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Fair Use Applies to us all, not just reporters

The AP really doesn't get it. I point you to Making Light:

The Associated Press ... has now published a web form through which intimidated parties can give the AP money in return for “permission” to publish as few as five words.

In this spirit, I will shortly be putting up my own Web form through which people can PayPal me money in exchange for my promise to not blow up the moon.

At least the RIAA dirtbags pretend that they're protecting copyright on behalf of the artists. (They're not, but that's a discussion for another day.) How much of those "permission" payments will end up in the hands of the AP member who wrote the article in the first place?

This is just another greedy money grab by the established fat-cats who see that their industry is dying and think that they can sue there way back to the 1950's when we had lots of trees to cut down so paper was cheap and people actually cared what the traditional press had to say.

But let's talk about the hypocrisy at work here. The press is happy to cry "fair use" when they're stealing beer can logos and clippings from private speeches in order to cover the news-- (in the sense that you _honestly_ consider everything that's not in the two main news sections of any given paper news).

This gets at the thing fundamentally wrong with the traditional press, and one of the main reasons I left it. The press seems to have forgotten that they aren't special. The tools of a good reporter are the same tools available to any member of the public. Reporters don't have any special rights or magic (beyond certain shield laws, which, believe me, have never been exercised on my behalf).