[free-sklyarov] [declan@well.com: FC: More on AP not wanting one sentence quoted from articles]

Jon O . jono at microshaft.org
Thu Aug 16 12:23:18 PDT 2001

More on the AP.

Interesting quote:
What AP is doing is leveraging the "take down" provisions of 17 USC 512 to chill
public speech.

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Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 14:51:51 -0400
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From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
Subject: FC: More on AP not wanting one sentence quoted from articles
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Previous Politech message:


Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 10:32:13 -0500
From: "Malla Pollack" <L10MXP1 at wpo.cso.niu.edu>
To: <declan at well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: AP reportedly doesn't like quoting one sentence from

    I am a pro-public domain intellectual property specialist.  What AP
is doing is leveraging the "take down" provisions of 17 USC 512 to chill
public speech.  This is the outcome many academic commentators dreaded
when the section was enacted.  See, e.g. Malla Pollack, The Right to
Know?, 17 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 47 (1999).  To limit this hazard, we
need to make a clear record of exactly what AP (and other copyholders)
are alleging to be copyright violations.  I would appreciate affected
parties sending me such details for compilation. Unfortunately, I do not
have the resources to litigate these fights. I would suggest as
possibilities the ACLU or Prof. Pam Samuelson at Univ. of Cal.,
Berkeley, School of Law.  Public ridicule has sometimes worked as
Politech readers should know.

Malla Pollack
Northern Illinois Univ., College of Law
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
815-753-1160; (fax) 815-753-9499
mallapollack at niu.edu


Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 11:22:48 -0400
From: "Paul Levy" <PLEVY at citizen.org>
To: <politech at politechbot.com>, <declan at well.com>
Cc: <holovacs at 1st.net>, <copyright at ap.org>, <info at ap.org>
Subject: Re: FC: AP reportedly doesn't like quoting one sentence from articles

I respectfully disagree with a few of the assumptions made here:

Paul Alan Levy
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-1000

 >>> Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com> 08/16/01 10:48AM >>>

 > >How much publicly available description of these restrictions do you
 > >have here? Especially do you have a quote of the way that AP worded their
 > >demands?

 >I don't have access to any of that information. Even if I did, I
 >doubt I would be allowed to tell people - this is lawyer stuff, and
 >so it's all probably confidential.

It is up to About to decide what it wants to go public with, but there is 
no legal requirement that a person receives an outrageous demand letter, 
that the sending party ought to be embarrassed about, to keep the letter 

 >But it is unlikely that About would have told us to remove the AP
 >stuff from our sites (and, when it was brought up, say that we need
 >to be careful about what appears on the forums) if they didn't think
 >that AP had a case. Demanding this of the Guides creates both more
 >short-term work and more long-term work. It's annoying for everyone
 >and doesn't serve any good end otherwise.

"had a case":  well, could AP file the lawsuit without facing Rule 11 
sanctions for frivolous litigation?  And so, could their lawyers pursue the 
matter against About, recognizing that AP has a much deeper pocket?  yes, 
But would AP win in the end?  I should hope not.  Of course, as this 
comntinues, this is a fact-intensive analysis, and maybe About wants to 
avoid facing this kind of litigation (or this kind of lawyer read whenever 
a quote is used) and finds it easier to tell its Guides not to do it at all.

A campaign to humiliate AP is the best tactic.  Let's get that demand 
letter public!


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