Steve Yelvington: Microformats, hNews, the AP and the Animals

"Some geeks at the AP got together with some geeks in Europe and came up with a really smart idea. Unfortunately, that smart idea got sucked into the swirling vortex of panic and craziness that reigns at a lot of media companies these days. And a really smart idea has become terribly misunderstood, twisted into a really bad idea, portrayed as something it is not, sold as a cure for a questionable ailment that it can't fix. The idea is the application of microformats to news content." AP Doesn’t Know Its Protection Tech Doesn’t Protect

"Nothing in copyright law requires a blogger or commenter to include the meta-tags if they use an excerpt in a blog post. In fact for a blogger to comply, they’ll have to do more than just cut and paste – they will have to view the source code on a newspaper’s site, search through the HTML and javascript to find the text of the story and its micro-formats. Once the thief has gone to this trouble the purloined story will call home to report where it is being re-printed, via a Web Bug url embedded in the story. Only then would The News Registry even be aware of this use."

Ars Technica: DRM for news? Inside the AP’s plan to “wrap” its content

"AP is simply relying on a newly-developed microformat called hNews. ... In what way does this scheme 'wrap' and 'protect' the news? It doesn't; it simply marks it up, and adding tags expressing a content creator's wishes on reuse has no bearing on someone's rights under US copyright law. ... You'll be forgiven if you find it difficult to square the reality of hNews with the AP's pronouncements about it."