Jun 17 2008
Bloggers, like me, are voicing their views and commentary on the news (and falsehoods, etc) of the day as is our right under the constitution. Â When a corporation tries to tell me I cannot comment, criticize (and more often correct) their lousy product I lose all interest in being reasonable. Â There are lines you do not cross because they cannot be uncrossed.
1. The AP is essentially arguing that anyone who excerpts 33 to 79 words from its articles are breaking copyright law â€” even if they link to the article and rewrite the headlines.Â Cadenhead notedÂ that out of six of the blog posts he had to take down, five of them had their own headlines written by users.
2. One news organization (even a cooperative of other news organizations) is not going to set the policy on â€œFair Useâ€ of content online. Blogs, aggregators and user-generated news sites such as Digg have been using links and excerpts since the beginning of (Internet) time, and no legal challenge has stopped them from doing that.
3. While the AP eventually said it was reconsidering its stance on Drudge Retort andÂ wants to set guidelinesÂ on what it thinks bloggers should be allowed to use, it did not retract its takedown notice on Drudge Retort.
4. The AP is hurting itself by making bloggers think twice about linking to their stories â€” and by extension, the stories of its member news outlets. No links means no traffic. No traffic means no readership. You can see where that leads.
5. As Jarvis rightly points out, the AP is looking mighty hypocritical in asking people to credit its stories correctly when the AP itself runs other news organizationsâ€™ material in its feed without crediting them. This is obviously a very different issue, but this is the kind of thing that comes out in the open when you start a very public tiff.
It is time these corporate giants trying to snuff out our Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech learn a lesson. Â It is the lesson of the market place – which is also a free market without any requirements to purchase products from any one source. Â
The referenced post thinks boycotting The-news-source-that-shall-not-be-named is over the top? Well I disagree. Â When any organization, but especially a corporation that is simply trying to maximize profits, tries to destroy our Constitutional Rights through the tyranny of an army of trial lawyers ready to suck our life savings dry then I think we have crossed a line that cannot be uncrossed. Even if AP were to take the unusual step and back all the way off (which they have not done), I would suggest a signal must be sent to any industry operating in this country that tries to intimidate us out of our rights. Â I believe they deserve a very harsh and unforgettable lesson for thisÂ abhorrentÂ transgression.
The News-source-that-shall-not-be-named (or linked, or read or referenced) will be America’s example to a greedy and abusive industry. Â And let’s be honest here – it is not a terrible loss when all is said and done. Too many news organizations have refused to reflect the diversity of America in their hiring (they remain 90+% far left liberal), they produced biased and flawed products, they spend more time representing our enemies’ views and propaganda than telling the full story of the American position. Â This company is one of the worst of the lot.
In the end all that will be lost is an overbearing, greedy corporation which produces a lousy product. Besides, there are lots of better news sources than The-news-source-that-shall-not-be-named out there, let their competition gain from their attempt to curb our freedom of speech.
I propose AP be the sacrificial lamb to send the news media a clear and powerful heads up about where their boundaries lie. Â America is for Americans – not corporations and journalists. Â Your welcome to make a living here and build a business, but we will not trade our Constitutional rights away in the bargain. Â There is no need to ever reference or link or read another story from this greedy corporation – let it pay the price for trying to abuse the honor of being part of the American culture, which is by the people and for the people (and not the press).Â AP will never be punished in court for this egregious act, so let their punishment be in the free market and let it be an example to all.