News

Global Entertainment Companies Join Forces to Launch the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment to Reduce Online Piracy

30 content creators from across the digital ecosystem form global coalition committed to protecting creative content

June 13, 2017 – Today, 30 leading content creators and on-demand entertainment companies from around the world launched the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), a new global coalition dedicated to protecting the dynamic legal market for creative content and reducing online piracy.

The worldwide members of ACE are Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and 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.

In recent years, the legal marketplace for creative content has grown exponentially, as film and television companies have invested heavily in digital distribution models. There are now more than 480 online services worldwide available for consumers to watch films and television programs legally on demand.

This tremendous growth of creativity also drives the economy. In the United States alone, the creative sector adds over $1.2 trillion to the economy and supports more than 5.5 million direct jobs each year.

However, as more creative content moves online, piracy poses a continuing threat to creators, consumers, and the economy. Films and television shows can often be found on pirate sites within days – and in many cases hours – of release. 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. There were also an estimated 21.4 billion total visits to streaming piracy sites worldwide across both desktops and mobile devices in 2016.

Piracy also puts consumers at risk. 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.

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. Specifically, ACE 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.

For more information about ACE, visit www.alliance4creativity.com

Media contact/ACE spokesperson:

Zoe Thorogood

UK: +44 7855 828391

US: +1 (202) 677-8732

zthorogood@apcoworldwide.com

ENDORSING STATEMENTS

“BBC Worldwide invests in, commercializes, and showcases content from the BBC around the world and champions British creativity globally. It is the lifeblood of our business and we must ensure that we do all we can to secure and protect it from theft and illegal distribution. The ACE initiative is hugely important at a time when content consumption habits are rapidly shifting and methods of piracy are becoming more and more sophisticated.” Martyn Freeman, General Counsel, BBC Worldwide

“Innovative and exciting new services are emerging that offer greater choice, quality, and convenience for legal and safe access to content, but illegal access to copyrighted content negatively impacts the entire content production industry. More needs to be done to recognize and protect the legitimate rights of content owners, producers, and distributors. This is why we are pleased to expand our anti-piracy initiatives through direct involvement with the ACE coalition.” Mirko Bibic, Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Bell Canada and Bell Media

“Creativity has been part of Canal+ Group’s DNA ever since the beginning. We have always encouraged it, and are proud to support many artists and new talents. Fortunately, we are living at a time when creativity is rich. But, in the meantime, it has never been so threatened by piracy, which is getting more and more organized, complex, and global. To face these new challenges, our industry must adapt its response and find a way to address issues that cannot be effectively handled at the local or regional level. In that respect, Canal+ Group is proud to be part of the ACE launch, an unprecedented worldwide coalition with significant resources. We believe it will be a key asset to strengthen our efforts to protect creativity.” Jean-Christophe Thiery, CEO, Canal+ Group

“In this golden age of content it’s more important than ever that we remain vigilant about copyright protection. For the creative community to truly flourish, it must know that its work will be safe from theft. That is why we are proud to be a part of ACE. We look forward to working with our fellow members to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy the programming they love for years to come.” Jonathan Anschell, Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Secretary, CBS Corporation

“Creativity is the center of our business and so is protection of copyrighted material and intellectual property. This unites us with artists and rights holders around the globe. We are a proud member of ACE in the fight against piracy and intellectual property theft. We would like to thank the MPAA for the support of their antipiracy expertise and resources in this important effort.” Martin Moszkowicz, Executive Chairman, Constantin Film

“Piracy is no longer just about the latest movie, it affects every form of creative programming, including new digital content and live events. To continue providing audiences in Latin America and around the world with the creative choices they crave, we must work collectively. We look forward to supporting the mission of ACE to protect the rights of creators and reduce online piracy.” Marcelo Bechara, Corporate Affairs and New Media Director, Grupo Globo

“At the intersection of media and technology lies creativity – and at Hulu, one of the most important things we can do to serve our viewers is support and protect that creativity. Despite all of the progress we’ve made as an industry, piracy continues to threaten the rights of the storytellers at the heart of the entertainment business. We are proud to be part of the ACE coalition and help strengthen the fight against content theft globally.” Chadwick Ho, SVP, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Hulu LLC

“Online piracy of film and television content is not just a problem for large studios. Piracy drains resources from independent film and television production and threatens the jobs that are generated by filmmakers of all kinds. Since the independents’ ability to raise production financing relies on the health of the overall legitimate distribution network for creative content, copyright infringement and piracy not only undercuts the anticipated revenue from exploitation of a particular film or television program, it also severely impacts the ability to secure financing for future projects. IFTA is proud to support ACE, which promises to concentrate our industry’s efforts and strengthen our determination in the fight against online content theft.” Jean Prewitt, CEO and President, IFTA

“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. 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.” Lesley Freeman, Chief Legal Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

“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 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.” Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO, MPAA

“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. 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.” Kimberley Harris, EVP and General Counsel, NBCUniversal

“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.” David Hyman, General Counsel, Netflix

“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.” Rebecca Prentice, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Paramount Pictures

“Collaboration, through bodies such as ACE, is critical in tackling this issue because piracy is illegal, unreliable, and risky.” Andrew Griffith, Group COO, Sky

“The theft and illegal distribution of copyrighted content impacts our business, the creative community, and the consumer viewing experience. As the landscape of the industry evolves, the range and threat of piracy expands with it. We look forward to working with our industry colleagues from around the globe to address this urgent issue.” Leah Weil, Senior EVP and General Counsel, Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Audiences across Latin America enjoy more legal choices for film and television content than ever before. However, the theft and illegal distribution of copyrighted content limits our ability to fuel this explosion of creative content and provide audiences with the film and television programs they want. We are proud to join ACE to promote creativity and reduce piracy – in our region and around the world.” Joaquín Balcárcel, General Counsel, Televisa

“Joining the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment reinforces Univision’s commitment to safeguarding our market-leading assets and protecting our content. ACE will provide a platform for the Company to collaborate with industry partners as we work to address the challenges of online piracy and ensure that our consumers are able to access their favorite programming anytime, anywhere.” Jonathan Schwartz, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, Univision Communications Inc.

“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.” Graham Burke, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Village Roadshow 

“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.” Alan Braverman, Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The Walt Disney Company

“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.” John Rogovin, EVP and General Counsel, Warner Bros. Entertainment

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