Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bloggers Return Fire on the AP

Nothing brings together bloggers of all stripes and political leanings than an attempt by the dreaded mainstream media to curtail our pseudo-journalistic freedom.

The first salvo was fired by the Associated Press when they set up a per word fee schedule for bloggers wishing to excerpt their articles. Now conservative blogger Michelle Malkin has turned the tables. After finding two separate AP articles that quoted a total of 40-odd words each from posts and comments on her blog, she decided to ring up the bill:
According to the AP, it has:
-1,700 U.S. daily, weekly, non-English and college newspapers;

-5,000 radio and television outlets taking AP services; and

- 850 AP Radio News audio affiliates.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that half of all those clients published the AP dispatches quoting this blog’s content without prior usage agreement (which would be 3,775) and let’s apply the exact same fee structure AP wants to impose on the blogosphere ($17.50 for 26-50 words). I calculate that the AP owes me:

$66,062.50 x 2 = $132,125.

(A substantial portion of that sum would go to commenter SalsaNChips, of course. See? Commenting at pays! Well, theoretically.)

Now other popular bloggers are coming forward with examples of the AP quoting text from their blogs and calculating their own bills.

Of course, as Malkin points out, none of them would ever think of actually sending AP their bills - because bloggers WANT people to reference their blogs! Quotes mean links. Links mean hits. Hits mean power and influence and (if you carry ads) money.

'Cause that's how it works out here in the intertubes. Enjoy your stay.

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