Anti-Piracy

New Coalition to Tackle Piracy Using Law Enforcement, Litigation

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A new worldwide coalition of 30 entertainment companies will work with law enforcement, seek new partnerships with content protection groups, and file civil litigation against illegal enterprises, all to curtail piracy.

Dubbed the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the group will pair the anti-piracy resources of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) with the internal anti-piracy experts of its membership, which includes major Hollywood studios, broadcasters and major streaming services.

“ACE will enhance our ability to reduce online piracy by maximizing the collective knowledge of its members and leveraging the world-class antipiracy operations of the MPAA,” said Kimberley Harris, EVP and general counsel for NBCUniversal, in a statement. “This united effort is an important step forward in our effort to protect creative content, promote the legal marketplace, and safeguard the viewing experience for our consumers worldwide.”

ACE will also look to forge new agreements with responsible parties across the internet ecosystem, to better promote the 480-plus existing online services available worldwide for consumers to via films and TV content on demand legally.

The group touts the $1.2 trillion contribution the creative sector makes to the U.S. economy alone each year, with more than 5.5 million people employed each year. However, the group also lamented the estimated 21.4 billion visits to streaming piracy sites worldwide in 2016, and the 5.4 billion illegal downloads of films and TV content using peer-to-peer networks.

“ACE, with its broad coalition of creators from around the world, is designed, specifically, to leverage the best possible resources to reduce piracy,” Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement. “For decades, the MPAA has been the gold standard for antipiracy enforcement. We are proud to provide the MPAA’s worldwide antipiracy resources and the deep expertise of our antipiracy unit to support ACE and all its initiatives.”

ACE also noted that one in three piracy sites use malware, another reason for the promotion of legal content sites, according to Rebecca Prentice, EVP and GM of Paramount Pictures. “Online piracy puts consumers at risk and threatens the wellbeing of the creative community. ACE will complement and help advance ongoing industry efforts against content theft, and we look forward to supporting its mission to promote a fair and safe marketplace for creators and audiences,” she said in a statement.

ACE members include Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and Bell Media, Canal+ Group, CBS Corp., Constantin Film, Foxtel, Grupo Globo, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Millennium Media, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, SF Studios, Sky, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Star India, Studio Babelsberg, STX Entertainment, Telemundo, Televisa, 20th Century Fox, Univision Communications Inc., Village Roadshow, The Walt Disney Co., and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

“As an industry, we collectively aim to maximize access to, and choices for, audiences to engage with our content. To be successful, we must also play an active role in raising awareness about the detrimental effects of online piracy, as it increasingly jeopardizes the rights of content creators and impedes the creation of the films and television programming that consumers want to watch,” said Lesley Freeman, chief legal officer for MGM. “This partnership with ACE will allow us to combat the growing threat of online piracy and protect the work of those creators, while ensuring the highest level of safety and quality viewing experiences for our consumers worldwide.”

For more information visit alliance4creativity.com.