For the record, I do not condone the clicking on page two of the letter that reveals the lawyer's email address and phone number for the purposes of contacting him and telling him what a douchebag waste-of-carbon asshole he is.
Instead, I am sure the more responsible and better-read bloggers out there will likely form a course of action to defend the AP's bullying tactics. Bloggers who have Brian at Snapped Shot's back:
Ace of Spades ...the morons are pissed. And you don't want to piss off the morons...
The Confederate Yankee has actually taken some action:
If the Associated Press has determined that it is in their best interests to sue to keep from being criticized by bloggers, this will be a very unsettling development. I certainly hope that is not the case.
I've just sent an email to Paul Colford of the Associated Press asking for specifics of why Ledbetter's site came to their attention, and hopefully he can shed some light on their motivations as this story develops.
Dan Riehl calls it a "revolting development"
So, here is the issue facing us, folks: can we use copyrighted material under the commonly observed fair usage rules without getting hauled into court? After all, Mr. Ledbetter was not making money from his website and he used those photos in order to critique them, not to enrich himself. That would seem to be the very definition of fair use, would it not?
I say we have the makings of an important ruling on whether we bloggers are free to criticize the MSM without being dragged in to court at the whim of any MSM bigwig.
(Also cross-posted at Newsbusters)
(update 3/1 7:18am: Many more bloggers have put their support behind Brian Ledbetter...he has the list here.)
An afterthought: what are the odds that AP will actually do a story on their bullying tactics? (My sitemeter has 5 clicks from the Associated Press...maybe they are working on their "story")
Flashback: So why would AP be so heavy-handed with a blogger who was devoted to exposing their bias? From Michelle Malkin when she used to produce "Vent" at Hot Air...
And of course Soutalkuffar's epic Jawa production: