U.S. news organizations launch NewsRight company to track unlicensed use of content in blogs, aggregator sites

Tired of bloggers and aggregators profiting from their work and investments, the Associated Press, The New York Times Co., the Washington Post Co., and 26 other U.S. news organizations have launched a company aimed at tracking the online, unauthorized use of copyrighted content, reported the Associated Press.

The company, known as NewsRight, will embed news stories with a tracking code in order to monitor unpaid commercial use of the content, such as on blogs or news aggregation sites, and then go after violators to try to make them pay, explained the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Currently NewsRight is tracking content from 841 newspaper sites, Reuters said, adding that, much like the idea behind paywalls, the effort to track and license online content is "based on the concept that newspaper content is worth something and the reader must pay for it."

As David Westin, former ABC News president and NewsRight’s founding CEO, told Mashable, "NewsRight is designed to address an issue in the marketplace of an increased appetite for news but some real challenges to supply. There is a flaw in the business model right now. Value is not going to those who pay, and we want to correct the imbalance.”

Three years in the making, according to Poynter, the "venture will likely be greeted with derision or yawns by the digital intelligentsia, who have long decided that fences around content are retro and futile with the Internet providing users so many avenues to free news access. But we are about to have a real-world test of that proposition, where even middling success would count as a big win for the legacy companies who have long wanted to be paid more and more broadly for the news content they originate."