AP clarifies copyright threat

Thanks to Ars Technica for probing AP news editor Ted Bridis on what the cooperative plans to do to stop theft of its copyrights. Technology soon to be deployed will search for entire stories that thieves have lifted and presented without a license.

“The guidelines are coming,” Bridis promised. “AP’s main concern are not the bloggers that excerpt a relevant passage, and then derive some commentary. What happens an awful lot is just wholesale theft. So those are the ones that will find the cease and desist letters arriving.”

OK, we said. How will you define “wholesale theft?” If somebody publishes a paragraph of AP copy with a link to the AP story, will that be theft?

“Not at all,” Bridis replied. “I don’t think AP would have any problem with that.” We didn’t want to give the impression that we were bargaining, but we pressed on as to exactly how one would disturb AP’s comfort zone. Was this about not posting links?

No, Bridis replied. “What I’m talking about, and what has really riled up our internal copyright folks, are the bloggers who take, just paste an entire 800 word story into their blog. They don’t even comment on it. And it happens way more than most people realize.”

Go read the full article. It really does clarify things for everybody.

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