Hollywood isn’t taking the threat of online piracy lightly. A coalition of 30 entertainment companies — including Disney, Amazon, and Netflix — have created a new group to fight hackers looking to steal content.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, unveiled on Tuesday, said it will conduct research and work with law enforcement to “curtail illegal pirate enterprises,” through a number of ways. One weapon in its arsenal will be civil litigation, used to target copyright violators.
ACE will also lean on anti-piracy measures from the Motion Picture Association of America, and work with search engines like Google and broadband providers to curb piracy.
“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,” said Chadwick Ho, a Senior Vice President at Hulu, in a statement. “We are proud to be part of the ACE coalition and help strengthen the fight against content theft globally.”
The increasing ubiquity of online entertainment has been both a blessing and a curse to the industry. There are nearly 500 services worldwide to watch TV or movies legally online, but there were more than 5 billion downloads of pirated content in 2016, according to ACE.
That’s serious money going out the window. In the U.S., more than 5 million jobs and $1.2 trillion are tied to the creative sector, according to the International Intellectual Property Alliance.
“The theft and illegal distribution of copyrighted content impacts our business, the creative community, and the consumer viewing experience,” said Leah Weil, Senior Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a statement. “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.”
The full list of ACE members is a who’s who of the entertainment industry: Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and Bell Media, Canal+ Group, CBS, Constantin Film, Foxtel, Grupo Globo, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, 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, Village Roadshow, the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment.