Piracy is an increasingly large pain point for media creators and distributors in the digital age, so 30 of them have come together to create the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment in order to help fight online piracy. Massive corporations, content creators, and distributors of all sorts are in on the alliance, and will be joining together with the Motion Picture Association of America to help bring down online piracy by shutting down sources of piracy, filing civil litigation where appropriate, and helping piracy victims to recoup their losses by working with both distributors and downloaders of pirated content to reach agreements that will end piracy and help ensure that the creatives behind pirated media get paid.
While there have been actions against piracy in the past, this coalition is perhaps one of the largest dedicated enterprises yet formed to take down piracy once and for all. While new movie, music, and game releases have some protections once they wind up online, such as DRM, those protections tend to fall away quickly at the hands of the pirate community. This leaves free content at the mercy of users, who downloaded an estimated 5.4 billion pieces of copyrighted media in 2016, while streaming piracy sites saw roughly 21.4 billion visits in the same year. One of the most infamous examples in recent history is the tale of Denuvo, a third-party DRM provider whose software was at first viewed by prominent members of the piracy community as the end of gaming piracy on the PC. In a matter of months, however, Denuvo was so thoroughly tamed that the software could usually only keep new games safe for a matter of days.
While illegally downloading a movie, game, book, or piece of music can technically get a user sued, jailed, or both, there are a great many on the internet who enjoy pirated content with relative impunity because of lax enforcement of those laws outside of the uploader community. One of the goals of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is to change that by pooling the resources and manpower of the 30 companies involved, together with the MPAA, to track down and punish more pirates on both the user and uploader side. Another goal is to educate users and help to keep them safe; pirated content and the places on the net that users get them from, anecdotally, are more likely to infect a user's device with malware than normal web browsing. The 30 companies involved in the alliance include the likes of Amazon, Walt Disney, CBS, Hulu, and Sony Pictures. Google and Microsoft are missing from the list, despite vigorous actions over the years to keep links to pirated content out of their search engines. The alliance is open to new members internationally, and will only gain more power and reach as it grows.