AP Summarizes Other Journalists' Article; Isn't That What The AP Says Violates The Law?

from the that's-odd dept

Marcus Carab points us to a rather horrifying story about a family suing a funeral home after the funeral home put their grandmother's brain in a bag of personal effects and sent it to them. Yikes. But, ignore the story itself for a moment (if you can). What was interesting from our point of view was that the story was written by the Associated Press, and it's basically a rewrite of a story from The Albuquerque Journal. Here's how the AP points this out:
The Albuquerque Journal reported on the lawsuit in a copyright story published Wednesday.
Now, there are a few things odd about this. First... it's an odd phrase to use: "in a copyright story." Nearly all news stories are covered by copyright, so why even mention it?

But what I find even more amusing is that if you look at the AP report, it's basically just a quick blurb rewrite of the Albuquerque Journal story. It's only 125 words, and just summarizes what the other paper wrote. Why is that amusing? Because that's exactly what the Associated Press has been claiming bloggers unfairly do to it -- insisting that others simply rewriting its stories in short blurbs are violating the "hot news" doctrine. Apparently, that doesn't apply when the AP does it itself?

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  1. icon
    Comboman (profile), 12 Jan 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Ummm, AP Member...

    Guys, the Journal is a member of AP, which happens to be a co-op. In simple terms, the AP and it's members all have usage agreements in place that allow something like this.

    Then why not just use stuff from the story, rather than point out that the story is covered by copyright?

    The wording is somewhat odd but that's how they decided to do it. I'm no fan of the AP and they've done some douche-bag things in the past, but in this case you've accused them of something they didn't do Mike. AP is authorized to use content (summarized or verbatim) from the Albuquerque Journal, so there is no hypocrisy in them being upset about unauthorized summarizing of AP stories (even though that unauthorized summarizing is likely fair-use).

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