Third-party source

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A third-party source (as opposed to first-party source or second-party source) is independent[1] of the first party and second party in a transaction, interview, or written description (etc.). A first-party source comes directly from the first party (such as a self-published document or product description). A second-party source is controlled by the second party, such as a customer[1] who has written some product requirements, or a prior book or article written by the same author.

In commerce, a "third-party source" means a supplier (or service provider) who is not directly controlled by either the seller (first party) or the customer/buyer (second party) in a business transaction.[2] The third party is considered independent from the other two, even if hired by them,[2] because not all control is vested in that connection. There can be multiple third-party sources with respect to a given transaction, between the first and second parties. A second-party source would be under direct control of the second party in the transaction.

In journalism, a "third-party source" is a document or entity which is not directly controlled by either the subject (first party) or the author (second party) of a written text. For example, a third-party source might be a prior news report about the primary subject (first party) of the writing. A second-party source could be a previous article already written by the same author (the second party) or by a group under direct control of that author. A first-party source might be an autobiography or product description written by the subject.

In Information Technology, a "third-party source" is a supplier of software (or a computer accessory) which is independent of the supplier and customer of the major computer product(s).

There are other uses of the term "third-party source" as well.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ordlista",, 2011, web: SP-3.
  2. ^ a b "Definition - third party",, 2011, web: YLic, states: "not directly involved in the transaction".