And another point: The AP must do a better job of communicating what its intentions are and what’s fair game for linking and quoting (apparently that will be part of the instructions contained in the “wrapper”). It has failed at this before, most notably with the Drudge Retort imbroglio last year, in which the AP wrongly went after a blog for linking and quoting excerpts, although that wasn’t the whole story—it had posted entire stories, too, as Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association who represented Drudge Retort explained at the time.

Finally, my saying the AP isn’t going after what is obviously fair use by individuals doesn’t mean I don’t think there aren’t plenty of things to pick at with this initiative: Whether the “wrapper” makes any sense technologically. How much money the piracy problem actually costs the AP. Whether the “systematic” uses of its content the AP is going after (including, perhaps, by the search engines) are protected by fair use. And much more I’m sure.

Have at that, I say.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.