AP Sues Others For Copying Its Reporting, But Has No Problem Copying Bloggers Without Citation

from the can't-admit-the-bloggers-beat-you dept

You may have seen the story we recently had about a woman suing Google after she got hit by a car while following Google Maps’ walking directions. In that post, we linked back to Danny Sullivan’s post about this story at Search Engine Land (where he noted that Gary Price had tipped him off to the news). In our post, we recommended people read Danny’s full writeup, highlighted some of the points he made and added a bit of our own analysis. Of course, it’s a hot story, and so lots of other publications wrote up their own versions of it as well, and Danny is now pointing out that the vast majority of mainstream publications did not credit him at all with breaking the story — some of whom even used the images that Sullivan created in their own stories without credit.

Of course, the one I find most interesting is the Associated Press. The story published by the AP basically repeats a lot of what Danny put in his report, but fails to mention that Danny had the story first, and did a lot of the journalistic legwork in understanding what the story was about. Now, I’ve gone over this issue before in the past: and I don’t see any legal reason why others should be required to cite their sources, but do believe it’s the neighborly thing to do, and tends to lead to goodwill back in your direction as well.

But, when we’re talking about the AP, this is an organization that has sent DMCA notices and threatened a blogger with legal action for linking to AP stories along with a headline and a short (35 word) excerpt. This is the organization that has claimed it was planning to sue others for creating similar stories and specifically sued All Headline News for supposedly rewriting its stories. This is also the same AP that thinks it gets to define fair use, and that means that any use of 5 words or more is not fair use. This is the same AP that claims that creating an entirely new artistic work based on an AP photograph is, in no way, fair use.

Yet, this AP has no problem making use of Danny’s original reporting, without even so much as giving him credit?

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: associated press

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “AP Sues Others For Copying Its Reporting, But Has No Problem Copying Bloggers Without Citation”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s already going everywhere on the blogosophere pretty much. What do you mean blow it wide open, it’s been blown wide open and the proof is already there, what more proof do you want? as far as taking the case, I don’t think the EFF likes to sue people, they mostly serve defendants of bogus lawsuits, and I don’t think anyone is saying that the AP should get sued, just that they’re hypocrites.

Beta says:

Re: They better hope Hot News doesn't get enacted

I’m sure they’re smart enough to carve themselves loopholes in it before it becomes law, probably by defining “news agency” in the fine print.

Come to think of it, how would they define a news agency? Maybe a combination of circulation, number of years in business, tons of newsprint and height of office building? They’d want to include some radio stations but exclude college newspapers, without coming out and saying it… Man, being a lawyer must be hard.

dzent1 says:

Associated Pressure

The industry wonders why it’s tanking? Media wonders why their industry is going to h*ll? Why nobody buys their product anymore? Why they’ve lost credibility in every quarter of the nation no matter the political persuasion?

Try telling the truth. Try telling the whole story. Try doing good for the human race, instead of championing corporate greed.

Did you think all your bullshit would go unnoticed, AP, in the era of the internet, when EVERYTHING can be fact-and source-checked in nothing flat?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...