Yesterday's Guardian picked up this item from Jemima Kiss concerning a furore over the decision of US news agency Associated Press (AP) to issue a takedown notice to a small, independent news site which, it claims, had quoted too heavily from its news stories. AP is reported as alleging that six instances of copyright infringement occurred on Drudge Retort – a leftwing comment site set up as an alternative to the Drudge Report – including one post that pasted 18 words from a story on Hillary Clinton followed by a 32-word direct quote. This, AP said,
"... does not fall within the parameters of fair use. ... The use is not fair use simply because the work copied happened to be a news article and that the use is of the headline and the first few sentences only".Drudge Retort founder Rogers Cadenhead, argued that sharing links to news stories of interest has "become an essential part of how millions of people read and evaluate the news today". AP is understood to have suspended further attempts to challenge bloggers until it can review its guidelines but adds:
"Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see. It is more consistent with the spirit of the internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context".As an active part of both the blogging community and the IP community, the IPKat is understandably concerned. Neither the Berne Convention or TRIPs, nor indeed any other international instrument of copyright law provide for a blanket "bloggers' right" to make use of protected materials for ephemeral purposes or for subsequent archiving -- and it is optimistic to hope for any such blanket use to be explicitly sanctioned. But blogging has to make a responsible use of all materials. The IPKat welcomes debate on this topic and wonders what his readers think. Merpel asks, there aren't any collecting societies out there, offering easy licences to use materials for blogging purposes, are there?