AMPLIFICATION: Woot based request on incorrect AP policy

By Steve Safran 

AMPLIFICATION: In an email to Lost Remote, AP Director of Communications Paul Colford writes: “Steve, Don’t recycle everything you read. $17.50 to AP for quotes? Root of this non-“story” is 2 yrs old, as AP noted again in 2009.”

Mr. Colford is correct; I should have checked the information with him before publishing it. While Woot is clearly running their article tongue-in-cheek, it nevertheless gives the impression that the AP charges bloggers to use partial quotes. This is not AP policy. We apologize.

In a somewhat modest proposal (and somewhat not), the website Woot is asking the AP to pay it $17.50.

Why? Woot says the AP took copy from its announcement it was acquired by Amazon last week. You may recall the AP considers this a no-no when bloggers do it from AP copy. Judge for yourself: Here is the Woot release from 6/30, and then check out the AP story that followed.

Using its typical wit, the site has calculated that the AP owes it $17.50 for using its copy – and bases that on the AP’s own formula. Woot is making a generous offer to the AP, however — if the AP takes advantage of Woot’s deal today (Sennheiser headphones) and buys two pair ($13.98). Woot will call it even. Adds Woot: “We think you’ll like how [the headphones] help you shut out the irritating sounds around you (such as, maybe, people yelling about the actual meaning of “fair use”)”

AND IT KEEPS GOING: In the comments, LR Pal and Blogger Emeritus Terry Heaton writes “I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Colford that the article gives the impression the AP charges bloggers for quotes. That’s a very defensive and knee-jerk response to a subject the “cooperative” would rather see not discussed. What the AP’s automated system does is put any writer on notice that lifting content from copyrighted stories may not be permitted under law.”

Danny Sullivan writes: “The AP has had over a year to add any such clarification as needed. It hasn’t. If it fixed that automated form, perhaps it wouldn’t make itself continually a target for those who want to poke fun at it, in the way that Woot did.”

(I’m always amazed at which stories generate discussion and which don’t…)