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.