Associated Press Interview Offers Some Insight on its Plans to Police Blogosphere

As the Silicon Valley IP Licensing Blog has been reporting, the Associated Press has already initiated an effort to impose its view of what constitutes fair use on the blogosphere. However, I came across today an interesting interview by Ars Technica, which offers some insight on how the Associated Press plans to go about policing the blogosphere.

What is the plan? According to Ars Technica, it seems that the Associated Press plans to deploy some sort of "mysterious new misappropriation heat-seeking system" technology over the web to track down material taken from Associated Press articles.

Now interestingly enough, the interview seemed to suggest that the Associated Press plans to take a somewhat softer stance on blogosphere quotes than they seemed to indicate this past year. Ars Technica spoke with AP news editor Ted Bridis, who promised that the main concern of the Associated Press was "wholesale theft" and not bloggers who "excerpt a relevant passage, and then derive some commentary."

Did the outrage in the blogosphere cause a change of heart at the Associated Press? One can hope. While such a continued assault would provide for some very interesting blogging and legal commentary on my part, I personally think it would prove to be a bad business move on the part of the Associated Press. Also, I think it could have a detrimental effect on the blogosphere as well.

Somehow, however, I am not convinced, as it is just very hard to reconcile this new, kinder and more gentle Associated Press approach described in the interview with previous quotes and prior actions taken by the Associated Press -- particularly with respect to the Drudge Retort.

Apparently, Drudge Retort Publisher Rogers Cadenhead agrees, warning Ars Technica, "If AP's guidelines end up like the ones they shared with me, we're headed for a Napster-style battle on the issue of fair use."

The Silicon Valley IP Licensing Law Blog will continue to follow this issue as it unfolds.

Related Blog Postings:
Blogosphere Reacts to Associated Press Assault on Fair Use Doctrine
Blog Content Licensing: Is there a market for it?
Should the Blogosphere Adopt the Creative Commons Licensing Model?

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