Facebook acquires startup Source3 to combat pirated content

James Marshall
July 25, 2017

In 2015, as Facebook's video traffic increased, some creators and executives criticized it for not doing enough to combat a practice known as "freebooting", through which pirates re-upload viral videos on their own channels and gain free exposure from the resulting views and shares.

Facebook is knuckling down in its efforts to stamp out video piracy following the purchase of content rights management startup Source3, a developer of proprietary software capable of detecting when pirated videos and other content have been shared without permission. But it needs to prove it can help creators monetize their content without allowing piracy to run rampant.

"We're joining Facebook", Source3 said on its website. Source3 announced the deal on its site, which was spotted by Recode. It remains unclear, however, how many employees of Source3 will join Facebook and stay in their New York City offices.

The startup explains that "At Source3, we set out to recognize, organize and analyze branded intellectual property in user-generated content, and we are proud to have identified products across a variety of areas including sports, music, entertainment and fashion".

The deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed, will see Facebook take charge of both the technology and some of the brains behind its creation. Source3 builds technology to detect intellectual property that has been shared by internet users without permission. Rights Manager works a bit like YouTube's Content ID, which enables creators to digitally fingerprint their videos so they can block unauthorized uploads on the platform.

According to a report by CNBC, Facebook was able to acquire Source3 for an undisclosed amount. The company is also capable of identifying unapproved appearances of brands with the help of Facebook's Rights Manager tool.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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