You know it was too good for us to just leave well enough alone. After all, who doesn't like a good fight? So that's why we're following the AP vs Bloggers story closely.
Recent reports suggest that the Associated Press has scheduled a meeting for this morning with the Media Bloggers Association. In hopes of discussing appropriate guidelines for quoting AP stories, the phrase "fair use" is bound to make a few appearances, as well as lots of analytics, indicating, perhaps, the large amounts of traffic that the AP gets from humble little blogs.
Preliminary talks will be between Jim Kennedy, director of strategic planning at the AP and Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association with the premier objective of finding a way for bloggers to quote from AP content "without devaluing licensed material".
At the heart of this debate is the role of the blog in our online social media world. Sure, we the gentle blog reader understand how valuable and relevant its content can be. Yet, to the traditional media publishing industry, it's clear how blogs are perceived: annoying, little insects buzzing around the webosphere whose opinions and insights are no more significant than those huddled around the water cooler.
But as we've pointed out time and again, blogs, no matter what they will prove to be years from now, are relevant because they are a part of the new landscape of online news and media. We're here, get used to it.
The AP is simply swatting at flies; trying to flex their legal muscle in an effort to eliminate what they don't understand and don't appreciate. No one understands protecting content more than bloggers and codes of conduct are evolving, so it's almost as if the AP failed to do their research. Bloggers aren't the ones that are hurting traditional media; it seems as if traditional media is doing it all by themselves.