Reuters Tries Fingerprinting To Find New Digital Syndication Customers

Reuters (LON:RTR) is to begin monitoring the web for unauthorised reproductions of its digital content. The information giant will use web services from Attributor of Redwood City, CA, which “fingerprints” text and, soon, videos and images before scouring the web for copies. Reuters’ digital syndication VP Ric Camacho, in Reuters’ own write-up: “It’s not really about slapping people’s hands. It’s about establishing relationships.”

But Attributor, whose CEO Jim Brock is a former Silicon Valley lawyer and YahoO SVP, is sold as answering such questions as “Who’s making money off your content?” and “Who is putting ads on my content, and can I share in the profit?” Sounds like Reuters will be going after plagiarists who either profit off its stories or fail to offer a return link to the stories on its direct-to-consumer website, and encouraging them to become legitimate subscribers to its syndication service. Attributor, in a release, said social media and self-publishing had driven a cut-and-paste web culture that now “empowers publishers to pursue new distribution and monetisation strategies” (like lawsuits?).