The Fair Syndication Consortium, a partnership between Silicon Valley start-up Attributor and a group of publishers, held its first meeting since the project was announced on Thursday. The group aims to target online advertising networks and request a cut of the money made of ads alongside reproduced newspaper content, with Attributor acting as a middleman. Editor & Publisher associate editor Jennifer Saba asks 'now what?' and establishes what exactly the public knows about it so far. The answer, it seems, is not very much.
Attributor found that for every one visitor who reads content on the original site, five find it in full elsewhere: figures that should be enough to persuade publishers that this issue should be addressed. "We don't presume the top publishers are going to move entirely to this model," Pitkow said. "We are just here to unlock inventory for these rights holders." If ad networks do not cooperate, Pitkow said that "the copyright holders can request those ads be removed," as once a copyright owner alerts a source of illegal use, any "safe harbour" disappears.
The Consortium already includes Politico, Reuters and Magazine Publishers of America. The meetings in New York on Thursday were attended by 25 publishers, including representatives from some newspapers at both a property and corporate level, according to CEO Jim Pitkow, but he declined to name the newspapers or reveal any details of the meeting. It is not clear how the group will proceed or if they are already in talks with ad networks. Persuading the latter could be the toughest challenge.
Source: Editor & Publisher