AP Adds Homing Beacon to Online News Content

In an unprecedented move for a digital news agency, the Associated Press announced this afternoon that it will tag and track all AP content online to ensure that it is re-used under that agency’s terms of use.

The registry technology will cover all AP text, and will go on to include photos and video at a later date. The AP says the tracking feature will allow its work to “survive and thrive” online. Press materials also said that the overhead cost of the project will someday be “self-sustaining,” suggesting that the registry will help AP and its customers enforce the collection of licensing and syndication fees.

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Starting immediately, all AP text will appear in a proprietary “microformat” developed by the AP and endorsed by at least one standards agency. It will allow the AP to include metadata about the article within a “wrapper” that also contains “digital permissions” for use. The move comes in stark contrast to attitudes of other media giants like Amazon and Apple, which are slowly dismantling their draconian Digital Rights Management policies.

For more, check out the AP press release here.

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