AP Wants to Impose Guidelines for Bloggers — Dismissive Chuckling Ensues

The NY Times reports:

The A.P.’s effort to impose some guidelines on the free-wheeling blogosphere, where extensive quoting and even copying of entire news articles is common, may offer a prominent definition of the important but vague doctrine of “fair use,” which holds that copyright owners cannot ban others from using small bits of their works under some circumstances. For example, a book reviewer is allowed to quote passages from the work without permission from the publisher.

Fair use has become an essential concept to many bloggers, who often quote portions of articles before discussing them. The A.P., a cooperative owned by 1,500 daily newspapers, including The New York Times, provides written articles and broadcast material to thousands of news organizations and Web sites that pay to use them.

This embodies the conundrum of the internet since its advent: How do you allow fair use but stay profitable? And the AP is about to try and answer the question,”What if you ask nice and they still don’t listen?” Because suing bloggers reads like kicking puppies. Not good for PR, AP.