AP to create group to license digital content

The Associated Press will oversee creation of an organization to help newspapers and broadcasters generate funds as people increasingly access news via mobile phones and other wireless devices.

The project, announced Oct. 18 by AP CEO Tom Curley, will create a digital rights clearinghouse, which will help the news media protect their content and generate more revenue as new channels emerge for news distribution.

The Associated Press also concurrently will expand its development of apps and content modules for handheld devices, mobile phones and tablets to assist broadcasters and newspapers in capitalizing on the explosive consumer uptake of these devices.

"We've stood by while others invent creative, new uses for our news and reap most of the benefit," said Curley in a speech before the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in Austin, TX. "The digital marketplace is on the cusp of an even bigger phase of growth on new platforms and devices. We have arrived at a moment of significant opportunity," he added.

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

The clearinghouse will use AP News Registry, a tagging system developed by AP that allows participants to tag, track and measure use of their content online. As well as detecting unauthorized use of content, the registry's tagging system can provide useful information about who is viewing specific content or the frequency with which specific information is mentioned. The clearinghouse could be in operation by the end of 2010, according to the AP.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.