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AOP to host ACAP briefing

AOP has invited the project leader for the ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) search engine initiative to come and hold a briefing for AOP members on the afternoon of Wednesday 15 November. The briefing will provide an opportunity for members to find out more about the project, the benefits for publishers, and ways to get involved.

The pilot project, spearheaded by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), is designed to prevent future clashes between search engines and publishers.

The initiative, first announced in January 2005 and given a “cautious welcome” by AOP members, surrounds creation of an automated enabling system by which publishers can grant permissions to search engines to recognise and use their content, bringing legitimacy to the current situation.

Mark Bide, director and senior consultant at Rightscom, which specialises in areas relating to the migration of the media from physical to network distribution, has been commissioned by the organisations behind the initiative to act as project coordinator.

Bide, who has been in the publishing industry for 35 years and whose clients include the British Library, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Publishers Licensing Society, has already completed a feasibility study and a project plan for ACAP.

The WAN-led taskforce, which involves The European Publishers Council (EPC) the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the European Newspapers Association (ENPA), hopes that the protocol will allow a search engine operator to systematically adhere to current policy and law, ultimately creating a technical solutions framework that will allow publishers worldwide to express usage policies in a language that the search engines can be taught to understand.

The briefing for AOP and PPA members will be free to attend, will start at 3pm and finish by 4.30pm.

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Places will be limited. To confirm attendance, please email us at