Monday, June 16, 2008

Apparently AP and iCopyright have inked a deal where iCopyright sells "excerpting rights" to bloggers and other internet users, priced by the word. So if the AP publishes a story that I think is important, and I want to encourage people to read it by putting up an excerpt, they want me to pay them for sending readers to their advertising-supported web pages, or to a client who is already paying AP for their stories, even though one of the elements of fair use is the financial impact my quoting my have on the copyright holder, making this a clear case of fair use.

If I do this because I want to comment on their coverage, or criticize them, both of which are indisputably part of fair use, they expect me to pay for the priviledge.

And if I were a teacher wanting to use a short excerpt in my classroom, well, at least AP makes some allowances. They have educational pricing. For instance, if you wanted to put 5-25 words up on the class website, it'd only cost you $7.50. If you're a teacher. For the rest of us, it's $12.50.

The first four words are, presumably free. This could be a real problem for AP, but not really for me. AP does a decent enough job at the basic facts that pretty much anyone can provide, but I can't remember them ever providing analysis that was worth a crap.


Mike ODonnell, iCopyright said...

The excerpt license that is available on AP articles via the iCopyright system is designed to accommodate companies that wish to republish significant portions of an article and use it for commercial purposes. The vast majority of licenses that iCopyright transacts everyday for AP are FREE licenses. They ensure that AP gets attribution and links back to the original article, and that their copyright notice stays with the reproduction. That's reasonable whether the reproduction is fair use or for commercial purposes. You would want the same courtesy if people reproduced all or part of your blogs.

Mike said...

If that is indeed the case, you might consider changing the text on the page that comes up when you click the reuse page.

In fact, since that page is currently down, you might well be doing so right now.