Hey, AP, Sue This!

Well, the Associated Press has decided to bite the hand it feeds. It has declared that, in contravention of lengthy legal rulings on copyright, it can charge bloggers who excerpt as few as five words from its news stories. And if they don’t pay up, they can sue them.

This is beyond stupid. The excerpts are almost always accompanied by links to the original article — which almost always have AP-benefiting advertisements on the page.

But there’s no law against being stupid and self-destructive, so the AP has the right to try to push this policy.

And I have the right to make sport of it in my own inimitable way.

I’m going to pick ten AP stories at random, and excerpt exactly five words from each. Further, I’m not going to link to the original story. And I might not even excerpt the words in order.

Also, just for fun, I’m going to make one up entirely.

If they want to sue me over this, Kevin can cheerfully give them my name, address, and phone number.

  1. “were… over… that… in… off.”
  2. “the… what… to… an… in”
  3. “in… in… in… in… in” (order deliberately rearranged to obscure source)
  4. “with… with… with… with… with” (again, order deliberately rearranged to obscure source)
  5. “while… as… about… just… ticked”
  6. “extension… long… strip… research… sustain” (this one is almost obscene. It reads like certain spams I get.)
  7. “promising… e-mailed… prize… millions… donations” (another story that sounds suspiciously like some spams we all get.)
  8. “foot… pursue… hit… car… misdemeanor”
  9. “searching… around… a… few… companies”
  10. “top… cop… stop… chop… shop”
  11. “range… soaring… high… far… increasing”

Readers are invited to guess which is not a genuine excerpt from an AP story in the comments. Hell, I might even scrape up a prize to the first one to get it right.

Contributors to Wizbang and their immediate families are not eligible. (You’ve already been offered one of the prize items, and most of you refused it. Bill, yours will be on its way in a day or so, promise.) And, for that matter, employees of the AP and their immediate families are not eligible, either, just because you work for an asshole organization.

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