AP Walks a Thin Line with Bloggers
It's over. The AP vs. Blogger debacle has been resolved. Sort of. After having engaged in a "constructive exchange of views this week with a number of interested parties in the blogging community about the relationship between news providers and bloggers" the AP says "resolution of this matter illustrates that the interests of bloggers can be served while still respecting the intellectual property rights of news providers.” In the interim, the Associated Press has noted that they provided information with Rogers Cadenhead, the technology author who runs Drudge Retort, "aimed at enabling Mr. Cadenhead to bring the contributed content on his site into conformance with the policy he earlier set for his contributors. Both parties consider the matter closed." While this smaller incident has been resolved, the bigger conflict between how AP interprets fair use and how thousands of people are sharing news on the web has not. Most everyone agrees that there should be a way for both parties to get along, but about how to go along doing so is the problem. Cadenhead, says that the "AP and other media organizations should focus on how to encourage bloggers to link their stories in the manner they like, rather than hoping their lawyers can rebottle the genie of social news." So will the AP continue to draft a set of rules? And if so, will bloggers take it seriously? At the meeting last week, Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association, the organization that mediated the infamous gathering, noted that,
if AP was reasonable in their guidance, [Cadenhead] would be willing to consider minor changes that while not perfectly satisfactory to both sides were close enough that both sides could stand down while the posts themselves went back up.
Compromise, while not always ideal, may be the only way out for now. That is, until the AP concedes and admits that it doesn't fully understand the implications of blogging in the world of online news.