Solutions to address the challenges of communicating digital rights and permissions

So what is ACAP and how does it work?

Launched in 2007, ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) is a new non-commercial, open, global protocol devised by the worldwide publishing community that provides content providers with the necessary tools to communicate their copyright terms and conditions online in a language that can be read, understood and interpreted by machines. Put simply, ACAP enables the copyright terms, conditions and permissions that would routinely be read by a human in the offline environment to be read and unambiguously interpreted by the machines that replace the human in the online environment.

ACAP will help maximise the potential of publishing on any web-based device, both in terms of improving the management of the relationship with search engines and other content aggregators, and in terms of facilitating existing, new and future online publishing business models. ACAP is essentially a free-to-use tool for the business-to-business environment, but end-users will benefit when content owners have the confidence, thanks to ACAP, to put their high-value, high-quality, diverse content on the net, safe in the knowledge that third parties can no longer exploit that content without appropriate permission.

ACAP is a crucial tool for the future of internet publishing and for publishers and content providers of all shapes and sizes.

Despite the impressive number of sites and publishers worldwide that have already implemented ACAP, the major search engines and content aggregators have – as of yet - declined to adopt ACAP and have yet to positively engage in any meaningful dialogue with rightsholders about their requirements for more effective control over the way that their content is used online. You can read our responses to the substantial amount of misinformation that has been spread about ACAP by those who have a business interest in restricting the effectiveness of copyright on the Internet here.

We continue to hold out an olive branch to, and work with, those search engines who value the rights of the content providers, and we also continue to talk with legislators and regulators on how a tool like ACAP can be used to avoid copyright infringements and the lawsuits that are the inevitable result.

The more support we have from the rightsholder community, the stronger our case. So join us, implement ACAP, spread the word and not only preserve, but enhance the value of your content and your enterprise.