The Associated Press descends into madness and takes the first few, loping steps toward irrelevance:
I paid $12 for this “license.” Those words don’t even come from the article they charged me 46 cents a word to quote from (and that’s with the educational discount). No, they’re from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Isaac McPherson, in which Jefferson argues that copyright has no basis in natural law.
I require no license to quote Jefferson. The AP has no right to stop me, no right to demand money from me. All their application does is count words to calculate a fee. It doesn’t even check that the words come from the story being “quoted.”
That’s James Grimmelmann. Unbelievable. Can the AP really believe this will work? I see traffic tailing off rather fiercely for them in the near future. If others pile on what can we expect? A largely irrelevant MSM online presence? Will we be allowed to even link to their stories? Will we even want to? Bloggers should start a link-boycott of the Associated Press and any other news outlet that tries to charge $12.50 to quote five measly words. Or fifty. If they don’t want our ilk quoting or linking to them then that’s what they’ll get.
Writes Cory Doctorow:
Welcome to a world in which you won’t be able to effectively criticize the press, because you’ll be required to pay to quote as few as five words from what they publish.
Oy vey. I say either a link-boycott or a cap on quotations from the AP at 4 words. That would be funny, actually, if bloggers started only quoting 4 words at a time from any AP articles….