Wait wait wait, this is a sensationalist headline. The submitter obviously picked an AP story to frame them as evil.
iCopyright is the company that provides this Fair Use-violating service and here are some of their clients http://info.icopyright.com/conductor.asp
* The Globe & Mail
* Associated Press
* The Toronto Star
* Ziff Davis Media
* The Boston Globe
Because a company is a client of iCopyright doesn't necessarily mean they're using the same product/service as AP or employing the same pricing model. iCopyright, like most companies, likely provides more than one product/service.
I think the pricing is more of an issue than the tech. If AP were asking for 12 cents rather than $12.50 for 5 words the reaction might be different. What are the pricing models of these other companies that you suggest are equally at fault?