Facebook acquires IP identification startup Source3 for its technology

Facebook is working overtime to increase its arsenal of video-related tools. This week, the social media giant made a new acquisition – a content rights management startup called Source3.

“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 company self-describes itself.

The company was founded in 2014 as a 3D printing rights management company, but shifted focus when the 3D printing industry slowed down. It has raised $4 million in venture capital, primarily from a single seed round in 2015.

Source3's IP recognition process

Source3’s technology will likely be integrated into Facebook’s Rights Manager, the program that allows rightsholders to identify and take down or monetize infringing content. In addition to copyright infringement, Source3 is capable of recognizing trademark infringement, like unauthorized use of brand logos in videos – something Rights Manager is not currently capable of.

Facebook will retain at least some of the company’s team, who will work out of Facebook’s New York office. Source3’s website and social media accounts have been taken down, and the company will not continue to operate independently of Facebook.

Last month, Facebook announced plans to launch a standalone app later this year that will aid video creators in managing their content.

This isn’t the first acquisition for Source3 founders Patrick Sullivan and Ben Cockerham. In 2011, they sold RightsFlow – a company focused on music IP protection – to Google.