Newspaper executives often complain that bloggers and small Web sites are stealing their content and, as a result, their advertising revenue. But solutions are rare. Now, news is out that two
San Francisco area start-up companies have developed tools that could reshape how news content is distributed and monetized on the Web.
Scribd has unveiled a system for publishing secure bodies of text and distributing them. The product allows publishers to post documents on their Web sites in a secured widget. Redistributors, such as bloggers, can repost the document on their sites only through the widget and cannot extract the raw text. Scribd can also use the widget to track precisely which sites reuse the content. By making the widget the only mechanism for reposting content, news publishers could make sure that all editorial and advertising material remains in tact as other Web sites post their work.
Another start-up, Attributor, hopes to attack the piracy problem by giving publishers tools to hunt down republications of their text and claim a chunk of any advertising sold against it.