AP To Build Rights Clearinghouse

Posted on 10/26/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The president and chief operating officer of the Associated Press recently spoke at the meeting of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in Austin. Although Tom Curly was addressing the news industry, the issues discussed were identical to those faced by image creators and marketers, particularly matters that address online and digital uses of content.

“The digital marketplace is on the cusp of an even bigger phase of growth on new platforms and devices,” he said. “Importantly, we believe we must be compensated appropriately for how our good work performs in this new era.

“For nearly a decade, the content our industry has created has been losing value on the Internet. That’s due mostly to two things.

“First, the common practice of leaving content exposed on the Web to scraping, copying, pasting and aggregating has led to the creation of secondary markets for our content that have siphoned away considerable value.

“Second, and even more frustrating, we’ve stood by watching while others invent creative new uses for our news and reap most, if not all, of the benefit. In general, our digital businesses—AP’s in particular—have been driven by repurposing content we created for analog uses. We’ve watched others innovate the delivery of that news.” (Curly’s full speech is available as a PDF download.)

The AP’s position is that content creators need to take two-pronged action: develop solutions for rights-management and digital distribution (online and mobile), and develop new products that take advantage of new digital devices.

The AP itself is working in both directions. During the same presentation, Curly announced that the cooperative would create a rights clearing house to help news organizations license digital content. In September, the AP launched two BlackBerry apps—an updated version of AP Mobile and AP Móvil América Latina—and plans to roll out a wider variety of private-label apps.

Curley stressed that such initiatives offer new revenue possibilities in a market with an increasingly fragmented set of content consumption patterns.

Under the rights clearinghouse plan, AP and other news organizations would establish a separate entity that would provide rights clearance and privacy tools; a variety of ways to license content from publishers; and media intelligence services that would give insights to businesses about consumption of news content.

The clearinghouse would build on the capabilities of the AP News Registry, favorably reviewed earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice. Curley said the AP would also seek DOJ guidance on the clearinghouse.

Copyright © Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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