a "distributed archiving" system that points at URIs, "content names", rather than URLs, which point at "content location", regardless of whether the content changes.

In the meantime, "fair use" quoting isn't just fair. It's more fair than the content publishers who bait & switch when their original content brings blowback pressure they don't like. AP has to get with the 20th Century laws if it's going to survive in the 21st Century. That's why it's trying to change the laws in the 21st Century, so it can drag us back to 19th Century yellow journalism that pays, but doesn't inform.

Yellow is better (5, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818627)

In case you haven't noticed, we're better informed now in the 21st century thanks to yellow blogs. It's the 20th century supposedly unbiased news sources that kept us dumbed down -- the populace places too much trust in the mass media and consequently the mass media has become a puppet of the power elite.

The so-called "neutral point of view" came out of the Progressive Era, and like so many things of that era sold as a way to help the little guy, ended up being an instrument of The Man. Give me bias -- explicitly stated bias -- any day. It's a lot easier to understand that way.

Re:Yellow is better (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819093)

In case you haven't noticed, we're better informed now in the 21st century thanks to yellow blogs.
Better informed. Heh.

Yellow journalism is a pejorative reference to journalism that features sex scandals, scandal-mongering, sensationalism, or other unethical or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or journalists. It has been loosely defined as "not quite libel".
If you think the blogging version of ^that^ has produced a more informed populace...
Then you must be using a different definition.

I don't disagree with the premise that blogs have allowed for more information (some of it even manages to be factual)
But don't forget that a wide swath of blogs are just echo chambers for misinformation.

Example: Barack Obama is a muslim [google.com]
As of this posting, about half on the front page say he is and half say he isn't

Re:Yellow is better (2, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819287)

Yellow journalism is a pejorative reference to journalism that features sex scandals, scandal-mongering, sensationalism, or other unethical or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or journalists. It has been loosely defined as "not quite libel".
If you think the blogging version of ^that^ has produced a more informed populace... Then you must be using a different definition.
No, that's pretty much it. The difference is the need to read blogs from opposite ends of the spectrum, rather than just trying to get all one's news from a single "newspaper of record" or one evening news show.

Example: Barack Obama is a muslim

As of this posting, about half on the front page say he is and half say he isn't

Good example. Because of blogs and chain e-mail, 1) the issue has been brought to the forefront, and 2) we can gather needed facts from those with an agenda to bring those facts to light (from each side) and then draw our own conclusions.

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (1)

T3Tech (1306739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818543)

"Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see," he said. "It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context."
BS! It's certainly more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to take direct quotes and use them completely out of context for the pure humor of it and provide a link to the original content so that the reader can choose to review such if they're really that interested in proper context.

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818959)

Yeah, it looks as if it was over before we got it here. I did some additional looking and then read down to see if anyone else had found out about their change of views. If no one had (you did) I was going to offer this link. Pretty much the same thing. [nytimes.com]

It seems that AP didn't like being kicked around on the 'net.

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818967)

"Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see," he said. "It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context."

So then the cocksuckers at AP can go after someone for "deep linking" or some other such imaginary, rabid horseshit.

BTW, "What we want to see" has no legal fucking standing. I'd like to see these assholes doing circle sodomy on each other (or, in their case, would that amount to circle bestiality?). But I guess I'll be disappointed in that.

Who do they hire -- people who can't pass a bar exam -- to think this shit up? I've heard most discoveries are dreamed up by the most junior people in the law outfit, just to keep them busy. Likely the reason why they want to dig up your grandmother to look for signs of pre-mortem abuse so they can impugn your unrelated testimony.

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23820267)

"It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in our context."
Fixed it.

(In other words : Context other than the one we make up is not allowed ?)

Re:The AP Has Retracted Its Complaint (2, Interesting)

Big Jojo (50231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820277)

And he said that he still believes that it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones.

That would screw up searches based on those direct quotations. Example: AP article says mouthpiece spouts propaganda, someone covers that as The latest example is this from AP: mouthpiece spouts propaganda Notice how this directly conflicts with fact, fact, fact, but also directly contradicts what mouthpiece said last week and would, if true, break not just another promise made to the voters but laws L1, L2, and L3.

In fact, maybe that's part of the goal here ... making it harder to find criticism associated with so-called news, and harder for third-party fact checkers (or spin detectors) to be effective.

Doesn't matter what he thinks. (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818391)

The law doesn't allow you to keep your safe harbor if you don't take it down.
You can put it back up after a counterclaim is made, but I don't expect the proper counterclaim to be filed.

Re:Doesn't matter what he thinks. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818423)

You can put it back up after a counterclaim is made, but I don't expect the proper counterclaim to be filed.
Sure, because a proper counterclaim says "Please send your lawyers to kick me in the gonads repeatedly." The counternotification process is ridiculous.

What about CommonDreams.org ? (0, Offtopic)

Dara Hazeghi (1076823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818397)

One of my favorite sites for center-left opinion is CommonDreams.org [commondreams.org] While they do have some original content, a lot of their headline opinion pieces are copied in full from the original source and wrapped in the site's design template. If not for the small print identifying the original source, the article would look like copy produced and owned by CommonDreams.org. I wonder how they have gotten by so long without being served these notices... Or are they getting permission? (seems unlikely, as the opinion pieces are taken the same day they appear in print).

It really doesn't matter.... (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818429)

IMO, the fact that they could do so is evidence, and damn strong evidence that the system is broken. Not broken a little bit, but completely broken.

The story as it goes is stupid. It would not happen if the Drudge Report was a high school newspaper. This is simply an attempt to quash competition using the DMCA. A government tool provided for their friends to squash anyone that might dissent. Canadians? Listen up... this kind of thing is on it's way to you.

Yes, perhaps this is not about dissent, but the unintended consequences of the law are showing through, and it clearly shows that the law is not in the best interests of the public. It is a bad law. It is being used in this case to stop the freedom of thought and speech.

Seriously, I hope that this whole mess costs them millions in the end. It is not only despicable, it is against all that is good in humanity. Sure, that sounds like a rant, but WE have to start pushing back now, not later when there is no room to do so. Please everyone stop supporting the AP in any way shape or form. They need to just go the way of buggy whip makers.

No, this is not some plea to get you to support the latest l337 cause. This is a plea to get you to support your constitutional rights. Those of you reading this that are not Americans can also help. Make this company fail. The Brits know that what America does, Britain does at twice the speed and volume (more or less) so it is not an issue for a single country. We all need to speak out about what is wrong, always, as a single voice, whether it is Darfur, London, Washington, or Lisbon etc.

Please

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818525)

Drudge Report
This is not the Drudge Report. This is the Drudge *Retort*, a website that typosquats the real Drudge Report URL.

This is simply an attempt to quash competition using the DMCA. A government tool provided for their friends to squash anyone that might dissent.
This would never have happened if the Drudge "Retort" linked to the AP story like the real Drudge Report does.

(The rest of the comment, which panders to emotion and has no real substance or evidence)
'Nuff said.

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818613)

If it was clearly a wrong thing to do, as you intimate, then there are already laws for this. They come in the form of libel and others. There was never any need of the DMCA, and it is being used wrongly, wantonly, and willful wrong. Your statements intimate that you support what has happened. Perhaps you might explain more why you feel so.

With free speech, I'm able to link as I feel necessary. If I am not free to do so, it is not free speech. Sure, if I do so in a way that is libelous, then I'm guilty of that infraction, and still the DMCA is not needed. Perhaps you can explain how your support of the use of the DMCA has has foundation in either humanity or justice.

Yes, that throws the argument in a different direction, but please do explain how you feel free to support such use of a law that was never needed.

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819847)

With free speech, I'm able to link as I feel necessary. If I am not free to do so, it is not free speech
The AC pwned you, and with your needlessly verbose and wildly innacurate response you dug yourself an even deeper hole by claiming AC has a position that the AC actually did not 'intimate' (did you mean 'insinuate?' 'intimate' means 'very close' or 'familiar').

Libel is not plagerism and plagerism is not speech... and neither is word salad.

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (1)

ZerMongo (1129583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818981)

Competition? What competition? Competition implies a different product. A different product would be the commentary associated with the story (if there in fact is any, and in some of the cases there's not). If Drudge Retort would remove the parts directly quoted from the article, or even source them properly, then you could claim AP is squashing competition. Otherwise, they're squashing people ripping off their intellectual property.

Use the example quoted in the Workbench [cadenhead.org] post. He claims the article reproduces 18 words and a 32-word quote.

The "post"

Hillary Rodham Clinton says she expects her marathon Democratic race against Barack Obama to be resolved next week, as superdelegates decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall. "I think that after the final primaries, people are going to start making up their minds," she said. "I think that is the natural progression that one would expect."
Relevant portions of the AP article

"Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she expects uncommitted superdelegates to begin making the choice that will decide her marathon Democratic primary race against Barack Obama soon after the Tuesday's primaries ... Clinton said superdelegates -- the party and elected officials who can vote for whomever they choose regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses -- will have to decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall to run against Republican John McCain ...

Similarities:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Marathon Democratic race
  • superdelegates will have to decide who is the stronger candidate in the fall

"Original" (only those completely unique words) from the post:

says ; resolved*
*In a Clinton quote

You can say it's a summary, but in any school in the world, that's plagiarism. But ooh, they're using the DMCA, so everything is evil right? Come on, guys, at least look at this crap a little bit. The AP makes their money by SELLING THEIR STORIES for other people to run. If you just run the words verbatim without paying for it, you're just stealing the service they provide for a fee to member papers.

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819215)

You're an idiot. Normally I do not throw away one of the few AC post I get as an AC (in a reasonable time frame) with a three-word response (the prior sentence). But, yeah, that pretty much sums up the A.P.-loving, pro-D.M.C.A. stance you wish us to adopt. You are an idiot.

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819387)

It would be considered plagiarism. In all of the election coverage out there, the AP article is the only place that uses those three phrases (According to Google).

No it's not. (2, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819371)

It's only evidence of such if it actually causes non-infringing content to be removed.

And even then, the evidence is only anecdotal. If 7 non-infringing items get removed from the internet and 3,000,000 infringing items get removed from the internet without anybody having to go to court, that's a system that, on the whole, works pretty well. Or if the system allows service providers to let their users post whatever content they want unfiltered and at low prices because the service providers don't have to worry about being sued by content holders, that's also a system that, on the whole, works pretty well.

To have evidence that the system is fundamentally broken, one would have to know how often the DMCA is used to remove legitimate content and the cost of processing DMCA requests, and compare that to how much illegitimate content would be hard to remove and the costs of exposing service providers to liability for it - and then compare that cost/benefit to the cost/benefit of other possible ways of handling copyright infringement on the internet.

Of course, that would involve some actual research and critical thinking.

Erm, I mean, DAMN THE MAN!

Re:It really doesn't matter.... (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819999)

"The story as it goes is stupid. It would not happen if the Drudge Report (sic) was a high school newspaper. This is simply an attempt to quash competition using the DMCA. A government tool provided for their friends to squash anyone that might dissent."

Wire services are in the business of licensing content to newspapers and news web sites. News outlets are the AP's customers, not their competition. AP's competition is other wire services.

"Seriously, I hope that this whole mess costs them millions in the end. It is not only despicable, it is against all that is good in humanity. Sure, that sounds like a rant, but WE have to start pushing back now, not later when there is no room to do so. Please everyone stop supporting the AP in any way shape or form. They need to just go the way of buggy whip makers."

Huh? The wire services are some of the good guys. They get the reporters to the scene and report it. Whether it's Darfur, London, Washington, or Lisbon. It's only fair for them to license their content. This is how they pay reporters, who often risk their lives to deliver the news. I don't want to rely only on my government to tell me what's going on in Iraq. I want independent news sources, and I want them to be smart and qualified. Those sorts of people tend to want to be paid for their work.

Washington Post bans the AP (3, Interesting)

sp332 (781207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818439)

The Washington Post is boycotting the AP over this. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/16/AR2008061600340.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Washington Post bans the AP (5, Informative)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818489)

Although TechCrunch stories do appear on Washington Post, they are not the same and it's just content sharing. http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/080508/0395131.html [yahoo.com]

Re:Washington Post bans the AP - Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818493)

TechCrunch, a "WashingtonPost.com Partner" banned AP stories. HUGE difference.

Wrong, idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818635)

The Washington Post has 1680 AP stories up right now.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/NewsSearch?sb=-1&st=test&

Some niche tech site called "tech crunch" -- as far as I can tell an offshoot of valleywag.com -- has banned the AP. The WashPost just "reprinted" that on their site.

Way to pay attention to what you're reading, faggot

Re:Washington Post bans the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818761)

Techcrunch isn't WP.

Re:Washington Post bans the AP (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819113)

It's depressing that you could link to, and presumably read that, and not understand what it means.

It's kind of scary to think you may hold opinions and beliefs you take as truth based on such obvious misinterpretations.

mod suicide post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819147)

Undoing mod via suicide post

that's not the WP, that's Techcrunch (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819203)

Learn to read.

From Our Partner[techcrunch]

The Washington Post has not, would not, and never will boycott the AP.

They also wouldn't say "ban", where "boycott" is the proper word.

A way to eliminate the competition? (1)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819621)

Perhaps it's a bit Machiavellian, but could the post's stance be seen as a way to gain more readers at the expense of what's basically a collective of news reporters sharing stories? [wikipedia.org]

The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staffers. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributive members of the cooperative.


Not that I agree with the APs stance ( looks like fair use to me ) but if the Washington Post has a large number of staff writers, and they don't need the AP, then it would seem this stance is less about a moral stance and more about reducing the impact of the competition.

High-stakes gamble (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818563)

The downside possibilities for this one are huge -- AP could end up with a very strong decision denying them any control at all over linking and expanding the bounds of "fair use" quotation.

They must see these points as survival matters.

Not like suing Grandma ? (1)

SubComdTaco (1199449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818629)

According to the NYT article [nytimes.com] , The Associated Press believes that: "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," and "We are not trying to sue bloggers," Mr. Kennedy said. "That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do." Bringing up music theft and suing Grandma into the discussion really helps clarify your goals !

El gnoolio (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23818767)

the violin is an instrumente for spectrophotometry used by drunk Isrishmen in party hats. Payment accepted, SEASONS GREETINGS LADS

AP Was Already Paid, Why Do They Care? (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23818889)

Two arguments... First that including an excerpt with a link reduces clicks: As anyone who has ever been linked on the front page of Slashdot or Digg or Google News can tell you, this is the diametric opposite of the truth. Unless they begin using 30 word headlines, which is impractical for a number of reasons, including the first paragraph or a summary is the best way to get readers interested in a story.

Second... For the sake of argument, let's say the first point is in fact true. The links in question on Drudge Retort point to Yahoo and Fox News pages containing syndicated AP content. While AP still owns the content on these pages, the bottom line is they were already paid for that content...in other words Yahoo and Fox News are the ones suffering directly from this alleged click reduction since they paid for the content but don't get the ad impressions.

Re:AP Was Already Paid, Why Do They Care? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820053)

The links in question on Drudge Retort point to Yahoo and Fox News pages containing syndicated AP content. While AP still owns the content on these pages, the bottom line is they were already paid for that content...in other words Yahoo and Fox News are the ones suffering directly from this alleged click reduction since they paid for the content but don't get the ad impressions.

AP's action could be as a result of either Yahoo or Fox News making a complaint to them. Neither of these organisations would have the right to make a DMCA notification themselves, but they could argue that AP failing to do so devalues the service they get from them. From AP's point of view, this has potential impact on future profits. Not much, perhaps, but the possibility is there.

It is not Fair Use: (5, Interesting)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819001)

TITLE 17 CHAPTER 1 Section 102 (b)
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
and...

International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918)
...
A news article in a newspaper may be copyrighted under the Act of March 4, 1909, but news, as such, is not copyrightable. P. 248 U. S. 234

As against the public, any special interest of the producer of uncopyrighted news matter is lost upon the first publication. Id.
IANAL, but... isn't this, like, Journalism 101? It was their own damn case, AND THEY WON!!!

Re:It is not Fair Use: (3, Informative)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819323)

"The news" and a particular presentation of the news are not the same thing. 30-80 words is enough to be a particular presentation.

Whether quoting that much is fair use or not is going to depend on a lot more than just the words quoted themselves. Is the quoting commercial? Done for rebuttal purposes? Source-cited? How much of the total work is the quote?

These are factors that may not be easy to clearly decide except at trial.

Disclaimer: I have not seen the 7 cases cited in this story, so for all I know they could be clearly fair use, clearly not, or up for debate.

Re:It is not Fair Use: (1)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23820071)

http://supreme.justia.com/us/248/215/case.html#234 [justia.com] and http://supreme.justia.com/us/248/215/case.html#234 [justia.com]

As an aside, what damages are they going to claim when yesterdays news is worthless? News is good for 24 hours at best when it comes to commercial value really drawing the line between 'sharing' and 'infringing'... but guess that isn'd really 'relevant'

Re:It is not Fair Use: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23820467)

You are entirely missing the point there. What that means is that the facts in a news article cannot be copyrighted. It does not mean that the article text, which is an expression of those facts, cannot be copyrighted.

who gives a shit? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819027)

linux and star wars is for faggots. dick sucking faggots.

I don't even have to RTFA (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819043)

If nobody is trying to take credit for the snippets of news stories they're quoting (i.e. claiming they're the original authors) then the AP can just suck it up and stop being crybabies about it. For fuck's sake, if that's the case then if my own journal was public instead of friends-only, I'd be in court for the remainder of my life fighting off dozens of news sources! More utter, complete bullshit, I say; the AP must be borrowing pages from the RIAA's playbook.

Wow... (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819075)

Witness the powerful association people have between controversial claims and Drudge. No one has yet corrected or even mentioned the ironic and Freudian misspelling of "report" in the headline.

Re:Wow... (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819077)

oh wait...

Re:Wow... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819553)

Clearly, "drugereTORT" ripped off the drudgereport and is now profiting from content created by AP. Now, if the site didn't sell advertising, that may be different. However, just a view of the site looks like the person not only profits from the similar look and domain of Matt Drudge, but also has raised the ire of the AP, who has been fairly lenient toward contest use by bloggers in my experience as a blogger.

This is not the typical case. This guy is a rip-off. Kudos to the AP for going after him and taking the heat.

Solution is simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23819187)

Don't just quote the AP -- Swedish Chef-ify it!

Un EP etturney feeled seex Deegitel Meellennioom Cupyreeght Ect tekedoon reqooests thees veek demundeeng zee remufel ooff blug intreees und unuzeer fur a user cumment. Zee EP metereeel zeey oobject tu cunseests ooff sneeppets ooff frum 33 tu 79 vurds. Cedenheed cleeems hees levyer beleeefes thet ell fell sqooerely veethin zee prufeence-a ooff feur use-a. Bork Bork Bork!

I so want to hear something like this read in court as evidence! "My client will show beyond a shadow of a doubt how many Borks constitute fair use."...

www.unassociatedpress.net (1)

expathos (1308067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23819573)

Bloggers signing petition here, articles and blogs being consolidated and generally a short term clearinghouse and consolidation point for the saga here - http://www.unassociatedpress.net/ [unassociatedpress.net] -
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