NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An enforcement mechanism needs to be created to help
curb unlicensed use of news on the Internet, Associated Press President and
CEO Tom Curley said Thursday.
Curley said an effort is under way to track websites engaged in content
"scraping," and planned to name 18 of them at an industry meeting on Friday
— including one with revenues approaching $100 million. He declined to name
any of the sites in his speech to a training program run by Associated Press
"Not until the time is right," he said.
Curley also said 900 newspapers have signed up for the news cooperative's
voluntary digital registry, and that 700 are receiving real-time tracking
data. The AP believes the service can help it and newspapers find new
moneymaking opportunities from online licensing and advertising. Curley said
the registry “is a start — we need to kick it up.”
“It doesn't do any of the work — there's a lot of that going on,”Curley said
at Vanderbilt University. “That's where we have a lot of work to do, and
that's part of us taking control.”
When sites post newspaper and AP content without permission, it deprives
managers of key information on how their stories are being eyed by
customers, Curley said.
“We let others walk off with the customer data, and the business that goes
with that,” he said. “That's one of the things we have to stand up and fight
Newspapers are facing sharp declines in print subscriptions and the
advertising sales that account for most of their revenue. All are looking
for ways to make money.
Curley said one way to control who uses content is to create a universal
sign-on, citing AP's Top 25 college football website as an example.
Understanding news consumption allows managers to best allocate staff and
resources, Curley said.
"You have to define the most important stories in your market and you have
to be great on those stories," he said.
Curley said key news coverage areas the AP is focusing on include terrorism,
the drug war along the Mexican border, elections, freedom of information and
state legislative coverage.
"That's the base," he said. "I think you really have to go in and say,
'These are the areas that are important.’”
Data should help drive decisions on how to “cover the rest of the
waterfront,” Curley said.
“That's where we really have to be smart about understanding the customer
and quickly jumping on things that make sense for our communities," he said.
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by its member
newspapers and broadcasters, a global network providing coverage of news,
sports, business, entertainment, politics and technology in all media