AP sends anti-Drudge blogger a DMCA takedown notice

On June 10, the Associated Press sent Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown orders to Rogers Cadenhead's site The Drudge Retort for seven different articles the news service claims violated copyright.

Drudge Retort is painted as a liberal alternative to the Drudge Report and receives editorial content from about 25 writers. The Associated Press found six instances of bloggers recycling AP copyrighted material, and one instance of a commenter doing the same.

The disputed content ranges from selections 32 to 79 words in length taken from Associated Press stories published by Yahoo News, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and the Houston Chronicle. The disputed user comment contains 83 words from, as well as a link to, an AP story published by Fox News.

The Associated Press' Intellectual Property Governance Coordinator Irene Keselmen sent a missive to Cadenhead containing the passage: "I have a good faith belief that the page or material listed below is not authorized by law for use by the individual(s) associated with the identified page listed below or their agents and therefore infringes the copyright owner's rights. I HEREBY DEMAND THAT YOU ACT EXPEDITIOUSLY TO REMOVE OR DISABLE ACCESS TO THE PAGE OR MATERIAL CLAIMED TO BE INFRINGING."

In Cadenhead's Workbench blog, he details the content which the Associated Press found objectionable:

1. The last two paragraphs of the user's comment contain 83 words from the AP story published by Fox News that's linked in the comment.
2. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by USA Today using 79 words from the story and a user-written headline.
3. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by Yahoo News using 18 words from the story, a 32-word quote by Hillary Clinton from the story and a user-written headline.
4. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by Yahoo News using 49 words from the story and a user-written headline.
5. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by Chicago Tribune using 51 words from the story and the AP headline.
6. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by USA Today using 53 words from the story, a 47-word quote by President Bush from the story, 10 words describing that quote, and a user-written headline.
7. The user's blog entry links to an AP story published by the Houston Chronicle using 33 words from the story and a user-written headline.

Similar lawsuits have been filed by the AP two other times in the recent past. The first was against Verisign subsidiary Moreover Technologies for reproducing and aggregating copyrighted AP content, and another was against All Headline News Corp. in January, when it accused the Florida-based news service of copying AP stories from sites that legitimately carry them and redistributing them as a service of its own.

Cadenhead says he had only linked to AP stories with brief synopses of content for purposes of discussion, similar to an abstract. The Associated Press feels that the unlicensed use of a headline and story lede is both a copyright infringement and a "hot news" misappropriation.

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