Rants In Our Pants

New AP System to ‘Stop Unlicensed Reproduction of Text’

The Associated Press is preparing a new system to track unauthorized reproduction of its content. The system is meant to “deter Web sites from posting AP content,” according to some AP content.

By (@JRRaphael)

July 24, 2009

An image of the Associated Press office building, taken from the AP Web site.

An image of the Associated Press office building, taken from the AP Web site. 'If you can stop the unlicensed use, the value of the content goes up,' an AP exec says.

Content thieves, be warned: The AP isn’t sitting idly and taking your shit anymore. The Associated Press announced this week it would unveil a new tracking system to stop sites from using even small excerpts of its content without permission.

“The cooperative will start by bundling its text stories in an ‘informational wrapper’ that will include a built-in beacon to monitor where stories go on the Internet,” an AP story explains.

Any text copied and pasted from an AP story, then, would set the system off. As the following text, copied from this AP story, notes:

“The beacon will send information to the AP’s registry when the cooperative’s content is accessed. That information will let the AP know whether Web sites posting the material hold licensing rights.”

Essentially, the AP wants to be sure sites aren’t “posting AP content without paying licensing fees,” according to some AP content for which we have not paid licensing fees. The AP has previously said it’s more appropriate for writers to use “short summaries” of its articles than to “directly quote” them, claiming it’s “more consistent with the spirit of the Internet” to avoid even “short direct quotations.”

AP execs have also commented that one can effectively capture the true meaning of any given article in very few words and thereby reduce the need for long, drawn-out summaries that rehash the material stated in the aforementioned original article by way of an extended explanation that may or may not fit into a single absurdly long yet grammatically correct sentence.

The AP’s new content-tracking system is expected to be unveiled in November, at which point this page will self-destruct.

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