Social networks are facing a rude awakening to copyright. A new EU law called Article 17 essentially removes the safe haven and requires that they have made their "best efforts" to obtain rights holder licenses for all content on their platform. When a user uploads a video with a popular title in the background, tech platforms cannot simply remove it on request. They are liable if they have not already tried to get permission.
This is good news for musicians and film producers who are more likely to get paid. But it could hurt influencers and creators whose clips and remixes could be blocked or their earnings redirected. It will surely be a big problem for content sharing websites.
This is where Pex comes in. Founded in 2014, the profitable license assignment startup searches social networks and other user-created content pages for content from rights holders. With Pex you can then negotiate the licensing with the platforms, request a shutdown, assign the demand and / or track the consumption statistics. A database was collected with over 20 billion audio and video titles found on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter and other websites. It's like an independent YouTube ContentID.
Today, this business is booming as Pex acquires Dubset, which has tackled the problem of legalizing remixes and multi-song DJ sets for streaming services like Spotify to some extent for 10 years. The $ 11.3 million Dubset funded 45 million titles from over 50,000 rights holders through to the second fingerprint to pay for the artists behind the source material.
Pex has come a long way when CEO Rasty Turek tried to build a shazam for video. “It took me years to figure out how to do it technically, but there was no market for it,” he tells me. It turns out that the technology was perfect to detect the illegal use of copyrighted songs.
Now Pex Dubsets will gain connections to tons of record labels and other rights holders. According to two sources near the deal, the acquisition is between $ 25 and $ 50 million. "There are very few companies in the music business that have successfully licensed as many catalogs as Dubset, and the music rights database they create is huge and rare," said Pex CEO Rasty Turek theinformationsuperhighway exclusively before the official announcement of the contract tomorrow.
Together, they will drive Pex's new attribution engine, which creates a three-sided marketplace for content. Instead of just working with rights holders, the new technology can connect directly to large platforms and instantly identify copyrighted audio and video files in just a second. It can even work out cover versions of songs via melody matching as well as compressed, cropped and modified variations. Creators can also use it to ensure that the source material that they shuffle or turn into memes is properly assigned or reduced by revenue.
The attribution engine makes money by facilitating licenses and payments between platforms, rights holders and creators. It is free to register content with the service and to run platforms
The attribution engine is free for rights holders to register their content and for platforms to perform identification scans for the content uploaded to them. through our asset lookup service. The hope is that by creating an easier way to collaborate and share revenue, more rights holders will make their content available for use on social networks or in remixes. It could also provide platforms from Article 17 liability protection, as they can say that Pex has used its best efforts to obtain permission to use content from content holders.
"Basically, every platform in the world operating in the EU needs to identify all of the copyrighted content on its platform as it comes in, or go back and identify everything," said Bob Barbiere, Dubset's chief strategy office. “Dubset was specially developed for DJs or content creators. . . This is done exclusively for mixing and remixing content. Pex makes this much more extensive for the platforms. "
For emerging platforms like TikTok Competitor Dubsmash or Triller, Pex's business model is a gift. You don't have to pay for the ID service until you're ready to sign license agreements with rights holders when Pex adds a fee. Trying to create this stuff from scratch could be slow and hugely expensive, as YouTube is still perfecting its ContentID system after eight years.
Pex needs to strike the right balance to stay one step ahead of regulation, but not to the point that it's building technology that people won't need for a long time. The countries of the European Union have until June 21, 2021 to implement Article 17 with local laws. "We don't want others to innovate, but we also don't want to innovate by being too early and then waiting for the market to catch up with us," Rasty explains.
The Internet needs this kind of infrastructure because we're still at the beginning of the remix era. TikTok has proven how, by re-contextualizing a song or vocal track with new graphics, chains of jokes and content can become massively viral. The app produces the Harlem Shake phenomenon, where people promote their own content and draw attention to the original and all other versions. However, these remix websites could be disrupted if platforms and rights holders cannot conclude license agreements.
"I hope that thanks to Pex, people won't have to think about copyright in 20 years," Turek concludes. "All content that they produce and distribute on the open Internet is automatically assigned to them and generates income if they so wish." This could allow more people to turn their passion for creating into their job, whether they're building an app, writing a song, or mixing a song into a meme for an app.