Facebook (FB) has just acquired Source3, a startup specializing in intellectual property tracking technology capable of identifying content shared without permission, in a bid to crack down on piracy and encourage content creators to share their work across the social network.
The acquisition, which was announced on Source3’s website, includes both the startup’s technology and some of its workforce, according to Recode. Source3 is expected to be fully integrated into Facebook, meaning that it wont operate as a standalone company, and staff that are retained will work out of Facebook’s New York office.
“We’re excited to work with the Source3 team and learn from the expertise they’ve built in intellectual property, trademarks and copyright,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement shared with Recode. “As always, we are focused on ensuring we serve our partners well.”
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the terms of the deal.
Facebook’s acquisition of Source3 comes at a time when the social network is trying to convince more content creators to share their work through its news feed. The company has been paying publishers and movie studios to make exclusive material for Facebook, although the risk of piracy has reportedly put some off partaking. (See also: Facebook Signs Content Deals With Vox, Buzzfeed.)
In May, Recode reported that Facebook’s plans to publish original video shows had been pushed back until the summer. The company initially wanted to have them done by April, ready to be rolled out in mid-June, but then had to delay the project for unknown reasons.
The social network introduced “Rights Manager” in 2015 in a bid to start clamping down on pirated content. This tool, which is similar in nature to YouTube’s Content ID, was designed to find content shared without permission and identify the owners, so that the company could request for the stolen material to be taken down.
In April, Facebook decided to change tack, giving right holders the option to make money off views generated from their pirated content. (See also: Facebook Now Lets Creators Earn When Their Content Is Pirated.)