As reported previously, the Associated Press is attempting to define "guidelines" to allow bloggers to quote its content, even though substantial quoting is already allowed under federal copyright law. The wire service will arrive at these guidelines after meeting with the Media Bloggers Association. And who are they? It's hard to say, even after reading the group's site and searching for more information elsewhere on the Web.
The association obtained credentials for some bloggers to attend the Scooter Libby trial. Founder Robert Cox claims the group "makes available" pro-bono legal services. There is some sort of partnership with Newsweek. Rabble-rousing blogger Jeff Jarvis is a member. But the association is a self-appointed representative of a hugely diverse group, and its legitimacy appears entirely self-assigned. Gawker Media, for one, is not aligned with the association, I am reliably informed.
The AP's decision to emphasize its meetings with this lone, opaque organization only makes its copyright crusade seem all the more surreal.