Fight between Associated Press and Drudge Retort fizzles


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The confrontation between the Associated Press and Drudge Retort blogger Rogers Cadenhead has ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

Both sides say they’ve settled their specific differences over the handful of Drudge Retort posts that were the subject of the Associated Press’ legal takedown notice last week but have left unresolved the broader issue of when and on what basis the Associated Press will take legal action against bloggers who excerpt the news service’s articles. The Drudge Retort, a takeoff on the Drudge Report, has about 8,500 users who post comments in reaction to news events, Cadenhead said.


The Associated Press continues to assert that the reproduction of the headline and first sentence of one of its stories is a copyright violation, said Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Assn., who stepped into the dispute at Cadenhead’s request.

After flurries of phone calls and e-mails Thursday among Cadenhead, the AP, the bloggers association and their lawyers, what emerged were blog posts from Cadenhead and Cox, plus this vague statement from the AP:

In response to questions about the use of Associated Press content on the Drudge Retort website, the AP was able to provide additional information to the operator of the site, Rogers Cadenhead, on Thursday. That information was aimed at enabling Mr. Cadenhead to bring the contributed content on his site into conformance with the policy he earlier set for his contributors. Both parties consider the matter closed.

In addition, the AP has had a constructive exchange of views this week with a number of interested parties in the blogging community about the relationship between news providers and bloggers and that dialogue will continue. The resolution of this matter illustrates that the interests of bloggers can be served while still respecting the intellectual property rights of news providers.’

But we suspect that this feud between the AP and bloggers isn’t going to die down quickly. The blogosphere can have a long memory.

-- Thomas S. Mulligan

Mulligan, a Times staff writer, covers media from New York.