The Associated Press content charging machine is up and running.

To excerpt the words “financial terms were not disclosed” from an article about about Amazon buying Woot, the AP wants me (or any blogger) to pay US$17.50.

To me, this raises quite a few legal questions:

  • Does that mean that I need to pay for this reference? (Disclosure: I did not pay US$17.50 to AP)
  • What about “fair use”?
  • Does one news organization now need to pay another for making reference to their scoop?
  • Will AP charge for me making a link to their article? (If they do not charge for a link, how can I make reference to the article in a way that does not make me liable for being charged?)

They have made the charging aspect highly efficient, but raises many questions. (Perhaps it is clear to greater minds than me – please enlighten me!)

UPDATE: Hilariously, W00t has sent a bill to the AP for the quotes taken from the W00t blog.

(h/t to Danny Sullivan)

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  1. I thought commonly used words and phrases could not be copyrighted. “Financial terms were not disclosed” can be found in many, many documents. Actually, AP must have lifted it themselves.

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