In the name of "defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt" the Associated Press is now selling "quotation licenses" that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words. The licensing system exhorts you to snitch on people who publish without paying the blood-money, offering up to $1 million in reward money (they also think that "fair use" -- the right to copy without permission -- means "Contact the owner of the work to be sure you are covered under fair use.").
It gets better! If you pay to quote the AP, but you offend the AP in so doing, the AP "reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if Publisher or its agents finds Your use of the licensed Content to be offensive and/or damaging to Publisher's reputation."
a lot of bloggers are announcing a formal boycott of AP stories: they will no longer link to or quote from AP stories, and will instead find alternate news sources to promote. i'm on board with that, but i won't go quite so far.
as a general rule, i won't link to or quote from AP stories—unless the point of the quote is to criticize the AP or its coverage. in other words, i'll no longer be quoting the AP as a news source; i'll quote AP only as an object of derision, at least until they atone for this assault on fair use rights. ¶