Publishers Try Online Tool for Detecting Infringement: A New Service Allows Publishers to Detect Plagiarism

Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, November 2008 | Go to article overview

Publishers Try Online Tool for Detecting Infringement: A New Service Allows Publishers to Detect Plagiarism


IMAGINE THIS: Your publication's Web site is populated with thoroughly researched stories and original, crisp images. You then discover that 15 unrelated, unlicensed Web pages have not only lifted this content, but are running ads alongside it for profit.

Enter iCopyright's Discovery, a Web-based service that finds both licensed and unlicensed uses of a publisher's content online. This service, launched in September, allows publishers to use Discovery as a license verification tool, a detection tool for plagiarism and copyright infringement, as well as a business development tool.

Discovery works by fingerprinting publisher content and then searching the Web each hour to find sites that are using all or part of the material. The service identifies Web sites that have obtained a valid license and verifies that they are using the content within the terms of the license.

Its first 30 days in operation yielded 303,025 suspects--Web sites or blogs that were using fingerprinted content. Of these suspects, about 43 percent were whitelisted by publishers as legit partners or licensees, while the other 57 percent remain open as suspect cases of infringement. The service retains snapshots of each piece of found content from third party sites, creating an audit trail of actions taken by the publisher and the suspect site.

And just in case publishers plead immunity from content theft, iCopyright's data cited 65 percent of suspect abusers ranking in the upper third of the most trafficked sites on the Web; 75 percent of its suspect sites were using more than half of any given article; and 99 percent of suspects aren't linking back to the publisher.

B-to-B is a Core Market

Currently, Discovery has several hundred magazine clients, including titles published by Advanstar, Penton, Cygnus, Source Media and BNP. …

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