Disassociated Press

The blogosphere is making a small uproar about Associated Press making up its own “fair use” rules that really have nothing to do with actual copyright law. Of special interest is the information brought to light by TechDirt (via Freedom Sight) that AP expects to be paid a fee of at least $12.50 for quoting at least 5 words. Which means a free quote from a current top story might sound like this:

Afghan and Canadian forces

But most telling is this excerpt from their Terms of Use (via Making Light):

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.

How very convenient it would be for them if they could make up their own rules. No pointing out their bias, their inaccuracies, or even their outright falsehoods, because that would show them in a negative light.

Also very telling is this image which Making Light reproduced from AP’s own icopyright.info site. According to AP, prohibitions against criticizing (that is, pointing out where they’re wrong) AP exist to protect you, dear consumer. Because AP knows best: that the truth may hurt you.

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