Some 30 movie companies have united to form the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), in order to fight content piracy worldwide. For as long as home video has existed, piracy of movies has been a consistent worry for Hollywood and other industries connecting to distribution and exhibition of motion pictures. Fears over pirating of VHS tapes led to the advent of FBI warnings, as well as long-running court cases, in the 1980s.
More recently, piracy has taken the form of everything from cam-produced copies of early screenings to out-and-out computer hacks (see the recent headlines about hackers threatening to release the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie early) to, more commonly, leaks of preview screeners and other digital copies of films and TV shows. Now, the entertainment industry has launched a new effort to combat online piracy.
A group of 30 companies in the entertainment industry, spanning multiple countries and aspects of content creation, have announced the formation of the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment (ACE). The alliance is described in the press release as “a new global coalition dedicated to protecting the dynamic legal market for creative content and reducing online piracy.”
The members of ACE at launch include the parent companies of every major Hollywood studio, including NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Also on board are such industry heavyweights as Amazon, HBO, Netflix, Hulu, CBS Corp., AMC Networks, STX, Univision, Telemundo, MGM, Lionsgate, and Village Roadshow. Rounding out the group are such international concerns as BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and Bell Media, Canal+ Group, Constantin Film, Foxtel, Grupo Globo, Star India, Studio Babelsberg and Televisa.
How will this differ from previous anti-piracy efforts attempted by Hollywood? For one thing, this one has the buy-in of just about every major player in the industry. For another, this one focuses on online piracy specifically, while pointing out that there are now hundreds of places to stream content legally without stealing it. Not part of the group is the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), although the release does say that ACE “will draw upon the global antipiracy resources” of MPAA.
The movie industry has never faced the type of seriously existential threat due to piracy that befell the music industry, and later the adult film industry. The reason for that is simply that movies are long, they require huge files, and not everyone knows how to download them. But content piracy remains a persistent and increasingly international problem, likely to require a huge, industry-wide effort in order to solve.
Source: Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment