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AP’s Definition of ‘Fair Use’

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Bob Owens got an interesting statement from the Associated (with terrorists) Press on their view of what constitutes “fair use” of their photographs: Confederate Yankee: A View of ‘Fair Use’.

I’ll reproduce it here so it gets wider distribution:

AP licenses its works (photos, news stories, video and so on) to newspapers, Web sites and broadcasters for the purpose of showing news events and to illustrate news stories or commentary on the news events.

If the entirety of the work is used (such as when a whole photo is reproduced), that is considered a substantial “taking” under fair use law. If there are many photos used, that is a substantial taking of AP’s photo library.

In the case of criticism, the commentary or criticism has to be about the protected work, not commentary or criticism in general – not using, as in the case of snappedshot.com, protected photos to illustrate something on which the blogger was commenting. One cannot post a copyrighted photo of President Bush to illustrate commentary criticizing the policies of his administration, for example.

Fair use does not give others the right to use AP content without paying for it, especially when the costs — and risks — of gathering news around the world continue to rise. As a result, the AP has been increasingly vigilant in protecting its intellectual property.

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