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AP Targets Blog Excerpts With DMCA Notices 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the out-of-cite-out-of-mind dept.
Ian Lamont points us to The Industry Standard, which reports that the Associated Press has filed DMCA takedown notices against news site 'The Drudge Retort' for excerpting portions of AP news releases. The site's creator, Rogers Cadenhead, has posted his analysis of the letters sent to him by the AP. Employees of the AP have defended the notices in posts on various blogs, saying, "We get concerned when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste. That's not good for original content creators; nor is it consistent with the link-based culture of the Internet that you and others have cultivated so well."
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AP Targets Blog Excerpts With DMCA Notices

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  • I hate The Drudge Report. At the same time, I see nothing wrong with excerpting news stories. I don't know who to root for...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:19PM (#23786681)
      The Drudge Retort != The Drudge Report
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xtravar (725372)
      Why? I know liberals and conservatives who like it - if nothing else, for the bizarre links. Helps fill in when Slashdot gets slow...
    • by maz2331 (1104901)
      What is wrong with the Drudge Report? Or the Drudge Retort?

      I use the Report as a great start page in Firefox. Quick rundown on news, and lightweight.

      The Retort is sometimes funny.

      WTF is with so many people looking at everything through a prism of politics nowadays?
    • by devjj (956776) *
      The truth is the truth, and they didn't do anything wrong. Justice requires doing what's right even if you don't agree with it.
    • Maybe you should support your principles over personal biases? To do otherwise is shooting yourself in the foot.

      I'm astounded by the number of people who will go out of their way to create "ill-will" for someone (or some entity) even if at personal cost to themselves. Vendettas are a waste of resources to aid in carrying out obsessive 'stalking' of a target. Yet (IMO), especially under Bush-II's leadership, I've seen this become seen as not only acceptable, but admirable practice... it's counter product
  • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:19PM (#23786673)
    Unless you steal an entire article, but just excerpt reasonable snippets, you are exercising your 'Fair Use' right under copyright law.

    Don't forget the attribution!

    • by mr_matticus (928346) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:27PM (#23786759)
      That's exactly the problem. People "excerpt" the body of the article (change the headline and omit the byline) without reference or attribution in their "blogs" all the time.

      Searching for a news story produces hundreds of results on blogs that are just copies of one article, and it becomes frustrating when you want to find more information rather than just repeats of the same exact article text. A blog isn't an AP newswire feed (where it makes sense for a local newspaper).

      Just link to the original at a persistent source. Blogs that are regurgitation and not reference are basically just Internet cholesterol, and if you step past your vein-popping at the mere mention of a DMCA takedown notice for a moment, people should be able to appreciate the effort of a news organization clearing the clutter. This is material that is available for free from any number of outlets. It's not about free speech or fair use in the slightest. It's about controlling distribution to improve quality of online news--not censorship, or commentary, or any other conspiracy.

      They're not taking down commentaries that quote or reference.
      • I largely agree, except that it isn't just blogs who are guilty of this regurgitation. All the regular newspapers repost the same AP wire story, too, cluttering up google search results just as much as blogs.

        Why do wire services still exist? Are we still pretending we get our news from separate sources?

        • by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:40PM (#23786893) Homepage Journal
          The regular newspapers and news outlets pay the AP for access to reproduce full articles, and also credit the AP for the story. Many blogs just rip whole stories for free and don't even provide proper credit.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ricin (236107)
            Yup, but AP still gets to define the story and how you "ought" to think about it, so they already succeeded. Their job is the mouthpiece, or at best the gatekeeper role IMHO.

            Attribution at commercial outlets is generally just as bad I think (maybe not for AP and hey they tow the line anyway so they can be credited alright, it's probably one button, but for smaller sources they're going to bulldozer along just fine then -- I've seen this consistantly while being only a reader of diverse sources, mostly outsi
            • The overall quality or lack thereof of AP articles is a whole other story indeed.
            • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@@@netzero...net> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @09:27AM (#23791011) Homepage Journal
              And I'll repeat that question:

              Do you even know what the AP even is?

              The Associated Press was started by a bunch of small-town newspapers who individually simply couldn't even begin to compete against the major newspapers (mainly east-coast U.S. newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post). Some of those major papers did allow these small town newspapers to reproduce their stories, but charged extortionist prices for the content.

              So instead, a bunch of these much smaller newspapers decided to get together and share their own news gathering resources with each other and try to substantially reduce royalty fees for reproducing content. In a few cases there were "bureaus" that were set up and financed by the collective organization, but for the most part they relied upon a dispersed distribution model where the "members" each contributed stories for the general geographic region where they lived.

              There was also a voluntary "significance" rating applied to each story as well, ranging from general human-interest stories (somebody just raised a two-headed snake, biggest ball of twine in Smallville, Iowa) to significant news (war has just been declared or a major world leader has been assassinated). Mainly it was newspaper editors trying to help each other out and fill each other's newspapers with content without having to break the bank with a huge payroll of reporters.

              Frankly the AP in my mind represents nearly the spirit of the open source movement in a great many ways, even though it is a commercial entity. You can debate about the current incarnation of the Associated Press and its current operations, but it certainly has an admirable and interesting heritage.

              The issue here isn't big bad business vs. lonely bloggers... it is more how a 19th Century American institution based on a distributed content model can adapt to the 21st Century, and how content intended for one medium is being adapted for a much newer medium, where the business model will change.

              There are several blogger and web-based distributed news gathering sources that create original content (aka not copy AP stories), but unfortunately most of these bloggers are taking the easy way out and simply doing a direct copy of what is clearly copyrighted work. If these same bloggers would support (and reference) these alternatives, this would have been a non-story at all. Indeed many of these alternatives even post content with a free content license like CC-by-SA or something similar.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Interesting that AP also doesn't credit the reporter/marketer/PR-dude who actually writes the articles.
            • by tftp (111690)
              Probably because AP pays them to do this.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by tweak13 (1171627)
              Uh, what are you talking about? While there are a lot of AP stories that are just blurbs, any story they have with significant length to it is credited. Take this [google.com] for example. I work at a radio station that subscribes to the AP newswire and most stories longer than one or two paragraphs have some sort of credit on them. I'm not the news guy though, maybe somebody else can share their experience with when the AP includes bylines. I guess personal preferences may vary, but if I wrote a blurb of a few se
              • Here's a counter example [nzherald.co.nz], but I now conceded the issue is not AP and similar, but my local media removing those details.
                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by tweak13 (1171627)
                  Counter-Counter Example [iht.com] The same story (expanded a bit more than the article you posted) with credit given at the bottom. Interesting example, I had to check several media outlets before I could find a credit. It would appear that outlets getting AP stories aren't required to publish the credit. I guess that's something I've never noticed having usually always seen the story from the source. Very interesting discovery.
        • I largely agree, except that it isn't just blogs who are guilty of this regurgitation. All the regular newspapers repost the same AP wire story, too, cluttering up google search results just as much as blogs.

          Use a Yahoo news search and that shouldn't be a problem for you.
        • by jginspace (678908)

          "Lisa, you made me realize the importance of free and independent media. So, I printed my own paper. Although it's mostly culled from wire services."
          Barney, Simpsons
        • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:05AM (#23789661)
          In the local city paper in texas, they have a 6", one column story about how someone in Kansas was killed. This person is not otherwise newsworthy.

          1st... WHO CARES????
          2nd... This creates the impression that the world is a lot more dangerous place than it really is.
          3rd... again.. who cares? This isn't a famous person- they have no ties to texas... there is no reason for it to be reported anywhere in texas.

          It's like talking about how wild monkeys are attacking a village in india last year.

          I want my local paper to have local news. Heck, tell me about the flood control changes they plan ahead of time (instead of afterwards)- tell me about something happening in other texas cities.

          The national stories should be in a national section and should be significant- not random.

          Really bugs me.
          • by darthflo (1095225)
            Flood control ahead of time is good news, makes you feel safe. The safer you feel, the less likely you are to buy into The Newest Threat. In extreme cases, you might even feel so safe to have an own opinion, differing in parts from the paper's opinion. And that, my friend, might lead to freedom and as we all know, Freedom is Slavery and slavery has been abolished in the U.S. and A. for quite some time now.

            Hm, that makes me wonder: Slaves typically were black, just like Michael Jackson. If good news turns
            • The flood control was horrible. Without warning, all over town property became worthless.

              The city itself was shocked i think because it means a lot of lost revenue as a $3,000,000 plot of land is suddenly worthless when you are no longer allowed to build or repair anything on it.

              Because there was no reporting of the changes ahead of time, there was no reality check.

              Now the city will look stupid if they reverse the policy.
          • by Tiro (19535)
            If you think that wild attack monkeys with a taste for human blood is a "who cares?" story, then you must get very wound up every time you load /.
        • Many blogs copy photos from legitimate news sources, that
          alone may be suspect but even worse, fail to at least
          attribute the source and/or photographer.

          A few years ago I wasted my time explaining this issue to
          the owner of this site [michellemalkin.com]. For a few
          days after there was an effort made at giving proper
          credits. But I guess it was just too much work. Given
          her sites popularity and her own work on TV you would
          think she would be more careful.
        • I hate to point this out but has anyone ever clicked the copyright info on an AP web site. such as House of Lords Story [ap.org] from further up today. If you check the copyright link at the bottom you will see that the AP lets users post the entire story for free.

          "Post this article on your website, blog, social networking page, or intranet for a limited time, free of charge, with ads. Includes the AP logo, copyright notice, and links. You can link to the article or display it using inline frames."

          I think this
      • You need to RTFA (Score:3, Informative)

        by plasmacutter (901737)
        if you RTFA the cited articles DO properly link the story, posting the relevant excerpts to save a little time and bandwidth, and to clarify exactly which part of the story is relevant to the discussion.

        It most definitely is an attack on fair use.

        the sites are not plagiarizing the AP, they are posting quotes with relevant links.
        • Re:You need to RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

          by mr_matticus (928346) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:39PM (#23787363)
          No, if you actually paid attention, the site in question is a pure reposting of AP content headlines, ledes, and bodies. This is what AP is objecting to. Not the comments or discussion that it sparks, and not actual commentary provided by authors on the site in question. In fact, had you truly read the article, you'd see this:

          "AP wants to fill in some facts and perspective on its recent actions with the Drudge Retort, and also reassure those in the blogosphere about AP's view of these situations. Yes, indeed, we are trying to protect our intellectual property online, as most news and content creators are around the world. But our interests in that regard extend only to instances that go beyond brief references and direct links to our coverage.

          The Associated Press encourages the engagement of bloggers -- large and small -- in the news conversation of the day. Some of the largest blogs are licensed to display AP stories in full on a regular basis. We genuinely value and encourage referring links to our coverage, and even offer RSS feeds from www.ap.org, as do many of our licensed customers.

          We get concerned, however, when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste. That's not good for original content creators; nor is it consistent with the link-based culture of the Internet that bloggers have cultivated so well.

          In this particular case, we have had direct and helpful communication with the site in question, focusing only on these issues.

          So, let's be clear: Bloggers are an indispensable part of the new ecosystem, but Jeff Jarvis' call for widespread reproduction of wholesale stories is out of synch with the environment he himself helped develop. There are many ways to inspire conversation about the news without misappropriating the content of original creators, whether they are the AP or fellow bloggers.

          Jim Kennedy
          VP and Director of Strategy for AP"
          • look, he provided links to all the damn posts they were complaining about.

            I challenge you to actually look at them and distinguish them from typical posts and replies in /.
            • Re:You need to RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Liquidrage (640463) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:47PM (#23787909)
              From what I saw the retort posts had "zero" of their own content. Basically someone at the retort would post the headline from an article, a few sentences from the article. And that's it. Comment away!

              There was no "So Yahoo is running a story on..."
              It was actually just a piece of Yahoo's story. So I can see the issue and they certainly did not look like a typical post and reply here on /.
              • look at this linked analysis [cadenhead.org]

                See that big blue thing at the beginning of his first example? that's called a hyperlink: to the AP post.
                • See my post above yours? The one you replied to. Yeah, that's it.
                  It wasn't questioning the existence of a link. So I'm not sure why you're pointing it out to me.
                  Also, please stop calling that analysis. The dude who wrote that is involved in the issue. He is presenting his side of the story, he is not providing analysis.

                  • and your opinion is the AP, a massive cog in the media machine which is firmly in the hands of all 6 people in the united states.

                    guess which one I trust more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by d34thm0nk3y (653414)
        That's exactly the problem. People "excerpt" the body of the article (change the headline and omit the byline) without reference or attribution in their "blogs" all the time.

        That does not appear to be the case with The Drudge Retort (the site being DMCA'd). The site [drudge.com] appears to have a link to the original story and a short summary. I am not familiar with the site though so maybe they are talking about a different section.
        • Two interesting points:

          The longest quote used was 2 paragraphs "from the end of the article." They don't say how long of an article though.

          The article writer attempts to address fair use but just happens to leave out the "for the purpose of comment and criticism" aspect.
      • by twitter (104583) *

        I quote relevant parts of articles because the AP has a tendency to memory hole their work. Those quotes are required for intelligent criticism. When you can't go back and look at the work, you have nothing but the hot air broadcasters would like you to have. When hundreds of people quote articles, history is preserved for fair evaluation.

      • They're not taking down commentaries that quote or reference.

        That is exactly what they are doing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      It's often tempting to nab a whole article when a site is known to frequently move information around, or delete it entirely... you know, like AP. Perhaps if they provided an iron-cast permalink people would stop C&Ping the whole file.
    • by leicaman (1260836)
      There is no such thing as fair use as a right. It's a principle applied to copyright law as interpreted by courts. The problem is too many people think they can just take other people's work and call it fair use. The Drudge report's activities preclude any reasonable person saying that their use of AP reports, which news organizations pay multiple tens of thousands of dollars a year to use, is fair use. Snippets yes - a paragraph or two - but no more should be considered fair use. Of course, there's the i
    • ...immediately following Jim Prentice's introduction of the Canadian version of the DMCA. DMCA allows creators to censor criticism. It is an attack on Free Speech. I encourage all Canadians to Write your MP [parl.gc.ca] and express your concern over the erosion of freedom that Mr. Prentice is attempting to bring about. For those who want to read the fine print, here [parl.gc.ca] is the legalese of Bill C-61, an amendment to Canadian Copyright law.

      Check my latest journal entry [slashdot.org] for more details regarding the proposed legislation.

  • Does this mean.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:27PM (#23786755)

    that /. could fall within the AP's sights as well? I glanced drudge.com and it looks like they have even less of a story on their front page than /. does. Of course here most (if not all) of the stories are prefaced with "According to..." or some other similar wording with a link back to the article.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      that /. could fall within the AP's sights as well? I glanced drudge.com and it looks like they have even less of a story on their front page than /. does. Of course here most (if not all) of the stories are prefaced with "According to..." or some other similar wording with a link back to the article.

      Technically, /. is doing the exact same thing, the differnce? /. would fucking bury the AP if they tried that shit here, so the answer is of course to go after someone with less means to defend them selves, get a couple of good precedents on record THEN go after the big boys.

      Of course this is just another case of large corporations thinking they can litigate them selves into higher profits. They can't all they will do is alienate their customers and see their revenue go down.

      My ONLY news site is /. Anywher

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by dogbowl (75870)

        /. would fucking bury the AP if they tried that shit here, so the answer is of course to go after someone with less means to defend them selves, get a couple of good precedents on record THEN go after the big boys.

        Methinks you aren't that familiar with the Drudge Report. It is most definitely one of the 'big boys'

        http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/drudgereport.com [alexa.com]

      • /. would fucking bury the AP if they tried that shit here, so the answer is of course to go after someone with less means to defend them selves
        If /. were pushed far enough, I have no doubt we would unleash a deluge of memes of truly biblical proportions.
      • by NoMaster (142776)

        Technically, /. is doing the exact same thing, the differnce? /. would fucking bury the AP if they tried that shit here ...

        Bwahahahaha!
        Remember when /. caved to a bunch of fsckin' clams ?

        My ONLY news site is /.

        That's just sad...

        (Ummm, remind me again, how popular/important is /. [alexa.com]?)

    • Re:Does this mean.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheFamilyGuy (1307415) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:59PM (#23787071)
      Any RSS feed for that matter can fall under this description. Should igoogle be banned for copyright infringement since I choose to get my news from various sources all on my google home page? This is absurd.
      • Does iGoogle repost the entire article? If they are, they shouldn't be, they should at most be posting a relevant snippet, then if you want to read the story, then you can click through to get the story from a news source that subscribes to said wire service. All I've seen through iGoogle is a headline.
        • by Mr2001 (90979)

          Does iGoogle repost the entire article?
          Does the Drudge Retort repost the entire article? No. They quote a couple sentences and link to the original.

          If they are, they shouldn't be, they should at most be posting a relevant snippet, then if you want to read the story, then you can click through to get the story from a news source that subscribes to said wire service.
          That's exactly how it works at the site in question. The AP's accusation is nonsense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by siwelwerd (869956)
      No, here we have "editors" who make sure the submissions do not accurately represent the content of the actual link.
  • The articled says "[The Culture] you and others have cultivated" now correct me if I'm wrong but that implies they are not part of this culture so how can they proclaim that quouting things isnt part of our culture? No one knows a culture better than those immersed in it. As far as im concerned quouting is also fundamental to the internet, then again thats just me.
    • Re:Out Culture (Score:5, Informative)

      by snkline (542610) on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:47PM (#23786961)
      I've only glanced at TFA, but it seems they are not taking issue with them quoting, but rather with them quoting misleadingly, i.e. without attribution. Without reference to the source, or even worse, without referencing the fact that you are quoting something else. For instance look at the example Cadenhead uses. It has a link to the article, followed by a quote from the article. But there is no indication that the quote is a quote! It is essentially being passed off as original commentary on the content of the article, even if that isn't what the author intended.
  • The AP is so reluctant to take down the fake photos they so often publish.
  • Pot + Kettle = Black And http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=527_1205782611 [liveleak.com] The old mediums are dying out and going down fighting.
  • Cite it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @07:51PM (#23786989)
    It seems to me this issue could have been avoided simply by properly citing the original article.

    Every writing class you have ever taken since high school has taught you that if you use "excerpts" (which is all this guy said his users did), that you cite the original source.

    Pretty basic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr2001 (90979)

      Every writing class you have ever taken since high school has taught you that if you use "excerpts" (which is all this guy said his users did), that you cite the original source.
      Like, for example, by putting a prominent link above the excerpt, so any reader can click the link and go directly to the original source to see the excerpt in context?
  • Ah, AP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ricin (236107)
    that beacon of independent journalism lazily quoted around the world without question or any original research by the quoting parties (all news outlets who I'm sure pay them for their feed, how 1980s).

    Poor them. For once the message may have been cut-and-pasted a bit too (un?)skewed for their tastes, or who knows, have contained actual unbiased truth (Dog help us!)

    Poor them.

    Yup they surely need the fascist DMCA to make sure they will remain the number one source of the whole truth and nothing but the truth
  • > We get concerned when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when
    > others are encouraged to cut and paste.

    Fair use. Learn to live with it.

    > That's not good for original content creators; nor is it consistent with the link-based
    > culture of the Internet that you and others have cultivated so well

    Whereas AP articles, of course, are just chockfull of links.
    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      Fair use. Learn to live with it.

      No. Fair use might be two or three paragraphs, not an entire news article.

      Whereas AP articles, of course, are just chockfull of links.

      Sour grapes much? If you don't like it, don't link to their stories or photos. Or, you know, go out and do your own journalism.

      • > Fair use might be two or three paragraphs, not an entire news article.

        What article might that be?

        > Sour grapes much?

        You think I want them to link to something of mine? ROFL.

        > If you don't like it...

        They needn't link if they don't want to, but but it seems hypocritical of them to attack others for not doing so.

        > ...don't link to their stories or photos.

        I don't. I also don't link to anyone else's: I don't "blog".
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by bizwriter (1064470)
      >> > We get concerned when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when
      >> > others are encouraged to cut and paste.

      >> Fair use. Learn to live with it.

      That's not fair use. The copyright statutes are pretty clear that fair use is quoting in the context of doing something like criticism, comment, or teaching. Simply copying without adding something is called republishing, and that isn't covered by fair use.

      >> > That's not good for original content creators; nor
  • by noidentity (188756) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:29PM (#23787289)
    If you ever want to link to (or even just read) Associated Press news stories without all the clutter of most websites, use Google. For example: news.google.com [google.com] search for roma tomatoes source:"associated press" [google.com] and an example AP story found [google.com].
  • by russotto (537200) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:35PM (#23787337) Journal
    The seven takedowns themselves are unimportant. The AP is clearly trying to produce a chilling effect preventing people from posting excerpts at all with this sort of thing. Unfortunately for them, they can't really do it. The blog owner won't play ball, and the original posters are unthreatened by the notices.
    • I find your post very interesting.

      For one, after viewing the articles that were targeted they had simply copy-pasted someone else's work with no commentary of their own.
      Secondly, the blog owner did play ball and removed the content. And lastly, the original posters are anything but original. Since the whole issue here is that they didn't write anything of their own. It's not like a /. submission. It's is exactly like pasting 2 sentences of someone elses work with not a single word of your own mixed in.
  • Totally out of touch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theshibboleth (968645) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:22PM (#23787725)

    Whatever the details of this particular case, whenever I hear things like "link-based culture" I just think how out of touch old journalism is with the Web. It's like they can't understand the deeper concepts like shared resources that linking implies.

    Most big newspapers didn't really even establish much of an online presence until Web 2.0 was gaining momentum, and they're still trying to catch up. Web sites, like the Los Angeles Times, fear user-generated content like wikis because they can't figure out how to manage them. They don't trust the medium enough to embrace concepts like self-regulated systems that work through tagging, ratings, etc...

    It really makes me wonder how these news sites will survive... consider that ABC News' idea of bringing in an online audience was to have someone with a laptop sitting with the commentators/anchors screening messages from Facebook; the internet is supposed to enable direct communication between individuals, not the same filtered meaningless content that's been called news for the last few decades...

    Consider too that many wire articles that reference Web sites do not actually link directly to the Web site. Why? Do they not know how? Are they afraid of what people might see, or do they not trust the authenticity of the site? Maybe they just don't like the idea of people getting information directly from sources.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)
      I was recently asked by my mother for an "impartial" source on the positions of our two presidential candidates. And by "un-biased" she meant one of the "major" news sources.

      I told her flat out it's impossible to get un-biased reporting from the major news sources, and suggested she read the threads here.

      I really don't know if I've gotten through to her though. I've mentioned how many liberties we've lost and how hijacked our judiciary, legislature, and media have become in the past 8 years, and when I did
      • I told her flat out it's impossible to get un-biased reporting from the major news sources, and suggested she read the threads here.

        Uh.. here?? I, for one, am a fairly partisan hack, and and so are most of the other political posters in here. You're not going to get anything close to unbiased info on the positions of the candidates here.

        Better advice would be to check out the candidates' own websites, which present things in the best possible light for them. You don't have to worry about bias, barackobam

  • by gnuASM (825066) <gnuASM@bresnan.net> on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:04PM (#23788345)

    ...should become a central doctrine that every Constitution-loving individual should be touting to their representatives. When items of fact can be controlled through the premise of copyright protection, the *IAAs' will look like a child's prank compared to the censorship of thought and ideas that will arise by extending monopolies to cover facts.

    Irregardless of ANY form of creativeness, press is a protection of the People that may neither be hindered nor prohibited by the State, and this includes Congress. Congress is granted the power to extend copyrights, or temporal monopolies on ideas and expression. Press, on the other hand, is a power of the People, which Congress has NO power to hinder.

    Copyright in and of itself hinders the natural dissemination of an idea by restricting the distribution of that idea. Press was expressly included in the first Amendment as an exclusion to the powers of Congress in extending copyrights, that the dissemination of current and historic fact may not be controlled and censored.

    If we continue to allow works of the Press to be treated as works protected under Copyright, than eventually we will no longer be allowed to claim the sky to be blue, for a fact to be true, or for 1+1 to equal 2, without infringing copyright and becoming enemies of the State.

    • by maz2331 (1104901) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:54PM (#23788615)
      Perhaps news reporting should be given a vastly shorter copyright term... say, 1 week as opposed to "forever" as is currently the practice.

      Seriously, how much value does a week-old news article have nowadays?

      Copyright is great for "expressive works". It's not really good when applied to "facts".

      • by Anonymous Coward
        > Seriously, how much value does a week-old news article have nowadays?

        It can be used as the basis of the average Slashdot post?
    • If we continue to allow works of the Press to be treated as works protected under Copyright, than eventually we will no longer be allowed to claim the sky to be blue, for a fact to be true, or for 1+1 to equal 2, without infringing copyright and becoming enemies of the State.
      No John, you are the demons.

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RBQIx5jiTsg [youtube.com]
  • I spend time on several blogs and web fora, and it's considered good practice to reproduce the entire story (along with proper attribution, of course). The problem with posting only a link, or brief excerpts and a link, is that the original sources don't keep the stories available indefinitely. Unlike print--which can usually be found, in some form or another--soft copies really do go away, leaving dead links, and no way to find the article under discussion. If a discussion lasts longer than two weeks (7
  • I hate to point this out but has anyone ever clicked the copyright info on an AP web site. such as House of Lords Story [ap.org] from further up today. If you check the copyright link at the bottom you will see that the AP lets users post the entire story for free.

    "Post this article on your website, blog, social networking page, or intranet for a limited time, free of charge, with ads. Includes the AP logo, copyright notice, and links. You can link to the article or display it using inline frames."

    I thi
  • www.unassociatedpress.net has now come online to consolidate the story and gather news as well as petition...

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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