I don’t share some bloggers’ enthusiasm for Associated Press’ new policy crediting them. On September 1st, the wire service issued advisory: “AP announces guidelines for credit and attribution,” which includes bloggers. AP shouldn’t credit bloggers because it opens way for lazy reporting and undermines the news organization’s reputation and credibility (well, outside the blogging community).
Some people—heck, some organizations—have no sense of humor. Humorless perhaps best describes Associated Press, which apparently didn’t get Woot’s joke about owing money for a blog excerpt. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler put AP in its place today, that’s assuming there isn’t yet a nasty takedown-notice response coming.
Some quick background: About two years ago, AP decided that no one should excerpt its content without paying for it. The policy defies decades of journalist practices and fair-use laws. I could understand AP going after blocks of text, but no, it’s the little excerpts, too. Excerpt up to 50 words and AP expects you to pay $17.50; 100 bucks for 251 words or more. The approach is controversial, as it should be.