Hollywood companies and streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, are partnering to combat piracy, it was announced Tuesday.
Thirty global content creators and on-demand entertainment companies launched the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment to reduce online piracy.
Members in the partnership include Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and Bell Media, Canal+ Group, CBS Corp., Constantin Film, Foxtel, Grupo Globo, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Millennium Media, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, SF Studios, Sky, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Star India, Studio Babelsberg, STX Entertainment, Telemundo, Televisa, Twentieth Century Fox, Univision, Village Roadshow, Disney and Warner Bros.
“As more creative content moves online, piracy poses a continuing threat to creators, consumers and the economy,” a press release about the alliance’s launch said. “Films and television shows can often be found on pirate sites within days — and in many cases hours — of release.”
The move comes after the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” was held for ransom by hackers, which was revealed last month by Disney CEO Bob Iger. The hackers demanded the studio to pay up to prevent the movie, which is now in theaters, from leaking online. Iver said at the time that the company would not give into hackers’ demands and that it was working with the FBI on the case.
Netflix was hit by the hacking group TheDarkOverlord in April. The hackers demanded a ransom from the streaming company after stealing the fifth season of “Orange is the New Black.” The group leaked the unfinished season of the show before its June 9 release.
Mike Kelly, CEO of Kelly Newman Ventures and former president of AOL Media Networks, said the alliance can help curb piracy.
“The more content that flows through the internet the more likely it’s at risk of getting hacked,” Kelly told International Business Times. “Banding together and sharing resources will help. Ultimately, like we are seeing in the music industry, technology and new business models will help solve this problem.”
The alliance is the most recent move against piracy. In March, Amazon banned the sale of third-party streaming boxes that endorse or allow for pirated content. The online retailer’s policy threatens to destroy vendors’ inventory at Amazon warehouses and vows to cancel their payments from Amazon.
In 2016, there were about 5.4 billion downloads of pirated wide-release films, prime-time television and on-demand shows using peer-to-peer protocols worldwide. Piracy sites worldwide received an estimated 21.4 billion total visits last year from dektops and mobile devices.
Piracy affects the creative sector, which contributes more than $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy and supports more than 5.5 million jobs each year. It also puts ordinary people at risk since one in three pirate websites expose users to malware, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss, a 2015 report from Digital Citizens Alliance found.