by Don Groves
Village Roadshow and Foxtel have joined a newly-formed global coalition of 30 content creators and on-demand entertainment companies dedicated to reducing online piracy.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) will draw on the worldwide anti-piracy resources of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in concert with the efforts of coalition members.
Its mandate is to conduct research, work closely with law enforcement to curtail illegal pirate enterprises, file civil litigation, forge cooperative relationships with national content protection organisations and pursue voluntary agreements with responsible parties across the internet.
The membership includes the Hollywood majors, Amazon, Netflix, BBC Worldwide, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, CBS, Canal+ Group, CBS Corporation, Constantin Film, Millennium Media, Sky, Star India, Studio Babelsberg, STX Entertainment and Telemundo.
Graham Burke, co-chairman and co-CEO of Village Roadshow, said "nothing is more important or urgent for our industry than confronting the global challenge of piracy. Every day that passes, tens of thousands of our movies are being stolen and it is devastating. Through a concerted joint effort, we will protect creativity by impeding the operations of these illegal enterprises and by supporting the legal marketplace for content so consumers can safely enjoy the content of their choice."
Netflix general counsel David Hyman said "while we're focused on providing a great consumer experience that ultimately discourages piracy, there are still bad players around the world trying to profit off the hard work of others. By joining ACE, we will work together, share knowledge and leverage the group's combined anti-piracy resources to address the global online piracy problem."
The coalition points out there are now more than 480 online services worldwide which enable consumers to watch films and television programs legally on demand.
However 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 were an estimated 21.4 billion visits to streaming piracy sites across desktops and mobile devices.
One in three pirate sites target consumers with malware that can lead to a range of problems including identify theft and financial loss, according to a December 2015 report by Digital Citizens Alliance.
MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said "global piracy is not just a concern for one studio or creator, it undermines the foundation of the entire global entertainment sector. Meeting the challenges ahead will require more voices, greater collaboration, new ideas, and increased resources. ACE, with its broad coalition of creators from around the world, is designed specifically to leverage the best possible resources to reduce piracy."
For more information about ACE go to their website.