Facebook has been working for years to help combat online piracy on its platform, and the Menlo Park, California-based social media company is now boosting its anti-piracy portfolio with the acquisition of Source3, a New York City-based start-up that develops technologies for detecting intellectual property (IP) in unrelated content. The acquisition will presumably help Facebook prevent users on its platform from reproducing videos and other content with no permission from the creators. The acquisition includes both the IP management technology and the people behind the startup. Source3 recently confirmed the deal, announcing on its website that the company is now bringing its IP and expertise to Facebook in order to help serve its two billion users who consume and share photos, music, videos, and other content on a daily basis. It remains unclear, however, how many employees of Source3 will join Facebook and stay in their New York City offices.
In May, Facebook was one of the Internet companies that have been criticized by the United Kingdom‘s Home Affairs Select Committee for their allegedly lax behavior toward illegal content posted on their platforms. The committee then proposed to penalize those companies if they don't improve their solutions that detect illegal content online. The acquisition of Source3 should now beef up Facebook’s rights management system, though it remains to be seen in which manner does the social media giant ends up implementing the start-up's technology into its own platform. The proliferation of pirated content on the platform, if left unchecked, would presumably discourage content creators from making and submitting more content to Facebook in the long term.
This is not the first time that Facebook has moved to help protect content creators from losing their rights and revenue; this April Facebook also revised its Rights Manager to make it easier for content creators to detect reposts of their videos and determine if someone has stolen their content on the platform. The goal of that particular initiative was to help content creators still cash in on pirates after their original content has already been re-uploaded. An update on Facebook's anti-piracy efforts may follow in the near future.