The Associated Press, which does not have the greatest history when it comes to respecting fair use, has posted a copy of the letter that Chelsea Manning sent to President Obama, requesting a pardon
. If you haven't read the letter, it's worth reading. Here's a snippet:
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.
Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission.
Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy - the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps - to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.
But what struck me is that the AP page, which is nothing more than a reprint of Manning's letter with a single sentence explaining what it is at the top, contains a massively overbearing copyright notice right beneath the letter, which is an extreme form of copyfraud:
Nearly all of that is bullshit. The copyright on the letter does not belong to the AP. And, yes, the work can be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed within the confines of fair use. It's a shame that the AP is so aggressive on copyrights that it's even claiming someone else's work as its own -- in a case where the AP itself is certainly relying on fair use for the right to publish the letter in the first place.