Have you been following the dust-up between the Associated Press (AP) and the blogosphere? It appears that the AP doesn't want bloggers quoting its stories. The AP sent a takedown notice to an independent blog, the Drudge Retort, claiming the blog is not allowed to quote parts of AP stories and link to them. On top of that, apparently the AP purports to charge money for quoting as little as 5 words. Yes, you read that right. Quoting a mere 5 words of an AP story could cost you $12.50 (or at least, that's what their website says -- whether the AP enforces that provision is a different matter). Various high profile blogs and journalists who write blogs have taken up the issue and say the AP is just wrong -- that copyright law protects short quotes as "fair use." Techcrunch, for instance, responded by banning AP stories from its blog and has written no fewer than 4 articles on the topic. Hilariously, in today's article, Techcrunch demanded that the AP pay it $12.50 because, ironically, the AP quoted the Techcrunch blog in an AP story -- the very thing they complained about bloggers doing! Others are taking the AP's side, or parts of it. For instance, a blog at the New York Times called the bloggers who are\u00a0 fighting the AP "hotheaded." And the slings and arrows continue to fly as I write this. In my latest article over at the OPEN Forum, I humorously point out that blogging is harder than it might appear. Reason: among other things, it's like you've got to be a copyright lawyer to blog these days. From the comments that post is getting, it seems some people agree.