The Associated Press' Double Standard
Whether it's legal, illegal, moral, immoral or whatever, it's not a good idea to post stuff on the internet if you don't want people using it without your approval. The main reason is that if someone does use it against your wishes, it's really hard to detect in most cases. By the time you do, it could have been indexed and copied so many times your head would spin. On top of it, attempts at making people take things down usually end up backfiring. Like many bloggers, I've personally found my posts on other people's blogs where they are taking credit for it. It used to annoy me. Then I got ot the point that I figured it's not worth fighting b/c it would require a lot of ongoing energy. My way of dealing with it is usually to create variable names or comments that are self referencing - so basically I give myself the link back. If I wrote something though that I wanted to control, it would not be posted on my blog.
Personally, since I make my living selling intellectual property, I have a tremendous amount of respect to other people's IP. On the other hand, the doctrine of Fair Use is necessary and life without it would not be good. It seems too often there are two extremes that people operate in. On the one hand, if it's on your site, no matter how much legal verbiage you surround it with, they act as though they can take it and do with it what they please. On the other hand, you have folks that post stuff that people reference which clearly falls under the domain of Fair Use and they start making all sorts of noises about it.
If I can digress for a minute. Most of us will require the services of a lawyer at some point or another. When a relative dies, when you buy a house, when you for a corporation etc, you'll typically want to enlist the services of an attorney. On the other hand, most run of the mill folks only have limited dealings with an attorney (cost alone prohibits using a lawyer frequently). I"ve had to use a laywer for a few different things in life but in each case, I needed on for different tasks. I don't ask the guy who did my house closing to run a patent search for me. So I, do not have "a lawyer". That brings me to my little rant point.... "You'll be hearing from my lawyer". Whenver I hear this (I've only heard it twice in reference to something I did, but I've heard people in line at the Verizon store say that twice, and have heard people threaten it on other occassions to random people"), I always think "WTF Ever". To have "my lawyer" typically means that you keep him on retainer. Very few people have enough legal dealings to warrant keeping a lawyer on retainer for indefinite periods of time. So when I hear that, It warrants only a chuckle. Even if you really do have a lawyer, you just sound stupid making such threats. If you are really going to get a lawyer involved, just do it. And whatever you do, don't send ridiculous absurd threatening emails where you threaten frivolous litigation where you mention your big city lawyer over and over again, especially when you don't have a lawyer, lied about everything in your email and don't have the money or grounds to file litigation. You'll just make a fool out of yourself.
Ok, anyway... I think you ought to play it one way or the other, but you can't have it both ways. In order for a site like http://www.snappedshot.com/ to do what they do (Criticize and point out inaccuracies with photo journalism), they really need to show the images at hand. They don't charge money and they aren't presenting it as their own. But if they just referred to the photos at hand, it would really diminish the effect. If they linked to the image, several problems would present themselves as well. But for the Associated Press to say he has no right to do this, and then go and snake "Kristins" photos, that's pretty shameless. Clearly they have a legal department and he doesn't. So they thought they'd just bully him around with their big city lawyers (unlike unemployed nuts who can't live without borrowing money from people and not paying them back). When they needed some images for their story though, they had no problem swiping them. And they were definitely under copyright so they engaged in sheer hypocrisy by doing this.