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Attribution Engine

Radically Simple Licensing

Pex Team

Empowering creators, rightsholders, and platforms to clearly communicate digital copyrights

If you are familiar with Pex you will know that we have built a business over the past five years by helping copyright owners manage their intellectual property. Our database consists of over 18 billion audio and video tracks, and continues to grow. We have helped tens of thousands of artists earn millions of dollars by finding and attributing every copy of their work across the Internet. Every single day we empower rightsholders, both big and small, to know what is happening with their content. Our current service, however, can only help after content is published. There is no solution that enables rightsholders, content creators, and platforms to know the licensing status of content before it is published. Until now.

Introducing the Pex Attribution Engine

Today we are proud to announce Pex’s first step in simplifying the process of licensing content. Named Attribution Engine, we believe it will transform the way intellectual property is licensed in the digital world. Our goal with the Attribution Engine is to enable the proper usage of owned content, so that more content can be published, and stay online, for everyone to enjoy. Built on top of everything we have learned managing digital rights over the past five years, the Attribution Engine is a giant leap forward in the way content is licensed. It represents the first truly comprehensive, digital licensing marketplace and clearing house. We call it radically simple licensing.

Market-leading technology

The Attribution Engine pairs a comprehensive database of media ownership information and a licensing engine with a custom look-up for any platform, and benefits from the proprietary fingerprinting and matching algorithms that have been powering Pex products for the past five years.

The advanced fingerprinting and look-up capabilities allow for content identification:

  • Within five seconds.
  • Of audio, video, and audiovisual files.
  • With matching segments as short as one second in length, optimized for the discovery of copyrighted material in any audio or video content.
  • With melody matching for identification of cover versions of songs.
  • Within compressed, cropped, or otherwise modified copies.

Our infrastructure, processing billions of messages daily across thousands of servers, and having indexed more than 18 billion audiovisual files, gives us the speed and scale to manage a significant undertaking like the Attribution Engine. Because we have long-standing relationships with the major music rightsholders and an extensive index of videos and music, Pex is uniquely positioned to help solve the problem with copyright attribution.

By centralizing media ownership information in a database of registered works, the Attribution Engine streamlines communication between those who hold copyrights and those who want copyright information to facilitate licensing. Because ownership of works change hands and disputes arise, we developed a dispute resolution process to ensure that the database is always up-to-date with the latest information.

The Attribution Engine also uses this database of registered works to power our licensing engine and allow real-time licensing at an unprecedented scale. Rightsholders will be able to leverage the licensing engine to facilitate licensing across the Internet and transmit this information to platforms. Content creators will be able to find and license copyrighted material with certainty.

Radically simple licensing

Enabling the promise of radically simple licensing, however, requires more than just market leading technology. It requires a product approach that is flexible enough to work for all parties. To ensure this the Attribution Engine is based on four principles:

1. Licensing needs to be simple, comprehensive, and market based.

  • The process of transacting licenses needs to be done in a manner that works with existing digital workflows, leveraging existing technology solutions.
  • A comprehensive approach requires complete coverage at both a catalog and a platform level.
  • Market based means that parties get to negotiate and set the rates they are comfortable with.
  • Licensing should be done as close to the point of creation and/or distribution as possible to be most useful.

2. Enforcement and transparency of these licenses must be effective and scalable. Rightsholders must be able to see where their content is being used to ensure compliance, and must be able to quickly and easily deal with any infringements. Platforms must have certainty around the status of content that they distribute.

3. Rightsholders need to be able to get meaningful insights on what is happening with their content, so that they can make informed business decisions about what to do moving forward. Understanding usage is key to making meaningful business decisions.

4. Conflicts must be simple and cost effective to resolve. There will always be issues around both ownership information and use of copyrighted material. Any approach to a new way to license needs to ensure that conflicts are able to be dealt with in an efficient and transparent manner.

Working for all parties

Rightsholders need to be able to communicate what they own and how they want their content to be used. Asset ingestion for rightsholders is simple, using industry standards such as DDEX and CWR. Understanding that issues around ownership information are bound to arise, we have put in place mechanisms to help resolve conflicts between rightsholders.

Platforms need a way to discover copyrighted material in their user-generated content, and act on it appropriately. The Attribution Engine offers a content recognition service and licensing engine. We allow all platforms to take advantage of the speed and scale of our search engine. Platforms can, in real time, identify copyrighted material.

Content creators want to be able to express themselves while recognizing the copyrights of any other works they use as part of their original work. The Attribution Engine enables this by making licensing content as simple as possible and by giving content creators transparent ownership and licensing information.

How much does Attribution Engine cost?

The Attribution Engine is free for rightsholders to register and manage their content. By offering asset registration and lookup at no cost, we believe more rightsholders will make their assets available, and more platforms and creators will publish content that respects copyrights. 

If Attribution Engine is free, how do you make money?

Our business model lies in revenue sharing with platforms from licensing transactions. Pex will make money when content is successfully licensed.

How do I get started?

Pex welcomes anyone who is interested in a better way of communicating copyrights and licensing material to try out the Attribution Engine. If you are a rightsholder or platform, reach out on our contact page to get started.

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