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AP, Blogs, and the Market Economy

My SamSphere sister blog Ft. Hard Knox has a great post knocking the Associated Press for its “crack-down” on bloggers. The nonsense began on June 10 when AP filed seven “take-down” requests against the Drudge Retort for linking to its stories and quoting as little as 33 words. AP demands that bloggers quote no more than five words from its stories or pay a whopping $12.50/word for usage.

AP’s position is, of course, absurd. Short, attributed quotes, with links, send readers its way and the way of the newspapers that buy its stories.

But AP has the right to control the use of its intellectual property, no matter how moronic its exercise of that right may be. And this blog will respect AP’s intellectual property right.

Respect for the right to property is vital to the market and its power to foster prosperity. But another element that helps the market increase prosperity is freedom of expression. Public criticism of good or service providers, like AP, that make stupid decisions causes consumers to lose confidence in them and forces these providers to mend their ways if they don’t want to lose business. Responding to well-justified criticism, AP is “negotiating” its excerpt policy with bloggers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they back down, soon.

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