Well, this is really odd. And rather alarming.

The Associated Press has sued Drudge for quoting their headline and a few sentences of a story on a blog. Which, frankly, all of us do all the time. And I’m doing here:

Last week, The A.P. took an unusually strict position against quotation of its work, sending a letter to the Drudge Retort asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words….Mr. Kennedy said that the organization has not withdrawn its request that Drudge Retort remove the seven items. And he said that he still believes that it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones.
“Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see,” he said. “It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context.”

The Washington Post TechCrunch has just decided they won’t use AP stories:

So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.

I’m with the Post. No AP stories until this is resolved.

EDITED TO ADD: Wow. Check out the charges AP is asking for per/word quotes. Via BoingBoing.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. That’s the policy for TechCrunch. It’s not clear whether the Post adopted it too.

  2. Fair Enough. I still think I’ll steer clear of AP.

  3. I just sent an email to AP: Hi AP,

    I just read in a blog (Yes, you know about them) that you are someone’s tail (Polite word for another one) about quoting from one of your articles. What’s up here? Talk about bad press – to you! Sure, if someone quotes out of context and tries to make you look bad then jump on them. But all you have done here is upset some people, bloggers (yes, they are here to stay and exert a big influence). I hope you will change this misguided policy and revert to some sanity in your policies.

    You should be flattered that someone is reading your stuff and willing to admit it to the world by quoting your article. I assume you are an unbiased news reporting organization. So what’s the harm in giving you a little free advertising by quoting from your writings?

    Please re-think this policy and consider all the bad publicity you are going to get if you continue on this path.

    Tom Brandt

  4. […] above our garters go to both Bug Girl and Afarensis for this unsettling […]

  5. they have truly lost their minds it’s time for a boycott – don’t read them – don’t patron them – don’t acknowledge them – in the end they might want to have a better working relationship w/readers, bloggers, etc.

  6. Stinky, sucky policy. BTW, are all bug people as attractive as you seem to be in your avatar? Hmm, seems I’ve revealed my own nerdery. Did you like Monday night’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory”?

  7. Please don’t tell me I missed a new episode of Big Bang!

    And the avatar looks just like me…10 years ago. And I’m slightly less teal.

  8. Astonishing. Whatever happened to Fair Use? Definitely so-long AP!

Comments are closed.