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AP To Launch Online Video Network

The Associated Press announced plans to launch an online video news network for newspaper, television and radio Web sites in the United States.

The digital video network, which would be ad supported, would be available through AP member Web sites and would position AP and its members to take advantage of the rapidly growing demand for video online. The plan was announced Thursday, July 21, in Park City, Utah, where The Associated Press Board of Directors was meeting.

In a separate action, the board approved a 2.2 percent general assessment increase for members next year, coupling it with a new licensing policy for online use of AP content. The rate increase takes effect Jan. 1, and applies to basic and supplemental services for AP’s more than 1,500 newspaper and 5,000 broadcast members. It is the lowest rate increase for AP in 35 years, except for in 1999, when it was also 2.2 percent. In addition, the board approved a total 4.5 percent increase for some selected broadcast services.

The new AP Online Video Network will provide members with their own branded video player to display their video, along with AP video and other content, on the Web. In exchange, AP members will share in revenue from the streaming video advertising carried on the network. Members would collect all the revenue from advertising generated by their own video.

The licensing plan, which takes effect Jan. 1, would allow members broad use of AP content, subject to guidelines designed to prevent unlicensed use of AP content on the Internet. Specific terms of the licensing will be presented later this year.

Under the new online licensing policy, AP members will be able to broadly use AP products and services across a wide array of digital platforms, including the Web, wireless services and RSS feeds. Guidelines will be established for those wanting to use AP content in other ways.

As part of the licensing plan, AP will implement a new framework for enforcing intellectual property rights. The framework calls for cooperative monitoring and enforcement through the use of various digital protection strategies, as well as licensed access for third-party news engines wanting to display AP content.

At The Associated Press Annual Meeting in April, the board agreed AP should end its policy of free unlicensed reuse of AP content by members for their Web sites and also develop a licensing method for member use of AP content online. Rather than charge separately for this repurposing, AP incorporated the fee into the general assessment.