AP’s Annual Meeting: iCopyright Deal; Zell, Murdoch Join Board; Mobile News Net; Discounts

The Associated Press held its annual meeting in Washington today and made some of its own news:

iCopyright: The AP is adding a significant layer of copyright protection and licensing for stories and photos through a deal with Seattle-based iCopyright. AP will display iCopyright links at the top and bottom of every AP-hosted story to make sharing and licensing easier (one user calls it “instant fulfillment” for reprints) and will encourage subscribers to add the iCopyright tags to AP stories on their own websites. Knoxnews.com already uses it. Publishers using iCopyright tags earn revenue from reuse licenses. Release. Another way to look at it: AP and its subs can make revenue from anyone who wants to be legit and can up the guilt factor for the rest. Some of the options seem to go a bit too far — licensing an excerpt based by the number of words, for instance. Fifty cents each for 5-25 words — really — with a sliding scale to 20 cents per word for 101-250. No educational pricing, no non-profit pricing. (No grip on reality?) Also from the fine print: You may use the Email, Print and Save links but you may not cut and paste.

Zell, Murdoch Join AP board: William Dean Singleton, CEO of MediaNews Group and chairman of the AP board, was among those re-elected to a three-year term. New board members include Sam Zell, chairman and CEO of the Tribune Company (former CEO Dennis FitzSimons resigned); Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), filling the vacancy created by Jay Smith’s Small’s retirement as president of Cox Newspapers; and Craig Dubrow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett (NYSE: GCI) Co. Release.

Mobile News Network: AP is testing a Mobile News Network described as a national platform “a national platform for smart phone users to access local content from brands they trust.” It’s the first product from AP’s Digital Cooperative, the program designed to find new digital outlets for the news co-op and is expected to launch publicly this summer. More at our sister site mocoNews.net. Release.

Discounted fees: The board voted over the weekend to more than double a member discount program for members to roughly $14 million in 2008 from $5.6 million. Premium charges for the print and online Money & Markets stock market data and market insight content will end in 2009.

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