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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    The Infamous Joe (profile), 12 Jan 2010 @ 6:10am


    No, what bloggers do is use AP's 25 words or 50 words.

    Well, assuming that the entire article is only 25 or 50 words long, that would be a clear case of copyright infringement. Please note that AP did not invoke copyright infringement, they instead used a so-called "hot news" doctrine. They are trying to say that the actual wording in irrelevant, and it's the *facts* about the story they are attempting to "own".

    Now that you have been educated on the matter, do you see the amusement Mike sees? No, probably not. The AP says the facts of a story (a woman's brain was sent back in her personal effects) that are protected by this doctrine, and then they turn around and do *exactly* what they say bloggers can't do.

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