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ACAP endorsements

"One of the developments that has brought forward Europe the most and has the potential for supplying many of the most important services to our society in the future is the advent of digital technology. Digital technology enables the delivery of all kinds of content. Digital content is transferable to an indefinite number of people over an indefinite distance and delivery costs are low.

In addition, European artists create high quality cultural content, which is the backbone of digital services. With the help of digital technology, European cultural diversity has the possibility to become even richer; likewise, the economy is boosted by the creation of new services and jobs.

But digital rights management (DRM) is still an obstacle which slows down the development of new digital services. In the past, most artistic works have been relevant in one nation and the rights could thus easily be managed by national collective rights management societies.

It is clear that this DRM management system needs to be adapted to the future. A future-proofed DRM management system needs to safeguard cultural diversity, but it also needs to be flexible enough to support new emerging services. Transparency and efficiency of the system are basic perquisites. I expressly welcome that ACAP will enable the providers of all types of content published on the Internet to communicate permissions information (relating to access and use of that content) in a form that can be automatically recognized and interpreted, so that business partners can systematically comply with the publishers' policies."

Ruth Hieronymi, Member of European Parliament



"I would like to offer my congratulations to Mark Bide and his group for a successful outcome to the pilot project phase of ACAP. I understand that you are all now well poised to exploit the work commercially.

I was interested to learn the project could be extended beyond text and pictures to other content such as sound and video, which should help the development of both your protocol and the online publishing industry in general.

ACAP is an exciting new flexible tool that brings publishers' agreements to use online content firmly into the digital age. By doing so, it opens the door to the development of new business models, boosting the UK content industries and avoiding litigation except as a last resort.

I hope you have a successful launch in New York on 29 November and look forward to hearing about the exploitation of this exciting project in years to come."

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms, MP,Minister of State for Competitiveness, UK



"ACAP opens the floodgates on top quality web content. It will benefit users, aggregators and publishers alike."

Bill Akass, Editorial Development Director, News Group Newspapers



"On behalf of the Bonnier Group I would like to confirm that we fully support the ACAP project. It is vital to the future of our industry to manage our content and to set the terms and conditions on how it is used. Copyright is required to underpin the future of and encourage investments in the content industry and to create a rich and diverse online environment to match the offline one. With ACAP, publishers will be able to make more content available to users through the search engines, and to continue to innovate and invest in the development of business models for network publishing."

Bengt Braun, President & CEO, The Bonnier Group



"Congratulations on the imminent launch of ACAP. I believe that this is an important initiative for the media industry as a whole and for the publishing sector in particular to have a global, open and flexible standard such as ACAP as it will encourage and allow content creators to make more content available on the Internet which can only benefit the public at the end of the day. You have our support for the launch."

Thomas Glocer,  CEO,  Reuters Group plc



"The future of the newspaper and magazine industry is more secure now thanks to ACAP. We can be sure that our content will be viewed and distributed according to our own terms and conditions. As a business we now feel that any investment and innovation in the field of digital publishing will be fairly rewarded. I am convinced that ACAP will very quickly become a universal standard and will benefit every player in the digital publishing world."

Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman and CEO, Impresa, and former Prime Minister of Portugal



"AFP has been involved in the ACAP pilot project since the first hour. We believe this project will encourage owners of high quality content, such as AFP, to be more confident in sharing it online, since ACAP will allow search engines to index our content under clear terms of use. This is the first time ever that search engines and content providers have worked together on a joint standard; we really hope this will help avoid any further complex and costly legal disputes with search engines. There are evident long term benefits from the development and implementation of ACAP in the relationship between publishers and search engines and we are convinced the launch of ACAP will be an essential step towards building mutually beneficial business models for content distribution in the future. The ACAP standard is free, flexible, it doesn't dictate any business models or suggest any position that an individual publisher might choose to adopt. AFP strongly supports ACAP. The ACAP initiative means that we can let the market decide and that we can protect and enhance the ability of content providers to produce the most exciting and diverse products for the market."

Pierre Louette, Chairman & CEO, Agence France-Presse



"The Publishers Licensing Society was established 25 years ago by the UK publishing industry. Our role is to:

  • oversee a collective licensing scheme in the UK for book, journal, and magazine copying * stimulate innovation and good practice in rights management * clarify the relationship between traditional copyright management practices and those needed in the digital age

ACAP is an incredible stimulant for innovation and good practice in rights management, by making it easy for rights owners to signal what can be done with online content.

Congratulations on your forthcoming launch. This project has built momentum quickly and is entirely confidence inspiring. We will certainly continue to promote it actively to the thousands of book, journal, and magazine publishers with whom we work."

Dr Alicia Wise, Chief Executive, Publishers Licensing Society



"The internet provides a wealth of opportunities for media owners of all sorts, and the global dissemination of quality content can only be a force for the common good. However, to ensure the maximum benefit for both the creators and consumers of this content, we need a permissions system that is fit for this new environment. It must be universal and scalable; and must work with the internet rather than against it.

This is not something that will be achieved overnight, but, rather like the internet itself, something that will evolve over time through the widespread acceptance of common standards.

This is exactly the approach taken by ACAP which is why we support the initiative and applaud the efforts that have resulted in this launch."

Simon Waldman, Director of Digital Strategy and Development, Guardian Media Group and Chairman of Association of Online Publishers



"ACAP helps address an important need in the digital marketplace by standardizing the communication of content policies between content owners and search engines that index content. This vital infrastructure supports the rights of copyright owners and facilitates continued investments in the development of both compelling content as well as new distribution models that utilize the Internet. The public launch of the first version of the specification represents a key milestone in the process of standardizing the communication of content policies to search engines, and we look forward to continued collaborations with ACAP to extend the specification and add enhanced support for Audio-Visual content."

Jim C. Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.



"ACAP is great news for content providers and consumers. A universal, open standard for expressing rights underpins future investment in innovative online business models while encouraging creativity and diversity within online publishing. News Ltd is a proud and strong supporter."

Jenifer Wilder, Deputy Manager, Newsource Content Management Division, News Limited Australia



"The World Wide Web has enabled a remarkable revolution in communication, freeing the transfer of information and knowledge from many of the physical constraints which existed before. Publishers of all types are investing in on-line services to promote the work of their authors and bring it to global audiences. Furthermore, the opportunities afforded by the Web have been greatly enhanced by the advent of search technology, which provides a means for navigation and taxonomic order amongst content.

Searching is an integral and essential part of on-line publishing, but with it comes a renewed realisation of the publishers' responsibility to authorship and the copyright legislation which underpins it. Publishers must invest in ways of ensuring that authors' creativity is encouraged and protected in order to sustain it, which is why Wiley is committed to supporting the ACAP initiative. Such a protocol is essential to the continued development of on-line services, and once in place, we are confident that Web communication will evolve to a whole new level of sophistication and efficiency.

There is currently nothing more important for the publishing industry than a successful implementation of ACAP."

Dr. John Jarvis, Senior Vice president, John Wiley and Sons Inc.



"Gazette Communications would like to confirm that we support the ACAP project and applaud the significant progress made to date.

The creation and adoption of a protocol that enables the lively exchange of content with due respect to permissions as expressed by the content owner is a critical component to the evolving information exchange environment on the internet as well as in the core products related to print and broadcast.

The broad scope of ACAP in conjunction with the continued evolution of search engines will open the door to new forms of commerce taking advantage of permission based content exchange. All forms of content can be added to this new value chain which will open up the market to new micropayment and micro-licensing revenue models."

Stephen Schmitz, Director Content Management, Gazette Communications



"Since our founding 30 year ago, Copyright Clearance Center has championed the cause of making it easier to use and share content while respecting the rights of the individuals and institutions who create and own that content. For this reason, we applaud the progress made to date to establish the Automated Content Access Protocol, and we are proud to have participated. The initiative's goal of a universal, open standard for expressing rights and terms is a worthy one, and we look forward to the launch on November 29."

Bob Weiner, Senior Vice President, CCC



"The World Wide Web has enabled a remarkable revolution in communication, freeing the transfer of information and knowledge from many of the physical constraints which existed before. Publishers of all types are investing in on-line services to promote the work of their authors and bring it to global audiences. Furthermore, the opportunities afforded by the Web have been greatly enhanced by the advent of search technology, which provides a means for navigation and taxonomic order amongst content.

Searching is an integral and essential part of on-line publishing, but with it comes a renewed realisation of the publishers' responsibility to authorship and the copyright legislation which underpins it. Publishers must invest in ways of ensuring that authors' creativity is encouraged and protected in order to sustain it, which is why the Dutch Publishers Association (NUV) is committed to supporting the ACAP initiative. Such a protocol is essential to the continued development of on-line services of publishers, and once world wide in place within the publishing industry , we are confident that web communication will evolve to a whole new level of sophistication and efficiency.
There is currently nothing more important for the publishing industry than a successful implementation of ACAP."

Nineke van Dalen, secretaris, Groep Uitgevers voor Vak en Wetenschap Nederlands Uitgeversverbond (Dutch Publishers Association)



"Every day we publish quality newspapers and magazines, backed by a continued investment in content that is produced by some of the industry's finest. Retaining the value of that content on the web is a key part of our online strategy.

We welcome the ACAP initiative so that we can continue to realize and drive growth online with a greater confidence that we are operating with the right partners under the right terms within a standardized framework."

Richard Desmond, Chairman, Northern & Shell Plc



"The Federation of European Publishers, meeting in Brussels for its General Assembly on 23 November, unanimously supports the ACAP Pilot Project and encourages publishers throughout Europe to become involved in this important project.

Everyone can make full use of the Internet when copyright management and compliance are made simple for all. ACAP is a crucial step in this direction."

The Federation of European Publishers


FEP membership:

  • Austria
  • Belgium (French)
  • Belgium (Dutch)
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom



The last Publishers Forum took place in 2005 and this event was so successful that we decided to repeat this meeting every two years. It's thus a genuine and great pleasure to meet you again at this special event that you co-organise with the support of my Media Task Force. This Forum has become a must because it is crucial to share views with the professionals, on the extraordinary changes that publishing is undergoing. This year's programme addresses cutting-edge issues and I am convinced that the debates within the various panels will be of great interest for all of us. This year's Forum is dedicated to development of digital publishing and the impact of the digital technologies on your creative industries in the publishing sector. This is exactly the thrust of my action within the Commission.

I have spent the last weeks promoting the electronic communications package. This new regulatory framework is important for the written press, the book publishers and the database industry. It will ensure that those offering services on the web or wireless benefit from an open and competitive market for electronic network services. For the consumer, there will be a wider broadband access. Lower prices mean more eyeballs online and this will be positive for print online and databases. Better broadband offers also mean more user generated content, more uploading and downloading, and therefore more competition on the online content market. Press web sites rank among the most popular on the net just after the peer-to-peer ones.

With the telecom package, I want to support competitiveness, innovation and creativity. It is the first time that an electronic communications package includes specific requirements for network operators and users to respect copyright law. People don't buy technology, they acquire contents and services. Therefore, the new rules contain references concerning compliance with national measures implementing the Copyright Directive and the Enforcement Directive. Moreover, the Universal Service Directive says that Member States shall ensure that subscribers to electronic communications services or networks are clearly informed in advance of their obligations to respect copyright and related rights and of the most common acts of infringements and their legal consequences. This is a concrete legal endorsement of the role of copyright and I hope it will send a signal across the whole industry at a critical time.

Copyright is a cornerstone of the information and knowledge based society. This is why I introduced in the new framework an appropriate balance between ownership and access.

But, law cannot achieve everything alone. As you know, I am an enthusiastic follower of self and co regulation to prevent or to supplement legal provisions. I also believe that new technologies can support rights management and enforcement. Therefore, I am following the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP) project - as one of many projects to ensure respect of copyright - with high interest and I very much hope that companies offering search engines will cooperate with ACAP. Here we have good possibilities for a win-win situation for all stakeholders, as publishers can link content with authorisations for access and use in a form that can easily be recognised and interpreted by a search engine "crawler", and thus helps avoid complex and costly legal disputes between content providers and search engines. Obviously, ACAP has to work on a fully open and non-discriminatory basis.

The issue of search engines is also interesting in another context: media literacy. The Commission will adopt in the next few weeks a Communication on "media literacy in the digital environment", where we notably deal with media literacy for online. This includes raising awareness about how search engines work and empowering users with tools to critically assess online content.

In more general terms, the Communication will address questions such as: How do the media work in the digital world? Who are the new players in the media economy? What are the benefits that new media offers? What are the dangers new media may cause?

I intend to ask Member States and other EU institutions to support the objectives and priorities set out in this Communication, for instance by organising in 2008 events devoted to the exchange of good practices on media literacy in the digital environment. The Commission will follow-up by highlighting further these good practices, including if necessary by means of a Recommendation. This issue will be a priority for the Slovenian Presidency.

The principal drivers of online content and services are availability of diverse and rich content, responsiveness to consumer demand, reliance of networks and trust in their safety, as well as robust and effective intellectual property laws. Let's also not forget that online content and service markets have an unprecedented cross border dimension.

In this environment, most European media companies have not yet fully adapted their business models to leap-frog both national borders and traditional sectoral boundaries. The convergent European publisher has not been born yet! On the one hand, I can understand that the uncertainties associated with the so-called 'digital paradigm shift' block many online offerings. On the other hand, I strongly believe that this paradigm shift offers an opportunity for the publishing sector and other content sectors to increase their revenues, for instance by means of cross-fertilisation between their on-line and off-line offerings.

There is indeed a real opportunity for traditionally separate industries to work together for their joint benefit. The Commission intends to play an important role as catalyst to promote win-win situations for content providers, creators, transmission and access companies, technology providers and users. The next Communication on Creative Content Online in the Single Market is going to help these win-win situations develop. With the Creative Content Online initiative, I am not imposing a model upon the market players, but starting a process aimed at facilitating business negotiations and at improving legal certainty. In this process, I intend to work closely with the main players, including the print industry and the journalists.

Before I say a few words on the themes chosen for this morning's panels, I want - not only as a former journalist myself, but also as the Commissioner in charge of all information society and media players - to use this appropriate opportunity to remind Member States and employers of their obligations to protect the work of journalists, notably the right not to reveal their sources - unless this results from the penal law - and the right to exert their work without unnecessary restrictions. In this context, I would like to mention that the introduction in the new "Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers" Directive of a new right to short extracts for the purpose of news coverage, which includes a right to access events.

In the recent Commission proposal on combating terrorism, I have ensured that journalists should not be accused of public provocation to terrorism when they report or investigate terrorist acts.
Still on rights and duties of journalists: I follow closely the Ethical Journalism Initiative, which is timely and opportune and a very good example of self-regulation, applied here to reporting on issues related to multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities.

Broadband enables users to become players and not only consumers on the creative content market. What does it change for print media?

A good editor has a "sixth sense" knowing what the readers want. The "courrier des lecteurs" and more generally the exchanges with the readers are necessary and enriching. Digital technologies broaden and deepen this relationship.

Reliable internal procedures for connecting readers to content are important in order to capture the widest range of views and voices from the public. In the panel, I imagine that you will notably look at the systems of readers' ombudsmen, readers' committees and reading clubs and I will listen carefully to your comments. Once extended, these systems could ensure both the flexibility and independence that the press and the publishers rightly require.

This deeper link between the publishers and the readers triggers an interesting phenomenon: electronic versions of newspapers can help steer news priorities in the printed versions, thanks to online readers' responses to stories. Cross fertilisation takes place and it's even possible to get online readers to buy the printed version by trailing stories selectively between online and offline editions.

Our close contacts with you enabled us to track this development quickly. Earlier this year, our Media Task Force officials visited De Standaard, the famous Flemish newspaper. The editor showed how a multi-platform news strategy works across print, internet and mobile phones. I have no doubt that multiplatform evolution in the newsroom and multimedia convergence are the future.
Generating revenues in the digital age is one of the biggest challenges the publishers have to face. Most new and magazine publishers are still making less than 5% of their turnover from new media. They should double their web revenues over the next year or so. Meanwhile, book publishers should keep an eye on advances in low power, flat-screen e-readers, like Amazon's recently launched "Kindle". If this kind of device makes a breakthrough like the iPod in music, there will be new markets to develop - and speedily.

The third panel is going to discuss the new challenges on the advertising market that publishers have to face with multimedia environment. The various advertising revenue models are immature as yet and great uncertainty remains regarding the model to follow. No optimal strategy exists but rather a wide range of opportunities can be tested with results likely to vary depending on specific editorial segments.

Ladies and gentlemen, As you know, I am always very vigilant when the economic welfare of the publishing sector is at stake. This is one of the main tasks of the Media Task Force: be vigilant.
Over the last weeks, I have been following in particular the review of the Labelling Directive with great attention, specifically the forthcoming modification of the rules relating to car advertising and CO2 emissions ratings. As you know, the European Parliament expressed its lack of confidence in a car manufacturers' voluntary agreement because the manufacturers were not able to propose a code of conduct in time. The Parliament therefore called on the Commission to make a proposal to amend the Directive and introduce new legal requirements for the labelling, advertising and marketing of new cars in the internal market.

My Media Task Force is in close contact with other Commission departments on this and I am aware that car advertising accounts for 15-20% of magazine advertisements revenues.
While we all must- as citizens, as business leaders and as policy makers - contribute to sustainable development and to respect the environment, this should be done in an equilibrated way. Notably, one should look carefully at the opportunity and efficiency of the compulsory insertion of public service messages into advertising.

And let me say something one more time: as long as I am the Commissioner in charge of media, this Commission will not propose new advertising bans!

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, This Forum is a very concrete opportunity to discuss among ourselves all these issues and ensure that the privileged partnership the Barroso Commission has built with European publishers and their representatives remain strong and that, together, we prepare the birth of the convergent publisher.

May I finish this speech with a question to the audience: which of you have their newspapers, magazines, books present on Second Life? And a second, more private question: who in this room has his / her avatar on Second Life or on another virtual community?

Many of you, dear friends, apparently are still neither convergent nor virtual publishers, I am afraid! Therefore, I am happy to welcome here Cory Ondrejka, CTO of Second Life, who will deliver today's keynote speech. The success story of this virtual community should encourage all of us to seize the opportunities of our digital environment. Cory, the floor is yours.

Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media



The Board of Directors of the International Press Telecommunications Council IPTC issued their endorsement of the ACAP project on 4 March 2008:

"As the news industry's standardisation body, IPTC will continue supporting the technical development of ACAP as it solves a widening variety of issues in a straightforward and robust manner. IPTC members encourage the development of ACAP as standard way of communicating how web content may be accessed and processed by search engines. The previously existing methods were not powerful enough and were only vaguely specified. A fully featured ACAP will be a tool that meets news industry business requirements, and IPTC member companies will make extensive use of it."

About IPTC: The IPTC, based in London, UK, is a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world. Information on all IPTC standards such as the new family of IPTC G2-Standards, the existing NewsML 1, NITF, SportsML, IIM standards and the NewsCodes together with a list of existing members and information on how to join is available at http://www.iptc.org.

The Board of Directors of the International Press Telecommunications Council IPTC