Associated Press responds to DMCA-related backlash

Last week's well-publicized Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices from the Associated Press to social news site The Drudge Retort caused an uproar. Now the AP is calling its own actions "heavy handed."

Associated Press licensee The New York Times reported that Jim Kennedy, Vice President and strategy director of the AP, emerged from a Saturday meeting of its executives with a decidedly more placatory tone.

"We have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this," Kennedy said in an interview, "We are not trying to sue bloggers; that would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do."

Meetings with representatives from the Media Bloggers Association as well as others will reportedly be taking place this week so a set of guidelines can be laid down to detail what constitutes "fair use" in the blogosphere.

Currently, however, the content which the AP demanded the Drudge Retort remove remains missing. Despite the portent of a "friendlier" attitude toward bloggers by the Associated Press, some of the most prominent bloggers have turned against the media group.

In a blog entry titled "Here's our New Policy on A.P. stories: They're Banned," TechCrunch's Michael Arrington says the AP is in "damage control mode," and that a new set of rules will not prevent legal drama, but actually encourage it.

"...even though they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it's clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don't exist today and that they are not legally entitled to," Arrington wrote this morning. "And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model - paid content."

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