Saul Hansell quoted Digg CEO Jay Adelson defending the Associated Press (of which Hansell's publication the Times is a member). TechCrunch's Michael Arrington freaked out, natch. Adelson then attempted to further explain his complicated position, trying to be diplomatic. Yawn. As we've said before, and will say again, exercise your fair use rights under the law and shut up, because giving the AP attention just feeds its argument and therefore reinforces its position. Moving on:
As reported previously, the Associated Press is attempting to define "guidelines" to allow bloggers to quote its content, even though substantial quoting is already allowed under federal copyright law. The wire service will arrive at these guidelines after meeting with the Media Bloggers Association. And who are they? It's hard to say, even after reading the group's site and searching for more information elsewhere on the Web.
As we reported last week, the Associated Press sent a copyright complaint to a harmless little left-wing news aggregating site demanding they remove posts that featured "39 to 79 words" of their precious, precious copy. Over the weekend, after outrage from various blogs, they retreated. But they're not giving up! Blogs will bow to them! They will set standards, and blogs will naturally decide to follow these standards on their own accord, because that's how bloggers act!
YouTube was a breeze. Though they insist you should "not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself," they also explain the "fair use" exception to this rule, in detail. They do, however, leave budding filmmakers with this warning, "if the copyright owner disagrees with your interpretation of fair use, the copyright owner may choose to resolve the dispute in court". YouTube knows a thing or two about being dragged into court. But being a sport, they allowed my upload to go live.
Backed by Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying group, is targeting everyone from Hollywood to book publishers in its Defend Fair Use crusade. The CCIA is trying to drum up popular support for its allegations, submitted to the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month, that corporations are misleading consumers about copyright law. Copyright holders may not condone certain uses of its material, but that doesn't necessarily mean those uses are illegal. Fair use, an abstruse area of copyright law meant to encourage scholarship and journalism, is widely misunderstood. It's certainly a curious standard for CCIA's supporters to bear, since Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo all implement fair-use-defying digital-rights-management software, and comply with "takedown" requests from copyright holders without considering fair use.