AP Goes After Bloggers Under DMCA

The AP is trying to eliminate the fair use rights of bloggers using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Rogers Cadenhead, founder and publisher of The Drudge Retort, has been Cease and Desisted by AP News for publishing fragments of their syndicated news articles and reports.

Yes, fragments, not the whole articles. Go to Rogers' site to read the reasons given by AP.

Adding a quote to a blog post is very much like the sampling of a hook or a beat on a song. It's why so many people were opposed to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. It's not only that albums like Beck's Odelay or Public Enemy's Fear Of A Black Planet would never had happened. Documentaries, archival works, opinion or scholarly writing would be all but non-existent if it means that now journalists, bloggers, historians and scholars would need to pay publishing houses for every single quote and/or sample they need for their work.

That's why I blame Hilary Rosen, the woman who became the face of the RIAA and the lobbyists who successfully paid Congress to pass the DMCA. Granted, I applauded her for her recent "I am not a bargaining chip" post, in re: the other Hillary (La Clinton), but it doesn't mean La Rosen gets a free pass.

The DMCA's main purpose is to circumvent due process by saying that trade laws trump civil rights law. So a corporation's right to make money from their "product" however way they want trumps the rights of individual citizens who would want to express themselves freely about said product through comment, parody, sample or quoting.

The DMCA throws the onus of proving Fair Use on the individual "speaking" the copyrighted materials and not on the owner of the copyright. It was an unprecedented move and one that many consider anti-constitutional since it basically allows for individuals to be considered guilty of copyright infringement until they prove themselves only in a court of law to be innocent.

Rogers gives us the perfect example of how the "corporate bottom-line trumps free speech" shenanigans is rationalized by AP using the DMCA:
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