Major Media Companies Unite to Launch NewsRight

Yesterday, 29 media companies including The Associated Press, The New York Times Company, and Hearst announced the launch of NewsRight. The venture is described as “an independent digital rights and content licensing organization.”

Headed by former ABC news president, David Westin, NewsRight has been in development for a few years under different names including News Registry, a property spearheaded by the AP.

“More news is available more ways than ever in history. But if reliable information is to continue to flourish, the companies investing in creating content need efficient ways to license it as broadly as possible,” said Westin. “NewsRight’s mission is to make sure consumers continue to benefit from the all the original news reporting they want while ensuring those who republish content do so with integrity. ”

In a nutshell, the service makes it easier for media outlets to license news content from the roster of NewsRight companies and in turn, provide both licensees and licensors with analytics regarding the use of content.

On the backend, as The Huffington Post reports, NewsRight works by encoding “original stories with hidden data that includes the writer’s name and when it was published. The encoded stories send back reports to the registry that describe where a story is being used and who is reading it. The technology can even locate stories that have been cut and pasted in whole or in part.”

Combined, these 29 investors can provide original content from 841 websites that have a combined monthly content viewership of nearly 170 million web readers.

Westin is calling for industry support of the venture not just to ensure its success, but probably also to show a united effort to effectively monitor content use as the digital realm continues to grow and the rules continue to change.

But will it work? What do you think? Will the service be beneficial to the media industry?