That is the question that will hopefully be answered when the Associated Press publishes their revised set of Fair Use guidelines after sending the Drudge Retort a letter requesting that seven items be pulled off the site according to the NYTimes. The seven items in question were between 39 to 79 words. Seems like a reasonable length to me for a quotation but the A.P. disagreed. The letter sparked an outrage by a number of bloggers forcing the A.P. to temporarily retreat their stance on bloggers violating their Fair Use policy.
Mr. Kennedy of the Associated Press believes
that it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones.
The good news is, the A.P. is not stupid as Mr Kennedy points out
We are not trying to sue bloggers,” “That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do.
The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.
What is your stance on this issue of quotation and Fair Use? It would be interesting to see the A.P. actually go after a blogger for using a quotation which was under 100 words and claim that they violated the concept of Fair Use. The results of the case would create a better understanding of what can be construed as Fair Use giving the rest of us bloggers a metric to gauge upon.