Sunday, June 29, 2008

More on AP vs bloggers

Incredibly, I find that Associated Press signed an agreement in 2007 with NowPublic.Com to use material FROM NowPublic.

NowPublic defines itself as a "social networking" site, as does the Drudge Retort.

"Contributors" to NowPublic copy material directly from copyrighted publications and post the material to the NowPublic site with a link to original source. I've reviewed a number of these contributions. The pasted items are quite lengthy.

Take a look at this paste-job, copied from the New York Times.

This is a practice that's more-than-identical to what the Drudge Retort was challenged for, because the NowPublic paste jobs are much, much, much longer.

Meanwhile, the folk at PBS Idea Lab agree with my first post that Associated Press has no claim to "Hot News Misappropriation" and probably not to simple copyright infringement either. To AP's offer to set up guidelines for bloggers, the Idea Lab author writes:

"While AP is entitled to issue a set of guidelines for the use of its articles, these guidelines are not legally enforceable and they cannot narrow the scope of what is permissible under the fair use doctrine. The blogging community needs to be careful not to allow these guidelines to become a de facto set of norms that constrain the permissible uses of news content."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bloggers: Is AP wrong on copyright issue?

Quick post -- more to come.

It's about the imbroglio between Associated Press and bloggers, with AP demanding that they not selectively quote from an AP story, then link to the site where it's actually published.

I'm not surprised Associated Press calls the issue "Hot News Misappropriation," because it would be next to impossible to claim "harm" from copyright infringement by someone quoting selectively and linking to already-published articles.

But while it's a stronger claim, "Hot News Misappropriation" (A useful summary of cases here) could be very difficult to prove in the case of selective quoting and linking. This concept applies most strongly "before" news hits the public realm, or at least simultaneously with publication. That's when the news has the most value, because stealing it at that point CAN cause harm. Imagine stealing a reporter's story and printing it before it hits the press. Or linking to it in the seconds and minutes (not hours) after the story is distributed by AP. That's Hot News Misappropriation, as has already been defined in the courts.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. But I have managed intellectual corporate properties for years, hiring some of the best intellectual property lawyers to handle the actual legal work.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well, duh

And here we are, five years later and 4,085 dead U.S. service members dead:

"The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and a bipartisan majority of the Committee (10-5), today unveiled the final two sections of its Phase II report on prewar intelligence.

"The Committee’s report cites several conclusions in which the Administration’s public statements were NOT supported by the intelligence. They include:

Ø Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.

Ø Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.

Ø Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.

Ø Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.

Ø The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.

Ø The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed."

The report in pdf format is here.