by Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment
The operations of a large Melbourne-based supplier of IPTV set-top boxes which were pre-loaded to play pirated movies, television shows, sports programming and other content have been closed down.
The company, which had been selling these piracy devices in Asia for a number of years, has ceased selling the boxes.
The devices were sold on average for $A400, including a year's unauthorised subscription to pirated versions of video-on-demand movies as well as live sports channels and premium TV channels from Europe, India, the US and South East Asia.
Further, the owners have agreed to take necessary steps to prevent customers who had already purchased these piracy devices from accessing movies, TV shows and sports programming in the future. As part of a settlement agreement, the name of the company and owner were not released.
This follows a joint investigation in Australia by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), a global coalition dedicated to protecting the legal market and reducing online piracy, whose members include Village Roadshow and Foxtel, and CASBAA's Coalition Against Piracy (CAP).
Zoe Thorogood, a spokesperson for ACE, said: "The film and television industry has made significant investments to provide audiences with access to creative content how, where, and when they want it. ACE and CAP members initiated this investigation as part of a comprehensive global approach to protect the legal marketplace for creative content, reduce online piracy, and bolster a creative economy that supports millions of workers."
"This latest action was part of a series of global actions to address the growth of illegal and unsafe piracy devices and apps."
These devices are now beginning to dominate the piracy ecosystem and are significantly affecting the livelihoods of professionals working in the current industry, from producers to distribution platforms. They also pose a risk to consumers who face a well-documented increase in exposure to malware.
The CASBAA Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), pointed out that "the surge in availability of these illicit streaming devices is an international issue that requires a coordinated effort between industry and government."
The recently launched Coalition Against Piracy includes leading video content creators and distributors, working together in southeast Asia against Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) and the app networks that underpin them.
ACE was formed in June 2017 as a global coalition dedicated to protecting the legal market for creative content and reducing online piracy. Worldwide members include Amazon, Netflix and a wide range of film and television studios and production companies.