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June 17, 2008

The Associated Press: worse than merely foolish
Posted by Patrick at 08:23 AM * 102 comments

It’s hard to believe the AP’s recent behavior could be more odious than what’s already been discussed, but on Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow spots further humdingers in their fine print.

First, their licensing system explicitly recruits people to “report piracy”—“you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1 million”! Remember, the Associated Press believes you should have to pay in order to quote as few as five words from their content, so that’s a lot of piracy-reportin’ to be done, junior woodchucks.

Second, their Terms of Use explicitly prohibit you, even if you’ve paid them, from quoting the Associated Press in order to criticize the Associated Press:

You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to the author, the publication from which the Content came, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or depicted in the Content. You agree not to use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to or damaging to the reputation of Publisher, its licensors, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or referenced in the Content […]

Publisher reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if Publisher or its agents finds Your use of the licensed Content to be offensive and/or damaging to Publisher’s reputation.

In other words, no more criticizing AP reporting, not if you’re foolish enough to pay them money and sign off on their terms.

Obviously, professional media-critic organizations like Media Matters for America are just going to laugh at these demands. But failing some really sustained publicity about this stuff (ideally accompanied by intense personal humiliation for the executives who dreamed it up), the AP will certainly manage to intimidate a certain number of net users who happen to be less affluent and well-connected than A-list bloggers and DC-based watchdog groups. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

[Above image: From the AP’s “Copyright Don’ts”. Certainly, don’t think copyright, as currently instantiated, has become a racket by which the powerful bully the weak and bad actors seek to suppress exposure of their misdeeds. Don’t!]

Comments on The Associated Press: worse than merely foolish:
#1 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:40 AM:

That is indeed the whole point. Bastards. (Frist psot!)

#2 ::: JimR ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:53 AM:

Once upon a time, I heard about this thing called a free press, and how vital it was to a democracy. I heard stories about journalistic integrity and rigor, and how open discourse was the lifeblood of a free society.
Now, the press is not only serving as an unofficial government mouthpiece, but it's trying to choke out any criticism of itself. My god, not only is the press not performing its essential function, it's doing the very thing it should be fighting against!
My brain hurts...

#3 ::: JANE YOLEN ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:54 AM:

I am agog at this. Turning the long-standing fair usage on its head. Gack!


#4 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:19 AM:

Is there some sort of action one can take in response to this? I dunno -- a petition to sign, or people to write angry letters to or something?

#5 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:23 AM:

business is the state, and the state is business. I guess we're just getting it ready for the Chinese when they call in their debts.

#6 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:24 AM:

I'm copyrighting "the." Next time they use it, I'll sue.

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:44 AM:

"You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to ...any person ... depicted in the Content."

That means I can't use AP content to show that George W. Bush is a liar, or Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal, or John McCain is a dunderhead, or Heckuvajob Brownie is incompetent.

Who did they say they were working for?

Pick and choose
Happy news
Only, please...

“you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1 million”

Count the weasel words!

#8 ::: wintermute ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:53 AM:


Hrm. So, if the AP writes an article saying that Person X raped and murdered several 8-year-old girls, it would be against their terms and conditions to reprint that story?

What's the point of newspapers, again?

#9 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:16 AM:

#78 Macdonald

You seem to be channeling similarly to what caused me to write posts #80 & 81 over at the earlier-commenced thread of this stuff at

#10 ::: linnen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:27 AM:

As far as I can tell the 'safe' words are;

Who, and

News Organizations have stopped using them for at least a decade.


#11 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:29 AM:

Is there any reason why the AP won't simply marginalize themselves with their antics?

#12 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:40 AM:

John @11 - in the long run? No. National Socialism marginalized itself in the end, too, after all.

#13 ::: Athenae ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:44 AM:

Ah, the AP, where they rip stories directly from their client papers and reprint the stories as their own, all sanctioned by the same terms of use that now forbid me from citing them, even to praise them. A j-school friend once described them as "a car-theft chop-shop without the overriding ethical quandries."

On the upside, at least I have a legitimate reason to never link to a single Nedra Pickler article again. I'm askeered of the lawyers!


#14 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:53 AM:

Hum! The blogosphere moves fast, a "new" organization for ya:

#15 ::: Joe D ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:53 AM:

You just quoted AP content. I'm assuming you didn't pay.

Does this mean I can turn you if for that sweet reward?

#16 ::: agave ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:54 AM:

#8 ::: wintermute
"Hrm. So, if the AP writes an article saying that Person X raped and murdered several 8-year-old girls, it would be against their terms and conditions to reprint that story?"

Not if you paid and only said good things about the rapist.


#17 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:01 PM:

I like the way The AP capitalizes its use of "The" whenever it mentions itself.

#18 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:03 PM:

John Scalzi, in reaction to Patrick's 6/16/08 post re: the AP, did this.

Making Light rocks. So does Scalzi. I think I'll go leave him a comment to that effect...

#19 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:06 PM:

They're trying to push the common-law equivalent of the Overton window--demand the earth and sky, and maybe they'll get Wales, anyway. They'll probably lose eventually, like the RIAA is losing, but they're going to make a lot of people very unhappy in the short term.

#20 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:07 PM:

Questions worth examining:

What is "iCopyright" and what is the Associated Press's relationship with it?

What is "SIIA" and what is the Associated Press's relationship with it?

#21 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:16 PM:

Randolph @ 19...

"Richard, it profits a man nothing to trade his soul for the whole world, but for Wales..."

#22 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:38 PM:

And people ask me why I'm going from a programming career to law school.

#23 ::: Carol Maltby ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:49 PM:

Does their capitalization of "You" in the agreements constitute a nod to our god-like qualities?

Will we at least see some nattily-dressed bloggers take up the Dog the Bounty Hunter role in the ecosystem, and chronicle their bounty-hunting prowess? Will those bloggers donate their blood money to an organization that fights copyright dimwittery?

Will they arrange for Goofus and Gallant(TM?) to illustrate the copyright Do's and Don'ts? If "Do's" has an apostrophe and s, should "Don'ts" have an apostrophe too?

Check their "Your services" link. Reuters and the Boston Globe and others have joined up.

From a quick look at their site, it seems that maybe they'll be spidering to locate most of the uses of their tagged material. Will the human stooges be useful to turn in the sites that bar robots?

#24 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:50 PM:


I smell rat urine when seeing e.g. invented ad-supported permissions type language.

The "about us" page on their website saying nothing about who they are or their financing. however gives an address of Issaquah, WA. No offense to Jon why-can't-I-think-of-his-last-name the mad scientist who has a fondness for blue foods, for making pottery with nondeterministic glazes, who lived in Issaquah or vicinity for some number of years, but the time I was out there, the area frazzled my nerous systems as giving off the psychic equivalent of mixing the worst of LA and Colorado as regards worldviews... the disregard for other's rights of the "this is OUR property that we will despoil any way we want and if you don't have our permission to be on it the appropriate thing to do is treat you like Al Capone treated competitors," Mountan Man attitude, and LA's narcissism.

#25 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:52 PM:

Addendum to above: I mentioned my emotional reaction to the Issaquah area to friends who've known Jon-the-mad-scientist also for years, and who have been in that part of the USA. One of them succinctly summarized saying cheerily, as, "They're morally and ethically bankrupt."

#26 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 12:56 PM:

AcronymFinder has these for 'SIAA':
'Seed Industry Association of Australia, Limited'
'Strategic Independent Agents Alliance' (insurance agents, and the one that Google finds first)

There's also the 'Service Industry Advertising Awards'.

Somehow none of those seems to apply to AssP.

#27 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:00 PM:

Bill #20
So I followed your link to SIAA -- whatever happened to SPA?! -- and went to looking for who were members... It has all sorts of categories. I selected GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

Did I see any of the big names of the industry? (can't think of the one best known -- just thought of it, ESRI, which is as far as I know the very long-time industry leader in it...)
Nope-- here are the three that showed:

ERMS Corporation Oakville ON Canada
Euclid Infotech Pvt Ltd. Mumbai Maharashtra India
Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone Xi'an City Shaanxi China

I smell MORE rat urine!

#28 ::: Carol Maltby ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:02 PM:

The "report piracy" link takes you to their page where they tell you that you can report any piracy you find on a "Bulleting [sic] Board Service."

Girl Scout troops and church newsletters, now's the time to start living the righteous copyright life. You've been warned.

#29 ::: Ken Read ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:13 PM:

Before the Associated Press and others make comments about Copyright, they should read the Copyright Legislation. Moreover pay particular attention to the distinction of text versus graphic material. In addition, the comments of the comittee that drafted the Copyright Law should also be studied. Their comments could have significant impact in any court case.
The web site iCopyright is most definitely not the leader in copyright. Read the law yourself. In instances dealing with text, the law may seem quite generous. On the other hand, the use of graphics is very restrictive.

#30 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:25 PM:

Well, that's one (belated) response to being accused of Nit Picklering.

#31 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Carol Maltby @ 28: re: "Bulleting [sic] Board Service."

I hope that's a typo, and that they're not setting up a system to organize enforcers.

#32 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Ah. At last, industry recognizes the value of assassination markets. Though personally, I think the whole thing is classier when done with swords.

#33 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 01:55 PM:

Paula: Jon Singer.

Now sit down, concentrate on regularizing your breathing for a few minutes, and abjure Manichaeanism.

Bill Higgins: I have taken the liberty of correcting the acronym in your post to SIIA, "Software & Information Industry Association."

Those are very good questions you're asking.

#34 ::: A.J. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:00 PM:

It looks like Markos Moulitsas has decided to pick a fight with the AP over this.

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:04 PM:

iCopyright gives me the creeps. I'm betting you set up an account with them, they find what they allege are violations of your copyrights, and they keep a percentage.

If I'm right, that's going to have the same set of problems you get when you pay your tax collectors and witch finders by giving them a cut of the take.


I want someone to devise a new Creative Commons license, fast, that grants the normal sets of rights unless the material is going to be used by the Associated Press. Or possibly by the Associated Press or by any publication that employs iCopyright.

#36 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:14 PM:

They realize, of course, that they've made any creative work based on their reporting subject to a royalty to them?

Like DR ATOMIC, NIXON IN CHINA, Hell, anything Anna Deavere Smith or any other heads-up performance artist does will be silenced, due to the reporting artists use to portray zeitgeist.

THE LARAMIE PROJECT? The Civilians' work? Living Newspaper skits? I know that the New World Order paranoiacs worried about news being controlled at a single source, with journalists licensed by the state, but it's a caution when the news agencies want *us* to be licensed not only to read the news, but to repeat it in any fashion.

And a girl has to wonder why this is coming out now, in a lame-duck administration, right after yet another attempt to push through FISA-hijinks and net neutrality shenanigans. It's a mercy they didn't pull this crap in August, but it's convention season and vacation season....

#37 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:47 PM:

I just wanted to emphasize, along with Patrick's note up top (though I probably don't need to with this bunch), that you don't lose your rights just by some organization proclaiming "You must sign our agreement!" You are much more likely to lose them by signing such an agreement, which usually means "voluntarily" waiving your existing legal rights.

See for instance SCO and their attempts to get all Linux users to sign a copyright license agreement for their use of ideas in System V Unix, which it ultimately turned out that SCO had never even owned. The only Linux users who ended up screwed were the ones who signed.

See also that "Lightning Field" mentioned in the Sumer Is Icumen In - their website says that if you go there, they want you to sign an agreement stating that they have a copyright on the surrounding landscape which bars you from taking pictures. It's nuts.

#38 ::: elfwreck ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 02:54 PM:

Teresa @ #35: Noncommercial CC licenses would already block all AP use. ShareAlike licenses circumvent the AP's new rule; redistributors can't restrict the content any more than the original license.

Are there really any great number of CC licenses that don't have either NC or SA provisions?

#39 ::: plchldr ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Hw stpd r y gys? f y r gng t crtcz r rdcl smthng y shld t lst nt snd lk ttl dts.

Sm fcts t cnsdr:

1. Th P blrplt ppls t ppl wh SGND th grmnt... nd nt y sshts.
2. P s mmbrshp-bsd cmpny, wnd by th nwspprs tht ctlly rn ts cntnt. P ds nt rp ff ts wn mmbr nwspprs - ts ntr mdl s bsd n bng bl t s cntnt frm crss th ntwrk... tht's hw th Mdst B wnds p prntng nws frm Mn.
3. Wtht P - 90% f th nwspprs n th cntry wld b t f bsnss.

dn't ncssrly gr wth thr nn-dsprgmnt cls, nd wn't dbt cpyrght lw... bt ndlss t sy wtht jrnlsts gttng pd fr wht thy d, thr wld b n jrnlsts. nd sy wht y wll bt thm, mst f th tm, thy r fr mr ntrstng nd ccrt thn y clwns wh r t lzy nd nrcssstc t gt ff th lzyby nd ctlly rprt smthng.

#40 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:11 PM:

placeholder@#39: I note that we have not seen you here before. If you perchance have some credentials that might make us give your assertions credence, now would be a good time to mention them.

#41 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:13 PM:

Oooh! A "you people" post!


#42 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:13 PM:

'placeholder' may have surfed in from Kos, where there's a link to this thread. They don't practice disemvowelling over there.

#43 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:19 PM:

My goodness, my bingo card just burst into flames.

#44 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Whew! Wondering if @39 should be disemvowelled, or preserved as a prime example of how not to make an argument.

Paula @24/25 - I think you may have experienced a completely different Issaquah than I have. It's a boring suburb, but hardly "morally and ethicall bankrupt" and I know more than a few fine people who live there.

Also, I'm not sure if I should be offended, since Seattle is also "in that part of the country". Last time I checked, we had the most liberal member of the House. (Issaquah, not so much on that score.)

#45 ::: plchldr ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:22 PM:

Dbr: ws jrnlst lng tm g... nw rlctd t th mch mr lcrtv fld f dvrtsng. Hwvr, P's mdl s prtty wll knwn, s nt sr nd ny spcfc crdntls t mk my bsrvtns. Y nd nly t pck p ny nwsppr t s jst hw mch f th cntnt s prvdd by P nd Rtrs. Ths s byprdct f th dcln f th nwsppr ndstry n gnrl, nd th yrly cts t thr stff rprtng tht frc thm t ln mr nd mr n P.

Sy wht y wll bt P nd cpyrght, bt thnk ts mprtnt t nt frgt th pstvs whn plng n th ngtvs. P s th lrgst nws-rprtng ntwrk n th wrld, thy mply thsnds f jrnlsts. Wtht thm, w wld knw vry lttl bt wht's gng n bth hr nd brd. thnk ts sy t st bck nd hckl nd blttl rgnztns sch s P - mplyng tht thy r crprt slvs nd dn't d thr jb rght. Bt thnk whn y nt t t - thy d fr mr gd thn bd.

T nswr yr nspkn qstn - n, m nt nw, nr hv vr bn n mply f th P :)

Jms: "y ppl" s pprprt whn 90%+ f th cmmnts r rtrds f th sm cmmnt, nd th sm gnrnt sttmnts. Dn't wnt t gt lmpd n, dn't b shp.

#46 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:24 PM:

ethan @ 43: You win an internet and a cookie. :-)

#47 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Poor Placeholder still hasn't figured it out.

#48 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:35 PM:

More on SIAA -- it does NOT look like an association loaded with computer industry/software industry/information industry heavyweights, it has a few, but is missing some of the major long-time players....

Xerox isn't a member.
Gartner isn't a member.
Forrester Research isn't a member
EMC appears to not be a member
IDG appears to not be a member
Sony appears to mot be a member
Hewlett-Packard appears to not be a member
Apple listed as Apple Education is a member, ["COMPANY DESCRIPTION
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.}'
and Apple has someone on the Board of Directors, Sun does also.
IBM seems to be a member, but "no corporate logo available," what?

#49 ::: placeholder ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:42 PM:

I did surf in from Kos... although I'm familiar with disemvowelling. Not sure if you have a specific rule on the term "you people" or perhaps "asshats" (that would be a real shame, its a very valuable term). Don't see any rules links floating around, so unless you have a rule against people disagreeing...

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:45 PM:

Cue the soundtrack from Jaws, fire up the disemvoweller ...

#51 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:47 PM:

Issaquah's on the other side of Lake Washington and beyond from Seattle, it's how far away? They're quite different places.

East coast and west coast environs get very very very different...e.g., Framingham is 30 miles out from Boston and one of the world's two largest towns (the other giant town is Brookline, which has Boston on three sides, Brookline assiduously avoided annexation).

The climate out in Washington state headed 30+ milies east of Seattle is nice, the scenery is spectacular... but some--not all, but some-- of the attitudes reminded me of the worst mindsets of Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family and its promulgators and theirset of values. Washington State on certain social and upon other things policies is less rightwing than the Focus on the Family sorts generally, but "generally" is an average.

#52 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:51 PM:

placeholder, you might want to start here.

The rule here: remember that you're a guest in someone else's house. From this all else flows. (Or the disemvoweller comes out.)

#53 ::: Nick Kiddle ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Wow, that's the first time I've actually witnessed a disemvowelling. I usually miss all the fun. (Sorry, I lurk lots but never have anything as interesting to say as the people who post.)

#54 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:53 PM:

Regarding #50: That didn't take long. (Now one need only wonder if the scent of blood in the water will bring more...)

Regarding #43: Awesome!!!! ;-)

#55 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:55 PM:

Link in #53 is malformed. Accessible with a little keyboard work, but clicking yields 404.

#56 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:55 PM:

TNH @ 50:

Agreed. Anyone who thinks "asshats" is a useful term in discourse isn't going to last long here. Or "idiots", "sheep" and "clowns".

All it takes is a little basic research, a wee review of the usual tone of the threads, maybe even a clue who does what for a living here.

Ah...I see the shadow has already fallen, between the comment and the preview.

#57 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 04:59 PM:

Doug @55:

Fixed. PJ Evans forgot a colon. Fortunately, we can rebuild the link. We have the technology.

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:00 PM:

What I deserve, I guess, for trying to find the relevant thread via Google (troll bingo pinata), in a separate window, while also trying to work.

#59 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:08 PM:

but some--not all, but some-- of the attitudes reminded me of the worst mindsets of Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family and its promulgators and theirset of values.

Oh, so when you said "Colorado" up earlier and described the entire state as having a single mind-set, you actually meant "Colorado Springs"? That would explain my cognitive dissonance.

(Seriously, I wish that dang city didn't have the name of the entire state in its name. People see that, they think Focus On The Family somehow represents Boulder, or Estes Park, or Denver, or Nederland (where Grandad's In The Tuff-Shed), or Niwot where that friendly family north of the main drag sell me honey, or for that town up north in Weld county--Greeley--that's known for both odiferous cattle ranching and opera singing. And that's not mentioning all the little ski towns along I-70 or the Western Slope or even the towns neighboring the Springs which sorta look embarrassed when Dobson comes up in conversation. If only the home of Focus on the Family were named, I dunno, "Gilead" or something, maybe people would stop making that mistake.)

#60 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:14 PM:

unless you have a rule against people disagreeing...

I spy, with my little eye, a troll canard that starts with "you people persecute me because you just can't stand dissent." What's it doing next to that big cannister of liquid rudeness? Doesn't anyone realize that's a flame hazard? Please, please, won't someone think of the kittens?

#61 ::: placeholder ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:28 PM:

Ok...ok. Uncle.

#62 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:30 PM:

Q. How do you make a sweet little old lady say "Fuck"?

A. Have another sweet little old lady say "Bingo!"

#63 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:34 PM:

Placeholder, we kinda know what we're talking about here. We're not saying AP should be disbanded (well, we weren't last week, anyway) and we don't dispute people getting paid, because many of us no longer live with our parents.

But what precipitated this, lest anyone forget, was the AP's attempt to lean on a blog for quoting 39 words of one of their articles with a link. Thus implicating everybody in the goddamn world in a conspiracy to cheat the poor lil' AP out of their hard-earned money.

#64 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:38 PM:

ethan and Paula re Issaquah: the place encompasses multitudes. In my youth, it was pretty much Forks on Lake Sammamish, with dairy farmers added; now it's full of people who commute to Redmond in Porsches, People who commute to Kent in beaters, entrepreneurs who work from home, retired baseball players, and random people who've lived there all their lives and don't quite understand what's happened to their nice little town at the bottom of the hills (and still work in the woods). I know at least one person who embodies Paula's characterization, but he's really from Bellevue and moved to Issaquah to have room for his car collection.

I'm not able to add to the conversation on AP's unique and colorful take on copyright, except to say it looks as if someone in their contract department wrote the first draft while their IP guy had Father's Day weekend off.

#65 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 05:46 PM:

Larry Brennan, not ethan, and who capitalized that 'p"?

#66 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 06:03 PM:

abi #56:

Agreed. Anyone who thinks "asshats" is a useful term in discourse isn't going to last long here. Or "idiots", "sheep" and "clowns".

I would think that discussion of sheep and asshats would be encouraged by the knitty among us.

#67 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 06:14 PM:

It's been a while since I played Kingdom of Loathing, but as I recall, asshats were among the first good bits of armor you could get there.

I think it's actually kind of a fun word, provided you can back it up with some cogent argumentation, but then I have a foul mouth and evil mind.

#68 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 06:20 PM:

Yowza. Markos is fired up: "Hey AP -- that's 120 words. Have your lawyers call my lawyers."

Further down: "Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.

"The AP doesn't get to negotiate copyright law. But now, perhaps, they'll threaten someone who can afford to fight back, instead of cowardly going after small bloggers."

#69 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:27 PM:

Mary Dell @ 66... Are you needling people again?

#70 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Mary Dell #66: When I see the word 'asshat' I think of something on these lines.

#71 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:49 PM:

Mary Dell @ 66: I checked that link. Did you know one of those soakers was made from baby alpacas? It isn't bad enough the potential flames are endangering the kittens, but now we have to worry about the baby alpacas, too? I just don't...

What? They're not made from...

Oh. Never mind.

#72 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Ethan @#43: LOL!

Come to think of it, did anyone actually go to the trouble of combining the Bingo Thread collection with Skeptico's random card generator?

#73 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:58 PM:

Oh drat. I just noticed that Skeptico's link to the generator in that post has vanished.

#74 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:05 PM:

David @72 - OK, that sounds like fun.

#75 ::: Jeff ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:17 PM:

A few questions: How will such an incredulous tactic affect university students? Will the AP seek out and prosecute/charge students for quoting their articles, also? Despite their compromised perspective, even "reputable" news agencies like the AP leak relative accuracies from time to time. Should I just send them a check for past dues on mainstream articles I cited in my academic works? This type of fear mongering doesn't stand a chance in public domain rulings. Disregard it until the actualization of Internet 2, because until then we have the last bastion of free speech, literally at our fingertips. Let's all keep the unified voice loud in the face of those who wish to silence us.

#76 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:20 PM:

Serge @#69: I'm incableble of such a thing.

Fragano @#70: Proper attire for our congressional leaders...

Syd @#71: They're also using Sea Anemones and Owls. Monsters!

Speaking of which, here's some awesome monster pants.

#77 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:49 PM:

ethan, I'm still laughing about #43. I just may have to find someone to make this into a t-shirt.

#78 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:50 PM:

Serge @ 69: Gee, you sound a little crochety.

#79 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Michael Roberts @#74: Cool, and thanks!

Petty Quibbles: You've got both "I'm leaving" and "I'm out of here" on the card. Admittedly, those and other variants do tend to appear multiple times.... ;-)

Also, we had lots more than 25 entries... maybe do random draws from a larger list? It's been years since I saw real Bingo cards, but ISTR they drew from a pretty large set of number/letter combos.

#80 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:06 PM:

... or maybe not -- looking at your page source, you seem to be using a "shuffling" library you presumably had handy. Drawing from a big list might take it out of the "quick javascript" regime. Still a fun idea, though.

#81 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 10:57 PM:

Golly, I didn't expect my #43 to be such a hit. I guess I'm just a comic genius.

#82 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 11:09 PM:

There is some possibility that certain words, phrases, and information, that I use in posting comments to various sites & List groups may have appeared in Associated Press releases, and even that I acquired them from this source.

I am not, on the the whole, accustomed to using vulgar language, but my response to AP, if challenged on this "use of their copyright material", is very likely to be: "Tough shit".

#83 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2008, 06:39 AM:

ethan @#81: It's a timing thing... I think everyone occasionally gets their (rim)shot at ROFLing the crowd. (or am I being too literal agin?)

#84 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2008, 08:30 AM:

Not excusing it, but "asshat" is a common Farkism

By the way, the AP situation has been Farked recently, replete with their customary subtlety.

#85 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2008, 10:41 AM:

ethan @ 81: It was the right timing, the right words and the right "tone of voice". You hit the trifecta.

#86 ::: Avocado of Death ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2008, 11:01 AM:

Wow. I bet the AP won't even break even with this, once they start paying all of their interviewees for quotes of five words or more.

They will be doing that, won't they?

#88 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2008, 01:44 AM:

Ginger @ 77

Somthing like this?

#89 ::: Thomas Lumley ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2008, 08:24 PM:

In the spirit of cooperation and working within the system, here are some fully-compliant AP links:

Associated Press...violated...First Amendment

Associated Press...attack...surprised customers

AP...trying to get free stuff

Associated Press...usually...fails...exams

Associated Press...allegedly..abusing..children

I'm sure the regulars here can do better. Haiku must be possible.


#90 ::: Bill Enator ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2008, 05:29 AM:

No question that the AP's making a strategy move .

At AP's annual meeting they name
iCopyright Named Licensing Agent for Reuse of Associated Press Content Published Online

AP has determined that they consider to be fair-use to be exactly four words. More than that and you pay $12.50 - $100. This is pretty hypocritical considering that AP journalists help themselves routinely to much more than four words from blogs and websites in the name of "fair use".

AP takes this a step further and under the license pricing and terms of use for iCopyright they place language that raises eyebrows and limits free speech.. Pretty unusual for an entity that lives and dies by freedom of speech protection.

iCopyright License Excerpt:
Derogatory and Unlawful Uses: You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to the author, the publication from which the Content came, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or depicted in the Content. You agree not to use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to or damaging to the reputation of Publisher, its licensors, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or referenced in the Content."

I think that any reasonable person would see a strategy in play and is very much at odds with rights they flaunt daily.

AP is large and may not be a monopoly in the strictest sense, perhaps oligopoly or cartel is a better description.

Is the AP behaving ethically and morally? Are they being a good citizen? Many say they're not.

AP's strategy and behavior raises lots of questions and concerns:

The Poynter Institute on it's blog asks: AP v. Bloggers: Hurting Journalism?

Pajama's Media Asks: Is the Associated Press Good for America?

Perhaps the question we need to ask is: "Is the AP evil?

#91 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Thomas Lumley @#89: LOL, awesome. Nicely excerpted.

#92 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2008, 04:36 PM:

Wasn't it this thread we were most recently talking about troll bingo in?

I found a recent XKCD comic to be spot on target:

Internet Argument

#93 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2008, 08:50 PM:

Y'know, it just occurred to me. Why five words? Because you can easily come up with an algorithm to pick out improbable five-word phrases (a la Amazon) from a given article, then Google them to find "likely infringers."

Then, RIAA-style, you can fire off attorneygrams without needing the actual input of an attorney. If some of those attorneygrams result in additional licensing fees, you get two results: first, you maybe get some money. But second, and much more importantly, you establish the legitimacy of your licensing structure.

So paraphrasing to avoid contiguous extents of five words or more will allow bloggers to avoid that.

Here's another interesting technical trick I thought of. It would be relatively easy to monitor AP feeds automatically and try to Google all quotes. If those quotes appear on a blog, then the owner of the blog could be contacted to see if The AP paid them for the content or not. Do that long enough and maybe they'd see the light. (Note in this context that there has already been one instance of this: 22 words of TechCrunch quoted in the very AP story describing this entire thing! Here.)

So. Two ways to aggravate The AP.

#94 ::: Naomi Parkhurst sees moar spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2012, 09:57 AM:

Another day, another spammy comment.

#95 ::: Cadbury Moose spots weight loss spam at #35 ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2012, 06:08 AM:

Hopefully the gnomes will reduce it to nothing.

#97 ::: P J Evans sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2014, 02:20 PM:

I'm not sure what they're trying to sell, but it has little to do with AP.

#98 ::: Cassy B. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 09:02 AM:


#99 ::: Lee sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2014, 08:27 PM:

Stupid & blatant spam @99.

#100 ::: Cadbury Moose spots spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2014, 07:22 AM:

"This mind intentionally left blank" linkspammer @ #100.

#101 ::: Mary Aileen sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2014, 11:41 AM:


We have spare ham-and-cheese sandwiches, if the gnomes would like some.

#102 ::: cd sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2014, 05:31 AM:

As of now, comment #102.

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