Woot Asks AP To Pay Up For Quoting Woot Blog Post Without Paying [Updated]
from the a bottle of awesomesauce please dept
There are so many reasons to love Woot, including their recent awesome letter and video about their acquisition. But, even better may be that in today’s Woot offering, they mock the Associated Press for its coverage of the Woot acquisition, because the AP just happens to have also copied text from the awesome Woot letter. Now, that’s all well and good for most publications, but this is the AP that we’re talking about. The same AP that threatens bloggers for copying headlines and snippets. The same AP that insists it needs “hot news” to protect others from “free riding” on its work. And, most importantly, the same AP that has a famously ridiculous pricelist for quoting five words or more from an AP article.
It appears the folks over at Woot noticed this price list, and noticed that the AP report on its acquisition copied more than five words. And thus, the smart folks at Woot calculated that the AP owes Woot $17.50 for quoting Woot without permission (though, they’ll take buying today’s deal as payment instead). Of course, I would have probably added a “hot news” freerider surcharge as well. After all, people reading the AP story now no longer had any reason to go to Woot directly to find out the news. Hell, at least folks like us linked directly to Woot’s letter. But that’s far too neighborly a thing for the AP to do. Instead, it just quotes with no link at all.
Update: An apparently upset AP media relations person has contacted us to ask us if it’s a “slow news day” (answer: no, not at all — why do you ask?). Also, according to the AP, the article also shows that the AP spoke to Woot’s CEO on the phone, and that, apparently, makes what the AP did okay. If only I had known that the AP’s fair use quoting rates had an exception for “we spoke to you on the phone.” Unfortunately, I don’t see those exceptions anywhere. Perhaps I’m missing them. The AP would also like to remind us that it’s reporting on the oil spill in the gulf. No, I don’t understand this non sequitur either, but that’s how the email concludes. In the meantime, I’m still wondering if the AP paid Woot for the news of reporting on them. If not, isn’t the AP “freeloading” on the newsmaker? Or do the rules the AP sets out for everyone else not apply to the AP?