The Associated Press took on the world's bloggers this week by filing lawsuits against Web sites that post links to official AP articles or those that quote phrases from them. The international news organization makes money by
selling news stories to print and online media, and recent legal action shows that it is not happy that bloggers are using their material without permission, even if it provides links to the official article.
The AP has filed suits against the Drudge Report and VeriSign's Moreover division for their writing, citing that the Web sites illegally quoted or used AP material without permission, though it remains unclear whether more lawsuits will come about.
Reports of the legal actions have angered the Internet community and caused many bloggers to voice their discontent. The fervent backlash against the news organization has persuaded the AP's Jim Kennedy to coordinate a meeting with the head of the Media Bloggers Association Robert Cox.
The goal of the meeting is to come up with an agreement regarding the rights of both parties and to clarify the ethics in linking to and citing AP articles.
Many in the Internet world contend that it is ok to quote and link to news articles, by the Associated Press and otherwise, because the authors do not claim ownership over the ideas expressed.
In the lawsuits the AP claims that such citations violate copyright laws by taking away readership and, consequently, revenue from the news organization.
Although the meeting with Robert Cox should clarify their stance on the controversial topic, the current cease and desist mandates against the Drudge Report and Moreover are still being carried out.