[Updated] Jay Adelson Sympathizes With The Associated Press; Calacanis Doesn’t

Posted Jun 18, 2008

The talk of the blogging town is that The Associated Press sent a cease and desist to 7 DMCA takedown notices to The Drudge Retort.  However, Jim Kennedy, VP and Strategy Director of The Associated Press rethought their position and felt they acted “heavy-handed.”  The Associated Press will be rethinking their position on bloggers.  The shift in policy happened shortly after the blogosphere reacted negatively to the AP’s stance.

Jay Adelson’s Stance On The A.P.
Not everyone reacted negatively towards the AP.  “While I definitely love the idea of syndication and democratization of information, I tend to sympathize with the A.P.,â? Jay Adelson, CEO of Digg and Chairman of Revision3 told The New York Times. â??It is their decision how their content gets used.â?

â??The way we designed Digg was to protect copyright owners, not abuse them,â? added Adelson. â??Diggâ??s job is to direct you to the source.â?

Sometimes Digg receives requests to take down posts that violate DMCA copyright protection and they conform.  It doesn’t happen often, but it still happens.  Digg users that constantly violate DMCA copyright infringement gets their account banned.  Reddit has never received a DMCA copyright infrigement takedown notice.

Update:  Jay Adelson added this as a comment in response to the article [Thanks Sebastian (comment #1).

A couple of clarifications:

1) We are not supporting A.P.’s position, by any stretch. I mean by my comment that we honor copyright law and ownership, which is why Digg doesn’t host content in the first place, merely directs to it.

2) We enforce copyright infractions when we receive an official and verifiable DMCA takedown notice. Our process is totally transparent â?? when we act on such a notice, we direct the original links to Chilling Effects where the notice can be viewed.

Jason Calacanis’ Stance On The A.P.

Jason Calacanis, founder of Weblogs Inc. and Mahalo on the other hand, has a difference in opinion from Adelson.  Calacani stated:

“Weâ??ve never had a policy for this at Netscape or Mahalo because it is absurd, and we donâ??t waste time making rules for absurd behavior. If youâ??re linking to someone with their headline itâ??s clearly a small fraction of the overall work, used for navigational purposes, doesnâ??t confuse the public, and doesnâ??t impinge on the originators ability to do commerce. If the case passes all those tests with flying colors than youâ??re just abusing the legal system. If you were to take EVERY SINGLE AP news headline and quite 200-300 words automatically I could see them complaining, but weâ??re talking about 20-80 word quotes.”

My Stance On The A.P.
Traditional media outlets have been taking a hit lately since the rise of enterprise blogging.  Everyone is stealing content from everyone else and making it their own.  If you quoted all of my original material and did not link back to my site, I’d obviously be pissed too.

If The Drudge Report did not link directly to the Associated Press or did not even mention that the work belong to the Associated Press, then they acted unfairly and deserved the DMCA takedown notice.

By linking back to the original owner of the material, it is ethical because you are telling the reader that the content on your site does not exclusively belong to you.  And linking to the original owner is beneficial for your traffic ranking and drives more people to your site.  This also leads to higher monetization.  And who in their right mind says no to extra money that someone helps you make?