Last week we published a Q&A with 3D/DC founder and Shapeways General Counsel Michael Weinberg. This week we’re back with a Q&A from another of our valued event sponsors: Source3. We sat down with founder and CEO Patrick Sullivan. Follow Source3 on Twitter and be sure to tweet about this year’s event using #3DDC2016.
What has Source3 been up to since we last saw you at 3D/DC last year?
We’ve been working hard at bringing together a strong team to help build out our IP dataset and our technology. We’re keeping the majority of our focus on Content Identification and Licensing for creators, brands, and marketplaces both in 3D as well 2D.
Can you talk more about the importance of rights management around user generated content?
Rights management is an essential component of UGC, sitting alongside scaled licensing and content identification; it is the key to maximizing the revenue generating potential of user-generated content (UGC). Whether it’s an automated derivatives-based ecosystem spanning millions of creators or a highly specialized content experience, the rights management component is vital in advancing the UGC ecosystem.
In 3D particularly, what areas are you feel that will be the most impacted by this in the future?
Content used for augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) will need a licensing, and in particular a UGC licensing, infrastructure. Once the initial excitement of virtual environments wears off, consumers will be looking to participate in them with their favorite brands as part of the experience. As a company, we’ve started by licensing some of our own branded content for 3D printing, and also expect to see that grow in demand as technology becomes less expensive and machines get faster.
Where do you see opportunities for 3D content beyond the few marketplaces that exist today? Will Source3 be able to help bring those things to the ecosystem?
Today we are seeing more and more companies crop up around the Etsy model. For example, Amazon launched Handmade, which allows creators to upload their designs and then sell via the Amazon platform. As these marketplaces grow, and 3D content becomes more readily available, we can see it living alongside some of the traditional UGC content that is being commercialized today.
Can you talk to us a little about the royalties calculations aspects of this as well?
This is an important part of the process, because everyone wants to make sure they get paid – and paid fairly and transparently. Our team has extensive experience building and working on robust and flexible royalty systems, ranging from the digital music industry to YouTube. We see a lot of synergy between the work that we did in those domains and the needs that are now emerging in this broader UGC ecosystem. It is a huge challenge, but we are confident in our ability to efficiently address and scale solutions for all this complexity across myriad verticals.
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