AP's New Policy: If They Speak To You, They Can Reprint Anything For Free?
from the am-I-reading-that-right? dept
So, you may have noticed the amusing little story we had on Woot’s response to the AP for quoting Woot’s blog post. The Woot blog post did a tongue-in-cheek mocking of the AP for copying its text, when the AP made a huge deal of bloggers doing that to the AP a few years ago. It was a fun post to kick off the week, and we figured everyone would take it in good fun. However, as you can see on the “update” to that post, we got a slightly peeved email from the AP’s “Director of Media Relations” (who’s been sending us a lot of peeved emails lately), Paul Colford, which started off with the classic trollbait comment that haters love to post as blog comments: “Slow news day?” Then he mentions that the AP INTERVIEWED (yes, he used all caps) Woot’s CEO Matt Rutledge, as if that makes things okay. Of course, the “interview” (sorry, INTERVIEW) is at the end of article and consists of: “I’m really excited.”
Apparently, in the world of the AP, if they get you to say three words to them, then it’s now okay to copy content from the source. Even more odd, the email then said “Meanwhile, AP staffers across the Gulf region and in Washington continue to provide comprehensive coverage of the oil spill.” I have no idea what this non sequitur is supposed to mean, but it appears that I’m not the only one who got a version of this email. MG Siegler at TechCrunch got something similar as did Rutledge himself. Tragically, it looks like I was the only one to get the “slow news day” snark.
MG took the email to its logical conclusion. Reading between the lines of Colford’s email, he appears to be saying that if you get someone to say three words to you, then it’s suddenly okay to quote their site without payment. As Siegler then notes, since he exchanged a couple of emails with Colford on this topic, he’s now “interviewed” him, and thus, according to Colford and the AP’s own internal logic, it’s okay to copy text of of the AP’s site, which Siegler does — picking a recent story about the oil spill in the gulf, since Colford was so quick to point that out. I think Siegler’s on to something. What I thought was a total non sequitur apparently is really a sign that we should now repost AP stories, since we’ve “spoken with” Colford and the AP. I mean, that’s the most logical explanation, right?
Why do I get the feeling that I’ll soon be receiving another email from Colford “clarifying” the AP’s position?