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Anti-Piracy Coalition ACE Gets Bigger, Stronger and More Effective

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The world's leading anti-piracy coalition ACE continues to expand with beIN as its newest member. Speaking with TorrentFreak, global anti-piracy chief Jan van Voorn shares a peek behind the scenes and a glimpse into ACE's future plans. "If someone is running a pirate business of any significance, they can be 100% sure that their case is somewhere in our pipeline," van Voorn says.

ACE logoDuring the summer of 2017, several of the world’s largest entertainment industry companies teamed up to create a new anti-piracy coalition.

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) brought together well-known Hollywood companies including Disney, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, media giants such as Sky and BBC, as well as streaming-based newcomers Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.

Heading towards its fifth anniversary, the coalition is stronger than ever. ACE continues to expand and now has 35 members, with beIN becoming the latest addition just this week. The addition of the sports rightsholder also represents an expansion into the live streaming arena.

The coalition’s growth is not limited to its member count, the number of people involved in ACE’s anti-piracy operations also continues to grow. The team currently consists of more than 100 full-time professionals speaking 30 languages across 24 countries.

Expansion appears to be paying off. While many pirate site operators manage to avoid ACE’s grasp, those who fail to take extreme precautions have become easy prey.

ACE’s global content protection chief Jan van Voorn informs us that more investigators and attorneys continue to be added to the alliance in various parts of the world. These “boots on the ground” allow access to local governments and law enforcement, to target local piracy players.

ACE Books Progress
Over the years ACE has built a dedicated library of open-source intelligence. This has resulted in a wealth of information that is now paying off at a rapid pace.

“Over the past three years, we have built up a significant pipeline of investigations. These are coming to fruition week by week and month by month. If someone is running a pirate business of any significance, they can be 100% sure that their case is somewhere in our pipeline,” van Voorn says.

These strong words are expected, as ACE wants site operators to feel vulnerable, but they’re not hollow threats. Over the past few months alone the coalition has shut down several prominent piracy players, including Pelisplushd.net, Afdah.video, and Altered Carbon.

And those names are just the tip of the iceberg. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of illegal websites and streaming subscription services operated from North America reportedly dropped from 1,400 to just 200. ACE believes this is in large part the result of its anti-piracy efforts.

Cease and Desist
There are a variety of enforcement actions available to ACE. The coalition takes a holistic approach, searching for vulnerabilities wherever it can. While court cases are also part of the repertoire, a cease-and-desist letter is usually the first step taken.
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