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Star joins hands with Amazon, Netflix, Disney to combat online piracy

MUMBAI: Thirty content creators and on-demand entertainment companies from around the world including Star India, Fox and Sky have 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 include Star India, Twentieth Century Fox, Sky, Amazon, BBC Worldwide, CBS, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney and Warner Bros.

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 programmes legally on demand.

This 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 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 identity 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 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, it will conduct research, work closely with law enforcement to curtail illegal pirate enterprises, file civil litigation, forge cooperative relationships with existing national content protection organisations and pursue voluntary agreements with responsible parties across the internet ecosystem.