Following wide use of its content on bloggers' web sites, Associated Press (A.P.) hopes to set guidelines that would clarify the extend to which its articles can be used.
In the US, the fair use doctrine allows for reproduction of articles for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research purposes. However, the reproduction must remain limited.
The New York Times (NYT) reveals that AP sent a letter to the Drudge Retort , a social news site which compiles articles from other media asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles.
Although the targetting of bloggers is new, recent court decisions have shown the judiciary's willingness to limit the possiblity to reproduce journalistic content. In 2007 a Belgium tribunal condemned Google News for linking to articles and including short extract of press articles on its web site and on its cache.
Shall blogs be treated differently?
Jim Kennedy, Vice president and strategy director of A.P. said to the NYT that he believed "it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones".