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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 16, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Don’t steal that copy: Seattle’s iCopyright launches anti-plagiarism service

Seattle-based iCopyright, a 10-year-old company offering copyright protection tools, today announced a new Web serviced called “Discovery” that “finds both licensed and unlicensed uses of a publisher’s content on the Web.”

The system sounds like a text version of the watermarking technology increasingly used by music publishers: Discovery fingerprints content and conducts hourly Web searchs to find sites using the material.

There are other anti-plagiarism tools, but Chief Executive Mike O’Donnell said Discovery is unique in two ways.

“First, it understands which articles are most widely read and used, allowing for targeted results at a low cost,” he said in the release. “This allows publishers to zero in on the best opportunities or the most egregious abuses. Second, publishers can adjust the search algorithm to narrow the number of sites and types of sites that are likely to be of particular concern. For example, if a publisher is not concerned with sites that use small amounts of their content, or with sites that are using the content for non-commercial purposes, Discovery can be tuned to ignore those sites.”

I wonder if he’ll sign up the Associated Press.

The company’s letting publishers signed up with its iCopyright system try Discovery on a free trial basis.

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