Monday Night Links

Still recovering from the DC trip and an unusually difficult run tonight (Fayetteville’s temperature and humidity were through the roof tonight), but here’s the latest from some of my recent blog surfing:

  • The Associated Press took the unusual step of asking the Drudge Retort, a lefty parody of the Drudge Report, to remove quotations taken from several AP stories. The quotations ranged from 39 to 79 words, and it’s not quite clear from the article whether the Drudge parody site attributed the article summaries to the A.P., but if the citation was given, then this seems well within their fair use rights. The blogosphere thrives on commentary and so such a stance would seem to be extraordinarily excessive. No matter what, if this debate moves forward, it’ll be an interesting test of the boundaries for fair use (via Daily Kos).
  • A couple of Twitter friends recommended this New Yorker profile of Keith Olbermann, and it is, in fact, well worth reading. I’ve mentioned several times that Olbermann has been one of my favorite news anchors during the 2008 election coverage, and the New Yorker piece provides a good warts-and-all portrait of how KO’s status at MSNBC has evolved over the last couple of years.
  • This story is a few days old, but this Washington Post article on the role of political satire in the 2008 election is also worth a read. Worth noting: the Post article features a discussion of whether political satire can affect the election, a question that is, of course, pretty difficult to answer. The article also addresses the effect of many people getting their news from “fake” newscasts such as Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” and The Daily Show.
  • I haven’t had time to listen t it yet, but this round table discussion of the future of the FCC, sponsored by the Federalist Society, sounds interesting. Panelists include Michael Powell and Reed Hundt.

Update: Patrick at Making Light has a more thorough analysis of the A.P. attempts to preemptively disable fair use, and it’s somewhat worse than I originally implied. Essentially the A.P. wants you to pay for the quotation of as few as five words (and that includes educational and non-profit uses), which would potentially limit scholarly uses of A.P. stories or pretty much any discussion of an A.P. story, for that matter. Patrick also points out that they also stipulate that you cannot use quotations from A.P. stories to criticize A.P. reporting, even if you’ve paid them, as they explain in their Terms of Use (via Atrios). It was already pretty clear that the A.P. was dead wrong on this issue, but I don’t think I realized how ridiculous their position is on this issue until now.

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