AP to Launch Online Rights/Protection/Measurement Clearinghouse

The Associated Press is creating a separate
arm to handle clearing the rights to its news content online and helping
provide tools to protect it, so that members can manage the distribution of
their content beyond their own Web sites, including on new mobile platforms.

That was the word from AP President Tom Curley in
a speech
to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association meeting Monday in
Austin, Texas.

Echoing predictions by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski of the
importance of wireless broadband, Curley argues that will become the new
broadband marketplace of ideals. "To be online will mean you are mobile or
at the least connected wirelessly, he said.

Curley pointed out that more than 70 broadcast and
newspaper AP members are using smart-phone apps developed by AP and Verve

AP News Registry already allows members to tag and
track their content, but the clearinghouse plan will build on that,
creating a separate entity providing a number of different ways to license
content, as well as track its consumption. But Curley said the AP-owned model
"is not the right one," so the clearinghouse will be a
separate entity that serves AP and other content providers, he said.

Curley said the new clearinghouse is a reaction to
the fact that content has been losing value on the Internet thanks to secondary
markets that have drained it through copying, pasting and aggregating. He also
suggested some of the wound had been self-inflicted as others found more
innovative ways to repurpose and deliver the news.

AP will also boost efforts to help members create
new mobile and iPad apps. That is because Curley predicts that within two
years, news consumption will "almost certainly have shifted to
screen-based viewing" from, say, newspaper front pages.

He said he wants AP members to be the ones to
create and collect value for news product beyond their own Web sites, as others
now do.

"It really is now or never," he said. "The shift to
online consumption has moved well past the tipping point."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.