There’s a firestorm happening online over an AP decision that bloggers aren’t even allowed to quote AP stories. (What a joke!) Seems the AP has told the Drudge Report to stop excerpting brief passages of AP stories … even though there are Fair Use laws that specifically allow such excerpting.
You can guess how bloggers have reacted to this: by banning the AP.
Ha! This is a serious case of deja vu for me. Twelve years ago, when @U2 was less than a year old, some guy from the AP emailed me out of the blue. He demanded that I remove the two AP articles that I had posted in full on the site. Fair enough, that was his legal right. I was doing more than excerpting; I was reproducing the full articles.
But I did the same thing: banned the AP. For 12 years, we’ve not posted AP stories on the web site. (We actually made one exception when we found that the only article about Adam Clayton’s marijuana arrest came from the AP. So we have one AP article in our database of 5,000+ articles.)
Can’t say I’m surprised at all by the AP’s shortsightedness. It goes back a loooong time. Meanwhile, other news organizations are smart enough now to email us to make sure we know about their latest U2 article. They want us to repost their material because it gets their name in front of thousands of eyeballs. A typical news article on @U2 will get several thousand pageviews per month. That’s pretty good exposure if you ask me. Just don’t tell the AP; they wouldn’t understand.