Drudge Retort Highlights 'Fair Use' Uncertainties
Here's Our New Policy in A.P. Stories: They're Banned
Media Bloggers Association
The Fair Use Network [pdf]
Like much of the Internet, the blogosphere is a bit like the Old West. The casual user might come across everything from weblogs dedicated to maudlin images of kittens to vigorous discussions of the gold standard. Of course, from time to time, bloggers will post material that may include copyrighted material. While this remains very murky legal territory, a number of major organizations have filed legal motions in order to protect their intellectual property. Recently, the Associated Press (AP) asked the Drudge Retort website to remove various items that contained quotations from their articles, and this motion set off an intense flurry of commentary from legal experts, media commentators, and others. The Drudge Retort is a left-leaning site, which was started as a parody of the very well known Drudge Report, run by conservative pundit, Matt Drudge. Interestingly enough, the AP announced early this week that they would be consulting with a number of professional organizations, including the Media Bloggers Association, in order to determine some basic guidelines for quoting their articles and other materials. Rogers Cadenhead, who owns the Drudge Retort, remarked, "There are millions of people sharing links to news articles on blogs, message boards and sites like Digg. If the A.P. has concerns that go all the way down to one or two sentences of quoting, they need to tell people what they think is legal and where the boundaries are."
The first link will take users to a piece from David Ardia of PBS's Idea Lab about the recent imbroglio between the Associated Press and the Drudge Retort. The second link leads to another piece of commentary on the subject from Wired's David Kravets. Moving on, the third link leads to an impassioned piece form Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.com (writing in this Monday's Washington Post) about the recent actions taken by the Associated Press. The fourth link will take users directly to the homepage of the Drudge Retort. The fifth link leads to the Media Bloggers Association website, where visitors can learn about their advocacy efforts on behalf of bloggers and citizen journalists. Finally, the last link will take users to the very fine Fair Use Network website, which provides detailed primers on copyright law, the fair use of copyright works, and trademark law.