AP sues Moreover, but bloggers scramble the story

The Associated Press has sued Moreover Technologies, an early news aggregator. Moreover, owned by VeriSign, provides news coverage from a wide variety of sources to subscribers that it finds on websites, including AP wire stories. AP's complaint is that Moreover is "scraping," or copying, the full text of wire stories and sending them to subscribers without paying for them. AP's lawyers argue that this is far outside the realm of fair use. After Moreover ignored a cease-and-desist letter, AP decided to sue. An interesting case, to be sure, but one that's widely misunderstood by quick-on-the-draw bloggers.

Important to note here, but resoundingly ignored, is that this isn't a lawsuit about headlines or thumbnails or linking, as the Google News/Perfect 10/Belgian newspaper lawsuits were. Moreover is accused of commercially using full-length AP stories without any sort of payment.

Kristen Nicole at Mashable has a post typical of this kind of misreading. She titles her story "AP Sues Viacom for Linking. Hello... It's the Internet!" Moreover is owned by VeriSign, not Viacom. She then goes on to talk about how this has already been settled by the courts and that "linking" is fair use and perfectly acceptable. Yes, Kristen, linking is fair use, but that's not what this lawsuit is about.

(Disclosure: Nick Denton, owner of Valleywag's publisher, Gawker Media, was a cofounder of Moreover.)