When W00t! posted its delightful notice about being acquired by Amazon, it was picked up and re-run by blogs all over the net. Not wanting to miss out on the action, the Associated Press ran the story and the text, too.
One problem: the AP has previously told bloggers that quotations — however brief — should be licensed before publication. They even offer these licenses. For a small fee, AP will generously allow you to quote one of its articles on your blog (provided that you don't do so in a way that criticizes the AP, of course, and they reserve the right to take the quote back at any time).
So W00t! sent the AP a bill for $17.50 for the quotation:
The AP, we can't thank you enough for looking our way. You see, when we showed off our good news on Wednesday afternoon, we expected we'd get a little bit of attention. But when we found your little newsy thing you do, we couldn't help but notice something important. And that something is this: you printed our web content in your article! The web content that came from our blog! Why, isn't that the very thing you've previously told nu-media bloggers they're not supposed to do?
So, The AP, here we are. Just to be fair about this, we've used your very own pricing scheme to calculate how much you owe us. By looking through the link above, and comparing your post with our original letter, we've figured you owe us roughly $17.50 for the content you borrowed from our blog post, which, by the way, we worked very very hard to create. But, hey. We're all friends here. And invoicing is such a hassle in today's paperless society, are we right? How about this: instead of cutting us a check for the web content you liberated from our site, all you'll need to do is show us your email receipt from today's two pack of Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones, and we'll call it even.