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ACAP specifications handed over to standards body

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The latest version of ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol), the publisher-led project launched in 2007 to develop tools for the communication of online copyright permissions information, was presented at IPTC’s Business Meets Technology Day in Berlin on 8 June 2011. Version 2.0 of ACAP can be used for business-to-business content syndication, in particular in the context of licensing newspaper stories and the exchange of video content by news agencies.

With the publication of ACAP 2.0, responsibility for the management of the specifications created by ACAP has been transferred to the IPTC (International Press and Telecommunications Council), a consortium of the world’s major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors that develops and maintains technical standards for news exchange.

‘We are delighted that the time has now come to pass the ACAP reins to IPTC,’ commented ACAP project director Mark Bide. ‘It is the ideal organisation to be taking long-term responsibility for maintaining and extending the ACAP specifications. Over the past four years, we have helped to communicate the need for the development of appropriate mechanisms for the management of copyright online to an international audience of business, rights holders and politicians. Copyright is the cornerstone of the creative economy. ACAP has been cited in a number of government papers on IPR including, most recently, in the European Commission’s Strategy on IPR in which it calls for appropriate tools on the net for the communication of IPR. We are very proud to have shown the way in providing solutions to the online copyright problem that threatens the future of creative businesses. There are a number of important cross-media initiatives beginning in which ACAP, under the management of IPTC, will undoubtedly play an important part.’

IPTC chairman Stéphane Guérillot added: ‘The future of the news industry hinges also on its ability to defend intellectual property. This is why IPTC supports initiatives to communicate and enforce usage rights and policies. ACAP is a technical tool to this end, within the framework of national and international intellectual property laws.’

ACAP 2.0 covers basic use cases from the news industry and can be used by many parties. With additional funding from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) and with technical support from the NLA, the Associated Press in New York and from the IPTC, the project has spent the past year developing usage policies in news syndication and also in business applications of online content delivery. The first version of ACAP was designed primarily to express usage policies for publicly-available online content in web pages in a formal and machine-readable way.