European Publishers Council

press centre
latest news & info
contact details
Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Chairman, EPC
Chairman and CEO,
Impresa S.G.P.S.
Rua Ribeiro Sanches 65
1200 Lisboa
Tel: +351 21 392 9782
Fax: +351 21 392 9788
Angela Mills Wade
Executive Director
c/o Europe Analytica
26 Avenue Livingstone
Bte 3
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +322 231 1299
Press Relations
Heidi Lambert Communications
Tel:  +44 1245 476 265
This website is ACAP-enabled

ACAP member

© 1996 - 2009
European Publishers Council
All rights reserved




  < back to press release archive



News release

Global publishers head off legal clash with search engines: new rights management pilot imminent

22 September 2006


In the week that the publishers of Le Soir and La Libre Belgique won their case in the Belgian Courts against Google for illegally publishing content on its news service without prior consent, the World Association of Newspapers (W.A.N.), the European Publishers Council (E.P.C.) the International Publishers Association (I.P.A.) and the European Newspapers Association (E.N.P.A), are preparing to launch a global industry pilot project that aims to avoid any future clash between search engines and newspaper, periodical, magazine and book publishers.

The new project, ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol), is an automated enabling system by which the providers of content published on the World Wide Web can systematically grant permissions information (relating to access and use of their content) in a form that can be readily recognised and interpreted by a search engine "crawler", so that the search engine operator (and ultimately, any other user) is enabled systematically to comply with such a policy or licence. Effectively, ACAP will be a technical solutions framework that will allow publishers worldwide to express use policies in a language that the search engine’s robot “spiders” can be taught to understand.

Gavin O’Reilly, Chairman of the W.A.N., said: "This system is intended to remove completely any rights conflicts between publishers and search engines. Via ACAP, we look forward to fostering mutually beneficial relationships between publishers of original content and the search engine operators, in which the interests of both parties can be properly balanced. Importantly, ACAP is an enabling solution that will ensure that published content will be accessible to all and will encourage publication of increasing amounts of high-value content online. This industry-wide initiative positively answers the growing frustration of publishers, who continue to invest heavily in generating content for online dissemination and use."

Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman of the E.P.C., said: "ACAP will unambiguously express our preferred rights and terms and conditions. In doing so, it will facilitate greater access to our published content, making it more, not less available, to anyone wishing to use it, whilst avoiding copyright infringement and protecting search engines from future litigation."

ACAP will be presented in more detail at the forthcoming Frankfurt Book Fair on 6th October and will be launched officially by the end of the year. W.A.N., the E.P.C. and I.P.A. will run the pilot for a period of up to 12 months and it will be managed by Rightscom Ltd.

For further information, please contact:

Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the EPC on Tel: +44 1865 310 732,

Jens Bammell, Director, IPA, Tel: +41 22 346 3018

Gavin O’Reilly, Chairman of W.A.N., on Tel: +353 1 466 3200,

Valtteri Niiranen, Director, E.N.P.A on Tel: +322 551 0190,

Heidi Lambert, Press Officer, on Tel: +44 1245 476 265,


Note to Editors:

The European Publishers Council is a high level group of Chairmen and CEOs of European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine and online database publishers. Many EPC members also have significant interests in commercial television and radio.

The World Association of Newspapers groups 72 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 100 nations, 13 news agencies, and nine regional press organizations, representing .more than 18,000 publications in all international discussions on media issues, to defend both press freedom and the professional and business interests of the press.

The International Publishers Association is a Non Governmental Organisation with consultative relations with the United Nations. Its constituency is of book and journal publishers world-wide, assembled into 78 publishers associations at national, regional and specialised level.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association is a non-profit association currently representing 5 100 national, regional and local newspapers. These daily, weekly and Sunday titles are published in 24 European countries where ENPA’s members are operating in their national markets.


back to top