The A.P. Claims Ownership of Thomas Jefferson


Just for kicks, James Grimmelmann plugs into the A.P.'s new licensing scheme an excerpt from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Isaac McPherson in which Jefferson harangues against the concept of copyright. The letter of course entered the public domain a long time ago.

Sure enough, the A.P. spits out the excerpt, adding that Grimmelmann can use the words only if he pays the news service $12, adds a lengthy footer with the A.P.'s copyright language, uses the excerpt "only as written," and—the kicker—promises not to use the excerpt for political purposes or to disparage the A.P.

Via Boing Boing.