Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Google clarifies position on ACAP

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has announced his support of the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), an initiative providing publishers with more control over the use of their content online.

Schmidt said that the only barriers to Google's implementation of ACAP were technical, and denied that Google was reluctant to embrace the system because of commercial self-interest.

"It is not that we don't want [publishers] to be able to control their information," he said.

ACAP is a new publishing standard that allows website terms and conditions to be placed in machine-readable format so that publishers can have a say in how news aggregators and search engine companies use their content.

Schmidt said that ACAP, as currently specified, is incompatible with Google's proprietary search engine technology but that "we have some people working with them to see if the proposal can be modified to work in the way our search engines work."

Gavin O'Reilly, President of WAN and chairman of ACAP, said: "We are pleased that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that they would be willing to implement ACAP if it were not for some technical incompatibility issues.

Mr O'Reilly said Mr. Schmidt's statement, reported in IT Wire, "is hugely reassuring. We really look forward to continuing to work with Google to do the necessary work to match our business requirements with their technical specifications and thus make it possible for Google to immediately adopt the ACAP protocol for the benefit of digital publishing worldwide."

AOP implemented ACAP on its own site earlier this month.

Join the AOP group on LinkedIn - open for all Members to join
Subscribe to AOP's e-newsletter.