Something of a disturbance in the force, with AP (Associated Press) putting out DMCA takedown notices against the Drudge Retort (that’s Retort, not Report) and Rogers Cadenhead.

Jarvis makes the point very well that what’s needed is an understanding of how bloggers want to work, and how news organisations need to work.

The trouble with the AP, as Jarvis points out, is that it takes original journalism – and then cuts it loose from the original, local source and reuses it, without any acknowledgement. This, as Jarvis points out, denigrates the hardworking local journalists who come up with the stories in the first place. Sure, all the local papers in the US contribute to and draw from the AP; but they need to understand where their mutual interests lie. These days, it’s in letting people know where the story came from. (Hell, it might have been written by someone like Meranda.)

Note though that Jarvis says

Bloggers should not quote excessively from others’ content and when they quote it should be for a reason — to agree, disagree, comment on, recommend, correct (there can be many reasons). This is fair use and fair comment. There can be no word-count limit because it depends on the use. If I want to fisk a story, I may well quote the whole thing because I am commenting on it all. The test is reasonableness: a fuzzy test, but life is fuzzy.

(Sally Whittle describes it as a one-man fight on copyright theft. Hey, you mean one-person..)

Jarvis adds:

he AP, for its part, should recognize that they and their members now live in a new media ecology constructed of links, one they do not and cannot control any longer. To be good citizens in this new economy, the AP should respect the rights of readers who write and recognize the benefits of receiving links and credit, as the bloggers give it. They should further extend this ethic to their own work. And if there is conflict or questions, their reflex should not be to send their lawyers to write letters. Remember that you are dealing with individuals, not corporations. This was a hostile act and that is why it was met in return with hostility, deservedly so.

Yup, I think we’re all very aware (at least we are at the Gdn) that this is a world of links now. As I keep pointing out to people, we’re happy for the links. We give them back when we print the letters, and we do reprint the letters and blog pingbacks on the Technology blog every week, which means people get the linkjuice from us, just for linking to us. That’s got to be good. Except when they take the whole damn thing. That’s not right. As Sally says,

I don’t agree that the Internet has somehow magically made copyright theft legal. It’s just made it easier.