AP tracking system to crackdown on unauthorised use of content

The national news agency of the United States, the Associated Press, is gong ahead with plans to launch a tagging system that will allow it to track how its stories, images and video are used across the web.

The system, which has been devised to guard against unauthorised online use, has built-in beacons that will notify AP whether the content it sends out is being used in accordance with its terms of use.

The technology it uses has been developed by the Media Standards Trust, the London-based nonprofit research and development organisation.

Content will be sent in an “informational wrapper” microformat that will allow publishers to specify how they wish it to be used as well as allowing that content to be monitored.

The registry, which will initially just cover AP’s own online content, is set to be extended to content supplied by AP members across the US in early 2010.

AP said wouldfund development and operation of the registry throughout 2010 until the project becomes self-sustaining.

Dean Singleton, chairman of AP’s board of directors, said: “What we are building here is a way for good journalism to survive and thrive.

“The AP news registry will allow our industry to protect its content online, and will assure that we can continue to provide original, independent and authoritative journalism at a time when the world needs it more than ever.”

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