The AP Now Charging to Quote Thomas Jefferson


The Associated Press seems to think they can ride out the storm of outrage they’ve unleashed with their announced intent to sue anyone who quotes even a few words from one of their articles without a paid license to do so. I think they’re wrong, and here we find out that their grip on reality is slipping even more than it already has. James Grimmelman — a blogger whose blog, The Laboratorium, focuses on the intersection between culture and technology — has been given to understand by the gremlins at AP that the terms of the license he purchased to quote from AP articles extend to material not even written by anyone at the AP — like a quotation from Thomas Jefferson:

The Associated Press has become so deranged, so disconnected from reality, that it will sell you a “license” to quote words it didn’t write and doesn’t own. Here, check it out:

AP License

I paid $12 for this “license.” Those words don’t even come from the article they charged me 46 cents a word to quote from (and that’s with the educational discount). No, they’re from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Isaac McPherson, in which Jefferson argues that copyright has no basis in natural law.

E.D. Kain and Mark Thompson at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen have further thoughts.

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