Pex, a startup aiming to giving rightsholders extra management over how their content material is used and reused on-line, has raised $57 million in new funding.
The spherical comes from current traders together with Susa Ventures and Illuminate Ventures, in addition to Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment, the CueBall Group, NexGen Ventures Partners, Amaranthine and others.
Founded in 2014, Pex had beforehand raised $7 million, and it acquired music rights startup Dubset final yr. Founder and CEO Rasty Turek instructed me that whereas the product has developed from what he described as “a Google-like search engine for rightsholders to seek out copyright infringement” right into a broader platform, the imaginative and prescient of making a greater system of managing copyright and funds on-line has remained the identical.
The startup describes its Attribution Engine because the “licensing infrastructure for the Internet,” bringing collectively the people and firms who personal content material rights, creators who may wish to license and remix that content material, the massive digital platforms the place content material will get shared and the legislation enforcement businesses that wish to monitor all of this.
The product contains six modules — an asset registry, a system for figuring out these property after they’re utilized in new content material, a licensing system, a dispute decision system, a fee system and information and reporting to see how your content material is getting used.
Turek mentioned that whereas Pex is being utilized by “many of the largest rightsholders on the earth,” the system was constructed to be accessible to “a struggling musician out on the streets of Los Angeles” who doesn’t have the sources to “police all of this content material” on-line.
He additionally prompt that the broader regulatory surroundings is looking for an answer like Pex, with the European Union passing a brand new copyright directive that’s set to take impact this yr, and new copyright laws additionally on the desk within the United States. The EU invoice was criticized for doubtlessly prompting bigger platforms to preemptively block broad swaths of content material, however Turek argued, “There’s a lot content material on the market in quest of an viewers that that is going to be the alternative of overblocking.”
Not that Pex is taking is relying solely on regulators. Turek additionally mentioned the platform is structured to steadiness the wants of the totally different teams utilizing it — and that it has an incentive to strike that steadiness as a result of its income comes from licensing offers, so it’s targeted on “actually being the Switzerland, actually being the impartial get together.”
“We designed all of our enterprise round the concept if we attempt to abuse the system, we lose, too,” he mentioned. “We don’t generate profits [when someone] abuses the system, we solely generate profits when all people performs good.”
Turek additionally claimed that public area and Creative Commons licenses are “top quality residents” on the platform, and that most of the rightsholders utilizing the Attribution Engine don’t essentially need financial compensation: “Lots of people are joyful to do that for recognition. We are social animals.” (Plus, recognition can result in moneymaking alternatives.)
Pex says the brand new funding will permit it to proceed scaling the Attribution Engine.
“I don’t imagine investments are valdation,” Turek added. “I imagine they’re extra obligation than validation, however they do show you’re directionally right.”
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