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Who Owns Branded Content?

Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

In the news: The proliferation of sponsored content is raising new questions about content rights.

This week, Ricardo Bilton of Digiday.com raised important questions about branded content and ownership -- i.e., is the publisher or the advertiser who owns it? Bilton writes, "The answer has some big implications for not only the publishers but their advertisers, which are often interested in taking their brand content and republishing it elsewhere (or, in some cases, deleting it)."

Stances on ownership of branded content vary from publisher to publisher. According to Bilton, the Huffington Post presumes ownership of most sponsored pieces, while the Wall Street Journal feels that such content belongs to the sponsor. However, ownership of written content isn't the only potential legal landmine; photo permissions can also become an issue. Read more here.

Also Notable

AP Style: ISIL vs. ISIS

Earlier this summer, the Associated Press defended its choice to refer to the splinter group as ISIL instead of the more commonly used ISIS. Now that the group has changed its name to the Islamic State, editors are left wondering, according to Sam Kirkland of Poynter.org, "whether to go along with the group's rebranding efforts and potentially grant it undeserved legitimacy, or to keep using an acronym that's familiar to readers but is arguably out-of-date." Read more here.

"Why I Stopped Reading Magazines with Newsstand"

This week, Macworld.com posted about some pitfalls of the Apple Newsstand app. The app's "enclosing-folder" means that readers often don't know when new issues have hit the digital newsstand. The Macworld.com piece also cites slow download speeds for certain apps and bad reading experiences (particularly for magazines whose app content is repurposed from print). About magazine apps, Macworld writes, "The potential is there, but the reality is disappointing." Read more here.

Text Message Subscriptions

Boku, a startup mobile payments company, has partnered up with a major UK magazine publisher to create a text message–based subscription system. Readers would subscribe via text, and a confirmation text would direct them to a mobile registration form. The charge would then appear on their phone bill. Read more here.

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