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Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh squiggly line, you are forgiven

You gotta love it when some loose affiliation of the old guard gets their knickers in a twist about some befuddling tech issue. Much like a caveman staring at the obelisk, furrowing his brow in a vain attempt to comprehend the situation, the first response will be caterwauling and utter stupidity. So it has been going with the MPAA (whose relevancy will really become apparent in the next 7 years) and the RIAA (ditto), and now it goes with the Associated Press.

TechCrunch has a nicely-linked story about the A.P. trying to squelch use of their materials on blogs. Oh noes, teh blogz, yadda yadda. That's the fear talking, naturally.

The A.P., to their credit, plan to meet some blogerati and smooth this all out. Provided they don't go beyond the law, naturally. Which is the point TC was making all along. Oh, that and what we nerds call "hyperlinking" is what you journalists call "crediting a source." Maybe this'll clear things up. I'm sure it is just a big misunderstanding and everyone will be laughing by Friday happy hour.

And now for the legal disclaimer:
Kennedy said the AP had both a journalistic concern about preventing AP news from being quoted out of context and also a business concern about protecting the value of AP's news from being diluted if its key elements are made available from places that aren't licensed.

"We need to protect our content, no matter who's using it, but we also recognize that the bloggers perform a really important function on the Internet in terms of increasing the engagement of the audience online, and we want to facilitate that," Kennedy said.
UPDATE: Here's a nice analysis and some helpful hints on KnoxViews. While it isn't legal advice, I think the guidelines make sense.

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