Woot Sends AP $17.50 Bill for ‘Liberating’ Blog Content

July 7, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The Associated Press’ view on the use of its content by bloggers, based on the recognized doctrine of fair use under the United States copyright law, is that the doctrine doesn’t exist. The AP even charges for the privilege of quoting from its news sources. From five to 50 words, the standard fee is $17.50. Well, turnabout is fair play. And when the website Woot discovered that AP borrowed 17 words from a post written by CEO Matt Rutledge, the “One Day, One Deal” site promptly sent AP a bill.

Woot however, was not completely cold hearted. The site gave AP an alternative to paying up, by purchasing the Woot daily deal of a set of Sennheiser headphones:

“The AP, we can’t thank you enough for looking our way. You see, when we showed off our good news on Wednesday afternoon, we expected we’d get a little bit of attention. But when we found your little newsy thing you do, we couldn’t help but notice something important. And that something is this: you printed our web content in your article! The web content that came from our blog! Why, isn’t that the very thing you’ve previously told nu-media bloggers they’re not supposed to do?”

“So, The AP, here we are. Just to be fair about this, we’ve used your very own pricing scheme to calculate how much you owe us. By looking through the link above, and comparing your post with our original letter, we’ve figured you owe us roughly $17.50 for the content you borrowed from our blog post, which, by the way, we worked very very hard to create. But, hey. We’re all friends here. And invoicing is such a hassle in today’s paperless society, are we right? How about this: instead of cutting us a check for the web content you liberated from our site, all you’ll need to do is show us your email receipt from today’s two pack of Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones, and we’ll call it even.”

The new vs. old media battle continues.


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