In Saul Hansell’s NY Times report on the AP affair, they only dig themselves deeper, saying they don’t want us to quote their stories but to summarize them. That, you see, is the AP way: the mill. That is not our way: the ethic of the quote and link. The AP is still trying to preserve its way. But, as I often say, protection is no strategy for the future. In the story – which, note, I’m only summarizing here, without the quotes from the AP that might better state its stance (ahem) – the agency comes off like a policy ping-pong game, going back and forth: We want to threaten but not to sue, we want to be reasonable but we’re still going to demand that Cadenhead take down excerpts, we don’t know what the hell to do. Maybe back off, AP. Because we won’t.
: Later… A few more points…
* Remember, AP, you declared war on the bloggers. Remember that.
* I don’t really give a damn what your guidelines are. I have my own guidelines. I stated them below. The point of fair use and fair comment is that there can be no set guidelines. That’s just ridiculous.
* I will say again that the AP should start using our linking and quoting guidelines rather than its homogenization practices.
The A.P. doesn’t get to make it’s own rule around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it’s clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of legal property rights that don’t exist today. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model – paid content.
* Where’s my Reuters T-shirt?
* Note that TechMeme is ready to automatically substitute links to blog posts instead of AP stories.
* One last bit of advice for the AP before I get on my plane: Back off.