The Associated Press has become so deranged, so disconnected from reality, that it will sell you a “license” to quote words it didn’t write and doesn’t own. Here, check it out:
I paid $12 for this “license.” Those words don’t even come from the article they charged me 46 cents a word to quote from (and that’s with the educational discount). No, they’re from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Isaac McPherson, in which Jefferson argues that copyright has no basis in natural law.
I require no license to quote Jefferson. The AP has no right to stop me, no right to demand money from me. All their application does is count words to calculate a fee. It doesn’t even check that the words come from the story being “quoted.”
Is it any wonder the AP also tries to deceive bloggers into thinking it’s not fair use to quote five words? Their abuse of the public domain is just the reductio ad absurdum of their abuse of fair use. The whole thing is a vile species of copyfraud.
Update: License revoked.