Steal from the Associated Press

While working on a client project today I came across a blog post that disturbed me quite a bit.

It all revolves around this post by the blog Africa is a Country. That’s not the post that is disturbing to me, though I suppose for many people it might be a bit disturbing considering its subject matter. Aside from the general reporting on how one soccer player sees himself, and his race, it lists out a bunch of different terms that apparently Brazilians use to describe themselves, depending on what shade their skin is.

All well and good, and something I never would have given much additional thought to…if it weren’t for the next post on that site that I read.

Thank You, Associated Press is the title of that post. The authors of that blog are claiming that the AP stole their “list of Brazilian skin colors” and posted it to their site. Hmmm…curious.

Remember when the AP sued Shepard Fairey over his use of one of their photos when creating the Obama Hope campaign posters? While details of how much they got from the artist weren’t revealed, they’ve made it clear there, and in there literature on their website, that they do indeed believe in copyright and intellectual property. Meltwater was another instance of the AP suing over content it owned, though admittedly a bit more cut and dry. Meltwater took AP content and sold or distributed it without going through the proper channels or obtaining the licenses.

So how is that any different than what the AP has just done? How is it that an organization like the Associated Press could ever allow one of their writers to just go out and steal some content and post it to the web?

And how unlikely is it that this little blog, Africa is a Country, would have the desire or resources to in turn sue a massive organization like the AP?

In the long run, it just leads to another tragic example of how the world spins: big guys get flustered when smaller fish try and piggyback on their success to make a niche for themselves on this planet, but when the big guys turn around and fry up those same small fish for their own purposes, there’s not much that can be done. Sharks eat guppies when they’re hungry, and guppies starve when sharks run the seas.

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