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AP and the Digital Gordian Knot

Ambitious program to centralize rights for publishers in the digital age

The Associated Press is undertaking an “ambitious project” to build a digital rights licensing clearinghouse for print and broadcast news organizations in the age of online and mobile apps.

A press release explained: “The project will see the creation of a digital rights clearinghouse which will help the news media protect their content and generate more revenue as fast-developing technology hatches new channels for distributing the news they produce.”

AP’s CEO Tom Curley elaborated at the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association conference in Austin, Texas on Oct. 18: “We’ve stood by while others invent creative, new uses for our news and reap most of the benefit … 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.”

The project may possibly be in operation by the end of the year. It will use technology already in AP’s hands, notably the AP News Registry content tagging system. The entity is expected to be independent of AP.