Interesting post on journalism.co.uk by Peter Kirwan (left) on how the technology exists to show the source of news stories and help protect copyright.
Peter takes as an example the row of how the exclusive interview with Jo Yeates' father by the Solent News and Photo agency ended up on PA after it appeared on the Southern Daily Echo website.
He asks: "What if the Echo, beneath its headline, had run an automated link to a pop-up window that told the world that this particular story was copyrighted to Solent News and Photo Agency?
"The technology required to do this at the Echo (and every other news outlet in the land) already exists. One option involves tagging content with an HTML-compatible microformat called hNews, endorsed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, developed by the Media Standards Trust and financed by two US foundations – the Knight Foundation and the Macarthur Foundation – that have started to take a serious interest in the future of journalism.
"There are other ways of achieving similar results with metadata: RDFa is an existing, and far more ambitious, set of standards for linking data across the web. Likewise, Google has also become interested in metadata that illuminates the credentials of stories."
He adds: "Taking the idea a step further, buying content would become a less fraught if news editors could access a national web-based clearinghouse of breaking stories – all of them equipped with metadata that clearly highlighted their source and licensing terms.
"The technology exists to do this. In the US, this spring, Associated Press is expected to launch a rights clearinghouse that will exploit the potential of hNews, which had been adopted by nearly 600 US news sites by last October."
Pic: Peter Kirwan speaking at the Frontline Club (Jon Slattery).