Legal Media

Publishers See Way to Track Content

The San Francisco-based company is Attributor, and the NY Times says its software — which allows publishers to add an “electronic fingerprint” to content — may help track pirated content.

Attributor’s software can automatically send a message to the site’s operators, demanding a link back to the original publisher’s site, a share of revenue from any ads on the page, or a halt to the copying. […]

“There are probably thousands of examples every year where our stuff gets copied without authorization,” a newspaper company executive said. “The ad revenue they get from it might not be much, but if each of those just gives a link back to our original, that could be a significant amount of traffic.”

In my opinion this “piracy” (the NY Times never uses this word explicitly) would be less of a problem for publishers if bloggers simply cited their sources via links (as I have done with this piece). Of course, some bloggers post a complete copy&paste — providing limited commentary. This action seems more like theft to me than simply pulling a quote.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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