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.”
“The proposed ‘hNews’ system,” Journalism.co.uk 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.”
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.”