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News syndication version of ACAP ready for launch and management handed over to the IPTC

Media release of 8 June 2011

Berlin (Germany) -- 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 is 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.

ACAP Project Director Mark Bide said: "We are delighted that the time has now come to pass the ACAP reins to IPTC. 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 said: "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."

Newly-published 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.

As an integral part of the development of ACAP 2.0,  the ACAP technical team has spent the past year evaluating the new version 2.0 of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) as a potential technical foundation for expressing usage policies in news syndication in particular, but also more generally in business applications of online content delivery. This evaluation showed that extending ODRL 2.0 for news industry specific requirements will meet the range of business cases for which ACAP 2.0 was developed. An ACAP Profile for ODRL 2.0 has been defined, which identifies those features of ODRL 2.0 that can most usefully be employed in news syndication and defines additional vocabulary for expressing the usage permissions and constraints that are particular to the news industry. Testing has shown that ACAP 2.0 also enables a wide range of usage policies to be expressed in news exchange formats such as IPTC's NewsML-G2.

IPTC Managing Director Michael Steidl added: "IPTC welcomes ACAP  2.0 the ability to express usage rights and permissions in a clear, unambiguous, machine-readable way is increasingly a vital business requirement for media companies.  We look forward to overseeing the future development of ACAP and invite our members and other interested parties to work together to extend the set of supported use cases."

For further information, please contact:
IPTC Managing Director Michael Steidl on Tel: +44 (20) 3178 4922
ACAP Project Director Mark Bide on Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 4445

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 organisation in the world.  Information on all IPTC standards such as the family of G2-standards, SportsML, NewsML 1, NITF, the Photo Metadata standards plus the NewsCodes vocabularies and in future ACAP, together with a list of existing members and information on how to join, is available at


About ACAP: Founded, funded and led 2007-2011 by:
European Publishers Council (EPC)
World Association of Newspapers - IFRA (WAN-IFRA)
International Publishers Association (IPA)
Project Director: Mark Bide
Technical Director: Francis Cave

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