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The Motion Picture Association’s anti-piracy organization, ACE, is boosting its global impact by partnering with local entertainment companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong-based video streaming platform Viu and Thailand’s leading cable satellite TV provider True Visions have both joined the coalition to help combat entertainment piracy in their home markets and around the world. The MPA and ACE say the addition of major local operators as partners — of which more are planned in the coming months — will play a pivotal role in enhancing anti-piracy enforcement actions on the ground.
ACE, also known as the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, was founded in 2017 by the MPA and a collection of the world’s leading media and technology companies with a mission to combine efforts and resources to jointly combat the prevalence of online piracy. The first Asia-based companies, Viu and True Vision join a coalition of 39 members.
“The addition of Viu and True Visions is the beginning of an expansion to include local media companies from key markets around the world. By growing ACE’s footprint throughout the APAC region, we are building new relationships with local law enforcement authorities and other key partners in our ongoing effort to shut down piracy operations around the world,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman of ACE and the Motion Picture Association. “These new members further strengthen ACE’s global reach and collective approach to disrupting a piracy ecosystem that harms the creative economy worldwide.”
ACE is supported by a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and law enforcement agencies around the world and international organizations, like Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.
The organization says its anti-piracy efforts in its first five years have born considerable fruit. In North America alone, it has reduced the number of illegal streaming subscription websites from 1,400 in 2019 to slightly more than 200 today.
“You often hear the comment that piracy is like Whac-A-Mole — they’ll just keep popping up,” says Jan van Voorn, executive vp and chief of global content protection at the MPA. “But we have already had very meaningful and lasting impact in North America, and that’s something we are now replicating all over the world, with the support of a growing number of partners.”
Viu, based in Hong Kong and backed by local telecom company PCCW, is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s leading independent streaming companies. Operating both SVOD and AVOD channels, the platform has carved out a sizable niche by specializing in Korean content, both licensed and original. True Visions is Thailand’s largest Internet provider and cable TV provider. The company holds a raft of high-value local sports and entertainment rights in the Thailand market.
“We recognize the need to address the piracy that is widespread in our markets,” said Janice Lee, CEO of Viu. “By being a part of ACE, we hope to make an even more positive impact on our consumers and the industry at large. This is why Viu has decided to join ACE and work to stop the disruption of the world’s legal film, TV and streaming industry.”
Added Sompan Charumilinda, executive vice chairman of True Vision: “Online piracy poses a grave threat to Thailand’s economy, creative economy, and to our reputation abroad. We want to support Thai people, as they compete in a globalized marketplace, by protecting their work with strong intellectual property rights stewardship. We are pleased to be the first member of ACE based in Thailand and look forward to helping drive important actions in this market that will improve the piracy landscape and pave the way for a brighter future.”
ACE’s governing board comprises the MPA’s six members — Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. — as well as Amazon and Apple TV+.
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