Woot Asks AP To Pay Up For Quoting Woot Blog Post Without Paying [Updated]

from the a-bottle-of-awesomesauce-please dept

There are so many reasons to love Woot, including their recent awesome letter and video about their acquisition. But, even better may be that in today's Woot offering, they mock the Associated Press for its coverage of the Woot acquisition, because the AP just happens to have also copied text from the awesome Woot letter. Now, that's all well and good for most publications, but this is the AP that we're talking about. The same AP that threatens bloggers for copying headlines and snippets. The same AP that insists it needs "hot news" to protect others from "free riding" on its work. And, most importantly, the same AP that has a famously ridiculous pricelist for quoting five words or more from an AP article.

It appears the folks over at Woot noticed this price list, and noticed that the AP report on its acquisition copied more than five words. And thus, the smart folks at Woot calculated that the AP owes Woot $17.50 for quoting Woot without permission (though, they'll take buying today's deal as payment instead). Of course, I would have probably added a "hot news" freerider surcharge as well. After all, people reading the AP story now no longer had any reason to go to Woot directly to find out the news. Hell, at least folks like us linked directly to Woot's letter. But that's far too neighborly a thing for the AP to do. Instead, it just quotes with no link at all.

Update: An apparently upset AP media relations person has contacted us to ask us if it's a "slow news day" (answer: no, not at all -- why do you ask?). Also, according to the AP, the article also shows that the AP spoke to Woot's CEO on the phone, and that, apparently, makes what the AP did okay. If only I had known that the AP's fair use quoting rates had an exception for "we spoke to you on the phone." Unfortunately, I don't see those exceptions anywhere. Perhaps I'm missing them. The AP would also like to remind us that it's reporting on the oil spill in the gulf. No, I don't understand this non sequitur either, but that's how the email concludes. In the meantime, I'm still wondering if the AP paid Woot for the news of reporting on them. If not, isn't the AP "freeloading" on the newsmaker? Or do the rules the AP sets out for everyone else not apply to the AP?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Er....

    "The same AP that insists that swears..."

    ...that maintains that holds that asserts that contends that presses that reiterates that repeats hat vow....

    Man...they must REALLY mean it...

     

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  2.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    I will be adding this to the growing list of reasons why Woot is one of my favorite companies of all time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Ha! Seriously, why are those pushing 'hot news getting paid for' not seeing that it would go from zero to clusterspank in seconds flat?

     

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  4.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Ahhhh....

    Hoist on your own petard?

    How does it feel AP?
    Gotta love it!

     

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  5.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Pre-emptive TAM

    Let me anticipate the TAM response to this:

    "Mike, there's obviously more to this story than we're being told. How do I know this? Because the story as it stands makes the big content provider look like a hypocritical asshat and since we know that's not ever the case, one can only conclude that we're not being told the whole story."

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    senshikaze, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    its like seeing double. omg that was spot on.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    AJ, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Well...

    "Hell, at least folks like us linked directly to Woot's letter. But that's far too neighborly a thing for the AP to do. Instead, it just quotes with no link at all."

    To be fair Mike, I clicked on your link and it took me to the AP story. There in the first line is a link to both amazon.com and woot.com. They don't link to the letter, but they did link to Woot. Still, they probably should have linked directly to the letter...... but at least it's something....

     

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  8.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    FAIL
    You used a capital letter and punctuation.

     

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  9.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    What the AP asks of us

    Now, did the AP demand payment from others for using their 'copied' story from the Woot press release? Do they claim copyright on their article?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    AJ, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: What the AP asks of us

    How would that work?

    They have...... "Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved"..... written at the bottom of the page. Can you Copyright something you copied all or in part without giving the original credit?

    I must admit I'm a little confused on this...

     

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  11.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    I personally believe two "Anonymous Coward" trolls exist.

    The Troll Formally Known as The Anti-Mike: he/she/it/them does use punctuation, and capitalizes correctly. Writes in paragraphs and makes acerbic straw man arguments.

    e e trollings: doesnt use punctuation, doesnt capitalize tends to post one liners predicting the disappearance of mainstream/major media due to unfair, immoral competition from file-sharing networks and "pirates". Tends to believe in the absolute authority of lawyers.

    Of course, the possibility exists that the same committee writes both trolls' messages, as they both assume that RIAA/MPAA/AP/Big Book Publishers can do no wrong. I think the difference in style of argument (straw man for ex-TAM, arguments from authority for e e trollings) means that two different people, probably both male, write the posts.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    AJ, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: What the AP asks of us

    I was not very discriptive, what I mean is. If AP has Copywritten the story, to include the quote, can someone else use the same quote without paying AP?

     

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  13.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    ROFLMAO

    "and we think you’ll like how they help you shut out the irritating sounds around you (such as, maybe, people yelling about the actual meaning of “fair use”). We also think you’ll like how that second pair of Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones will allow you to have one set for home and one set for the office, especially since you’ll probably get sick of going through all the voice mails from your pals UPI and Reuters saying “HEY DID YOU SEE YOU GOT MENTIONED ON WOOT TODAY LOL GREAT BUSINESS PLAN NEWZ DUDZ!” The AP, when you just want to listen to music and drift away to some controversy-free happy place, we promise you, you’ll find the Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones will hit that sweet spot just right."

    Woot is a hoot :)

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    In that case there are at least three. I work with one of them. He writes in a "lowercase with some small amount of punctuation" style. He also doesn't believe a word he writes, he just likes to troll. I'll probably get kicked when we go to lunch for outing him though.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: What the AP asks of us

    "How would that work?

    They have...... "Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved"..... written at the bottom of the page. Can you Copyright something you copied all or in part without giving the original credit?"

    If they did this, its a blatantly illegal copyright, and is far more heavily frowned upon by the judiciary than simple infringement (like file sharing). This is an illegal co-opting of not just a "copy" but the ACTUAL copyright of a work. This is not only highly illegal, but it can get you into all sorts of big trouble, and its also REALLY hypocritical of the AP to do this.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    RD, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    "In that case there are at least three. I work with one of them. He writes in a "lowercase with some small amount of punctuation" style. He also doesn't believe a word he writes, he just likes to troll. I'll probably get kicked when we go to lunch for outing him though."

    So he just plays "devils advocate" for the fun of it?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    drop, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    Troll =! devil's advocate

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    chocota (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    Ha HA HA you make laugh 'cause I think the same thing about "Anonymous Coward". The first time I started to read Techdirt news, I like "Anonymous Coward" comments, but I got confuse about the Dual thinking in his comments, in favor and against whatever Mike writes in the article, so I got tired of it that I don't pay attention to whatever comments He/she/They does/do. I think He/She/They hates/hate Mike

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    "Ha! Seriously, why are those pushing 'hot news getting paid for' not seeing that it would go from zero to clusterspank in seconds flat?"

    They are probably creating contracts that allow the "Old News Industry" to work as it always has in an attempt to prevent the blogs and new news types from using their "Intellectual Property". Hot News is a slightly different historical repeat of the record labels attempting to stop file sharing and competition. It wont work and in the end will accelerate the downfall of AP, and the newspapers as they will have a "new Law on their side" to protect them. Fat lotta good it did the record labels.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Time to buy something

    I think it is time for me to go buy something at Woot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    No, he's a jackass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    it is always a slow news day at techdirt. slow news and short bus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Can we add a button that says "The opposite of insightful and/or informative"?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    yeah, it's called "thomas posted".

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    hi mike. why not sign in when you insult people? to scared?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    so back to the story.

    woot makes the mistake of confusing when they are news from when they deliver information.

    woot being bought out is news, straight up. the comments made in the official blog are essentially a press release, an announcement. ap quoted from that, not in whole but in very small part, as they might quote from any other press release or news conference.

    it would be no different from one newspaper quote from another regarding it being bought out, sold, or what have you. it is news, plain and simple, about an infomation company.

    the story, as written, is a news story, but the story itself is not "news about ap". so someone copying it to another site would in theory be violating copyright.

    what woot deserves from this is to specifically not get covered in the future. perhaps even amazon can be ignored for a while.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    "e e trollings"
    LMFAO.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: What the AP asks of us

    People like the AP don't get in trouble for that. For them, it's ok to issue a quiet apology and move on (until the next time they do it in about a week). For the rest of us, we must spend 63 years in federal PMIA prison.

    Seriously, are there any examples of serious meaningful penalties against a major media corporation for false copyright claims? I would like to see it if anybody knows, because I've never heard of it.

     

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  29.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    ap quoted from that, not in whole but in very small part

    And that activity is exactly what the AP says requires payment. For everybody but the AP anyway.

    PS I know this is a troll, I'm just responding in case any real people are reading and don't fully know what's going on.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Amen to that. Woot is full of win and awesome.


    And Mr Masnick, don't forget to have some leet flakes. They go very well with the awesomesauce for breakfast. =)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    redwall_hp (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: What the AP asks of us

    I'm too lazy to reread the AP article... If they put quote marks around the verbatim quotes and properly attributed their source, no. But if they didn't, then that would be plagiarism. (Which is what copyright law is really supposed to protect creators from, rather then being used as a cudgel to prop up a business model.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    You spelled fucking moron wrong.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    See, total fucking moron!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You forgot to tell him to fuck off and die. Rookie mistake!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    I think that's the first time I've been accused of being Mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    DS, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    How much would it of cost to repost the AP's email?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Beta (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re:

    You mean it's winsome and awful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    The Irony is Wonderful

    It's hard for me to understand how the old guard press fails to see that "Hot News" protection will soon be used against them. As they lose more and more market share and reduced revenue leads and to lack of resources, newspapers will need to "borrow" headlines from blogs and web news sites that have gathered, investigated, and reported current events and issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    It gets really old, really fast. Much like the work of our little ac.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    this is everywhere....

    Did AP email every news outlet on the internet asking if it was a slow news day? I've seen this on a million different sites! Haha! I think some big news channel should drop AP. Oh wait, they already did! Dah-hah!!!

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Amusing that the AP spokesman that showed up in a previous post about the AP's Hot News stupidity hasn't yet worked up the guts to show up this time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    It would be nice if you time stamped your updates.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    Re: this is everywhere....

    You know why. because it's MONDAY!!! Wait, that means it's not Friday. Uhm... I wonder. Well, I give up trying to figure out TAM's logic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: this is everywhere....

    Actually it's Tuesday, that's not the point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    "An apparently upset AP media relations person has contacted us to ask us if it's a "slow news day" (answer: no, not at all -- why do you ask?)."

    I wonder if this slow news day doctrine applies only when others ask about the AP not paying up but it doesn't apply when the AP asks others to pay up? Or maybe it only applies on Tuesdays.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Update!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    Oh, thanks to the comment below (with the TechCrunch link), I remembered that that spokesman's name was Paul Colford. I also found out that he is the one who wrote the laughably stupid email.

    I guess that explains why he isn't in the comments this time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Seth Brundle, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    That's awesome that they asked if its a slow news day (shouldn't they know?).

    Next time I quote AP I will make sure to call their CEO first.

    Obviously if AP considers this appropriate and scalable circumvention then they will make their CEO available for anyone to do the same on a daily basis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: What the AP asks of us

    But if they didn't, then that would be plagiarism. (Which is what copyright law is really supposed to protect creators from, rather then being used as a cudgel to prop up a business model.)

    Copyright law is about copying, not attribution. An act could be plagiarism but not copyright violation, or vice-versa, copyright violation but not plagiarism. As far as I know there are no laws against plagiarism in the US.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Pre-emptive TAM

    You forgot to mention the day of the week and how that somehow means something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re:

    no, you missed it again. ap isnt making news, they are reporting it. very different. woot is making news in this story, and thus it is open for reporting.

    i know subtle differences dont got over well on techdirt, but come on. the difference is obvious, and more importantly, woot is just trying really hard to get coverage at this point. i would say that they have a website i would never visit as a result.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry. Fair use doesn't exist according to the AP, except for the AP, of course. Try again next time, TAM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    BoloMKXXVIII (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 4:26am

    AP

    They sure are earning the first three letters of their name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    bob, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re: Ahhhh....

    As a petard is in accuality a bomb which explodes pretty much not leaving much of the device left upon which to ride.
    The term is "Hoist by your own petard" or more correctly "Hoist by his own petard"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Jerry in Detroitap19990601@aol.com, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Do AP journalists exist

    Actually, I've come of the opinion that a majority of AP journalists are fabrications; The people do not exist. Take an AP journalist with a distinctive name and do a Google search or Pipl search. No public figure should be that confidential.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Contus, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 2:07am

    Thankz

    I really enjoyed this post.. All the tracking informations are nice.. comments also nice

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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