A murderers’ row of media companies have formed the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) to fight online video piracy.
The worldwide members of ACE are Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada, Bell Media, Canal+ Group, CBS Corporation, 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, Twentieth Century Fox, Univision Communications Inc., Village Roadshow, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
The group estimated that last year, there were an estimated 5.4 billion downloads of pirated wide release films and primetime television and VOD shows using peer-to-peer protocols worldwide. In addition, there was an estimated 21.4 billion total visits to streaming piracy sites worldwide across both desktops and mobile devices in 2016, according to a news release.
The group is also speaking about the potential risk to consumers, estimating that one in three pirate sites target consumers with malware.
“By bringing together global creative companies producing all forms of content, ACE will expand ongoing, cooperative efforts to reduce the prevalence of online piracy. ACE will draw upon the global antipiracy resources of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in concert with the internal antipiracy expertise of the ACE coalition members,” the group said in a news release.
ACE said it will conduct research, work closely with law enforcement to curtail illegal pirate enterprises, file civil litigation, forge cooperative relationships with existing national content protection organizations and pursue voluntary agreements with responsible parties across the internet ecosystem.
"ACE will help protect the viability of the creative community and ensure audiences continue to enjoy the high-quality content they have come to expect. It enhances our collective efforts to fight online piracy by disrupting the criminal enterprises that profit from the theft of copyrighted content, while promoting the legal market for that content, and ultimately gives consumers greater confidence that their viewing choices are not supporting unlawful activities," said Alan Braverman, senior executive vice president and general counsel for The Walt Disney Company, in a statement.
"Fueled in large part by the explosion of new digital platforms, the creative sector supports more than 5.5 million direct jobs each year. By comprehensively working to reduce piracy, ACE will also work to protect the viability of high-quality creative jobs, as well as the network of local small businesses that service the industry all across the country," said John Rogovin, executive vice president and general counsel for Warner Bros. Entertainment, in a statement.