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AP's new meta-tag beacons will allow the news organization to track and demand payments from all who use AP words. Usage of as few as 5 to 25 words from an AP report can generate a billing of $12.50. The AP press release says the news tracking system will provide "detailed metrics" and "enforcement support" for targeting copyright violators. reports the Associated Press has just announced its Big Brother-like “news registry.”

It’s a “new system” that embeds meta-tags into AP articles that act as “beacons.” The beacons will track any use of AP words and lead right back to any web site or blog. If they find that you have quoted any AP text–even 5 words–the tracking system can generate a demand for payment of $12.50 for the 5-25 words, according to AP’s billing structure.

AP writes: “The beacon is meant to be a policing device aimed at deterring Web sites from posting AP content without paying licensing fees.”

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“The proposed ‘hNews’ system,” adds, “would attach information about the author of the story, where it was published and where it was written, to every news story, a press release from the MST said.”

The AP press release states: “The Associated Press Board of Directors today directed The Associated Press to create a news registry that will tag and track all AP content online to assure compliance with terms of use. The system will register key identifying information about each piece of content that AP distributes as well as the terms of use of that content, and employ a built-in beacon to notify AP about how the content is used.”

An AP online graphic illustrates how the “tracking beacon” works. Publishers must “agree” to embed the meta-tags in AP articles so that “signals” are sent “back to the news registry informing publishers of uses” of AP content. “Detailed metrics,” the AP press release says, will provide “enforcement support.”

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AP is Watching YOU : New meta-tag “beacons” track copyright violators

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