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