AP drafting guidelines for bloggers

The Associated Press is trying “to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright,” reports the New York Times.

Fair Use of articles, and how much can be quoted, is a hot topic in the blogosphere, and on this site too. The Times story notes that the AP has adopted a strict position against quotation of its work, and it recently wrote to the Drudge Retort “asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.”

Are the above quotations “Fair Use”?

I’m on both sides of this issue. I frequently see my own stories  posted entirely  — sometimes even with my own byline — on blogs that don’t pay for them. That’s theft, in my book, and under the law. But when small parts of my stories are excerpted and a link to my work is provided, I figure both the blogger and I benefit. And in my role editing for J-Source, I know that excerpting and linking is a vital part of the vast Internet community and fuel for our global conversation.