Media critic Jeff Jarvis on a new policy from the Associated Press that has bloggers up in arms and is sparking a boycott:
The AP has filed truly noxious takedown notices against Rogers Cadenhead’s community-created Drudge Retort [a social media news aggregator not affiliated with the Drudge Report, but which links to news sources a la Drudge - ed], arguing copyright violations for quotes from 33 to 79 words long.
For shame, AP.
[...]This complaint comes from an organization that leaches off original reporting and kills links and credit to the source of that journalism. Yes, it has a right to reproduce reporting from member news organizations. But as I point out here, the AP is hurting original reporting by not crediting and linking to the journalism at its source. We should be operating under an ethic of the link to original reporting; this is an ethic that the AP systematically violates…
In its complaint against Cadenhead, the AP is flouting fair use and fair comment. It is ignoring the essential structure of the link architecture of the web. It is declaring war on blogs and commenters.
Jarvis proposes an alternate approach to the traditional AP model, which he charges with recycling original material from newspapers and rewriting and then redistributing that reporting with no links and no credit given:
Who needs the AP tapioca when we can get reporting like this from the source with no more than a link? Isn’t it a better service to reader and journalist to link directly to the original reporting?
So, bloggers, unless the AP recants and apologizes to Cadenhead, I urge you to avoid linking to the AP and to link to reporting at its source.
Which is giving rise to (drumroll, please)…the Un-Associated Press.
Flash in the pan or a rising blogstorm of discontent? Time will tell, but Jarvis’ comment in the lead-in to his post is telling:
I talked to a reporter this week about the embattled Associated Press and said three times that I didn’t want it to die. I might take that back.
As the old PR adage goes, “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” In the age of social media, that person is anyone and everyone — as the Associated Press may be about to learn, the hard way.
UPDATE: Or, maybe they can still dodge the bullet.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Irony alert!
(Hat tip: Instapundit)