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July 18, 2019

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Report: AP to proceed in licensing content without Righthaven

A column today on the Corporate Counsel/ website suggests The Associated Press is beefing up efforts for news creators to be paid for their work -- but in doing so won't be working with Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC.

After Righthaven started suing websites over alleged infringements involving Denver Post material, observers wondered if the AP would sign up for Righthaven's copyright protection service.

That's because William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP's board of directors, is also chairman and CEO of Denver Post owner MediaNews Group.

And in the past, Singleton has said the AP would step up efforts to battle misappropriation of its work.

Today's Corporate Counsel report on, by Andrew Goldberg, says: "An AP lawyer who asked to remain anonymous says the news service is planning to follow a different path and preparing to launch its news licensing group later this year. The mission of the freestanding company, to be owned by the AP and other news organizations, is to help publishers sell their content to other media outlets and receive royalties based on where and how often that content (is) displayed."

This plan -- licensing of news content to gain royalty payments -- sounds similar to one already launched by Attributor Corp.

Attributor in November released a study confirming infringements of news material online are rampant. In a five-month period, Attributor identified more than 400,000 unlicensed uses of news content on 44,906 sites from 70,101 online news articles.

Attributor said it tested a "graduated response" method with websites posting unlicensed content.

Some 75 percent of the sites complied with the rights holders' requests to pursue licensing deals or take down the material, Attributor said. This was without resorting to content takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or Righthaven-like lawsuits.

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