Twenty-nine US news organizations launched yesterday, January 5, NewsRight, a digital content licensing organization. Amongst the affiliates are the Associated Press, the New York Times Co, Hearst Newspapers and the Washington Post Co.
The aim is to keep track of newspapers' content as it moves around the web in order to license and profit from it. It "will measure the unpaid online use of their original reporting and seek to convert unauthorized websites, blogs and other newsgathering services into paying customers", AP (via the Washington Post) reported.
NewsRight is an evolution of the News Registry, a project started in October 2010 by AP and some partners.
As Mashable reported, the company provides publishers with an HTML code to insert in their stories' headlines and text, so they can track the spread of each piece of their content. The encoded stories report to the registry, showing where and when a story is reblogged and read, the article said.
NewsRight in fact not only lets news organizations to license content but also getting data about how the news is being consumed across digital platforms.
The technology even allows the location of pieces of articles which have been cut and pasted.
Newspaper's expert Ken Doctor, quoted in AP's article, said the first year of operation for NewsRight will test how much of a market there is for the service. A key selling point is the data on story usage, which could help advertisers measure the audience they want to reach more effectively.
Even though it will affect aggregation websites, it "is not a program to halt aggregation practiced by the likes of the Huffington Post or many other news organizations. If effort is put in to rewrite the work, NewsRight will let you be (at least for now). Those that just "scrape" stories are the target, the Wrap reported.
Newspapers are struggling to find a way to thrive in the digital world and to monetize their content finding the suitable digital business model. In this struggle the risk is that the ones who are not investing in producing original quality content will benefit from the work others do, David Westin, the president of NewsRight and former head of ABC News said, as reported by Nieman Lab.