Hugh Pickens writes "Journalist Alan D. Mutter reports on his blog 'Reflections of a Newsosaur' that a coalition of traditional and digital publishers is launching the first-ever concerted crackdown on copyright pirates on the Web. Initially targeting violators who use large numbers of intact articles, the first offending sites to be targeted will be those using 80% or more of copyrighted stories more than 10 times per month. In the first stage of a multi-step process, online publishers identified by Silicon Valley startup Attributor will be sent a letter informing them of the violations and urging them to enter into license agreements with the publishers whose content appears on their sites. In the second stage Attributor will ask hosting services to take down pirate sites. 'We are not going after past damages' from sites running unauthorized content says Jim Pitkow, the chief executive of Attributor. The emphasis, Pitkow says is 'to engage with publishers to bring them into compliance' by getting them to agree to pay license fees to copyright holders in the future. Offshore sites will not be immune from the crackdown: almost all of them depend on banner ads served by US-based services, and the DMCA requires the ad service to act against any violator. Attributor says it can interdict the revenue lifeline at any offending site in the world." One possible weakness in Attributor's business plan, unless they intend to violate the robots.txt convention: they find violators by crawling the Web.
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