On further reflection about Associated Press' Take Down Order against some bloggers for excerpting and linking, I question whether Associated Press actually has much say in the matter. These are the reasons:
(1) Much of the material Associated Press runs is taken from its member newspapers and publications. As soon as the member generates material, "Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created," according to the Copyright Office Thus, with material picked up from members, the original copyright rests with them, not Associated Press.
(2) Associated Press would be able to acquire the original copyright from the member source, but it takes written documentation and registration with the copyright office. It's unlikely, however, that the Washington Post is going to transfer all of its rights in full.
(3) Associated Press would be able to "share" the copyright under transfer rules, but it must have an agreement with the original author to do so. Just asking to use and redistribute the material shouldn't be sufficient.
**(My broadcast organization is a "subscriber member" of the Associated Press. Here is the total sum of all our membership agreement has to say about AP's right to use my material:
**"Subscriber shall, without cost to (AP), promptly make available to (AP) .... all information original to the Subscribe in all forms gathered by Subscriber that is spontaneous in its origin, for use in news report(s) of AP and its subsidiaries."
**That's it. No request to "share" copyright.
Associated Press may place the copyright notice on material I and other subscriber members turn over under our agreement, but it is meaningless. We've simply granted them a license to use it, not to share in the copyright.
I may place a copyright notice on any material I get from an associate and I may do it forever. But it has no meaning. Thus, the Associated Press notice on material picked up from the Washington Post similarly has no meaning.
The Copyright Office has no means or authority or desire to enforce the notion of copyrighted material. It is the concern of the original author who may, or may not, call on a trespasser to cease and desist.
My conclusion: Member subscribers of Associated Press have not taken steps to tell their press association to stop "pretending" to have the copyright authority over material they supply AP. But that's OK. They still own the copyright anyway. It cannot be taken away. By the same token, AP has oversteped in claiming rights they do not have.
All of this tempest about bloggers has been nothing more than "selective harrassment."
Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of the AP, be ashamed.