Following the backlash, on Saturday the AP retreated, but didn't recant, saying it was "heavy-handed," but has not withdrawn its take down requests.
The AP will now "attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.'s copyright," Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of the AP.
"The A.P.'s effort to impose some guidelines on the free-wheeling blogosphere, where extensive quoting and even copying of entire news articles is common, may offer a prominent definition of the important but vague doctrine of 'fair use,' which holds that copyright owners cannot ban others from using small bits of their works under some circumstances," observed The New York Times.