The venerable -- not to say "fusty" -- AP won a recent court victory over Fair Use that appears to preclude anyone ever, ever quoting the "lede" (opening words) of a news story; or maybe only if they don't provide a click-through to the original and/or as a part of parody use -- who can say? Only the courts, at this point, and you can just bet AP will be trying to cast as wide a net as possible; their hostility to new media is such that most bloggers began avoiding AP news stories back in 2008. And they have other issues for some us, too.
But for AP, The Courts and The .Gov have been Their Friend. Administrative Control Bias? They haz it!
The trouble with being a pilot fish is, every once in awhile, the shark eats you. The Justice Department, in not-all-that-hot pursuit of a leak a year ago about a planned "underwear bomb" aboard a U.S. airliner (in a plot that was itself yet another counter-terrorism puzzle knot, considering the "bomber" was employed by a foreign intel service working undercover against the bomb-planners and the device was fated to fizzle [still with me?]), has grabbed AP's phone records. All of 'em, a month each way from the undie-bomber coverage, including some covering personal phones of AP employees. Predictable outcry is predictable and oh, are they yelping.
One has to wonder if they'll go sobbing to the Electronic Frontier Foundation about it? ACLU? Probably; and never stop to ponder it, either.
Oh, irony, where is thy sting? Over there on the junkheap with the linotype?
3 weeks ago