Agencies partner for anti-piracy efforts

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The US’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) as well as industry marketing organisation CTAM, have formed a multi-layered partnership designed to strengthen innovation and collaboration within the organisations’ collective content protection efforts.

Derek N. Benner, Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a division of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement which oversees the IPR Center, and Karyn Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the MPA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during a virtual ceremony to commemorate the partnership. A public service awareness campaign, developed through this new partnership, was also unveiled at the event.

The MOU sets forth mutual efforts and activities designed to supplement HSI’s digital piracy investigations and other intellectual property rights investigations related to the mission of the IPR Center. These include connecting resources and sharing information within the anti-piracy community.

“Now more than ever, collaboration and partnerships between content creative industries and law enforcement agencies are essential to combat digital piracy and protect consumers,” declared Benner. “Through this partnership, the IPR Center and its private sector partners will implement an aggressive multi-layered strategy to restore the digital ecosystem, educate consumers on the dangers of illegal streaming, enforce the nation’s intellectual property rights laws, and dismantle criminal enterprises that operate on the internet – thinking they are untouchable and above the law.”

The Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) is also a critical partner in the relationship. The GIPC will disseminate these timely messages about online safety to the business community and to consumers.

“It’s never been more important to ensure consumers around the globe continue to benefit from every-device access to new content generated by America’s creators,” stated David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the Global Innovation Policy Center at the US Chamber of Commerce. “Global digital piracy costs the US economy $29.2 billion a year, money that would otherwise be spent to create more, safe access to new content generated by American creators and workers,” said “It’s important for consumers to understand the personal risks they’re taking when they engage with pirated content, including exposure to identity theft, malware, other criminal activity as well as the economic consequences. The new MOU and its public service awareness campaign will keep Americans informed about digital piracy, so that they can keep safe from its reach.”

“The MPA and ACE are dedicated to reducing piracy and this new partnership with the IPR Center strengthens our ability to continue to do this important work,” added Temple.

“We are grateful to the IPR Center for joining us in this fight and we’re confident that this will make a big difference in our enforcement efforts going forward,” commented Jan van Voorn, EVP of Global Content Protection for the MPA.

In December 2019, the IPR Center launched ‘Operation Intangibles’ in response to an increase in pirated goods across the digital ecosystem. The operation is designed to combat transnational copyright infringements, and digital piracy activities impacting the content creative industries and the US economy.

The HSI partnership with the MPA comes at a time when more people are home streaming movies and television shows during the global Coronavirus pandemic and streaming piracy continues to grow representing 80 per cent of all piracy today. Unlawful piracy operations put innovation, creativity and investment at risk, to the detriment of creators, innovators and consumers alike. Additionally, consumers are harmed when accessing illegal content – one-third of pirate sites target consumers with malware that can lead to a range of problems, including identity theft and financial loss, according to a report by Digital Citizens Alliance.

The partners say the initiative provides critical new opportunities to assist law enforcement in their investigations of persons and criminal organisations involved in the illegal act of duplicating, copying, or sharing digital works without the legal permission of the copyright holders.

The PSA campaign will be used on consumer facing websites to educate the public about the dangers of malware and the economic impact of piracy to the creative communities. The IPR Center and ACE envision broad viewing of the 30 and 90 second PSA across both video and social networks. Additional partners including CTAM, through its Stream Safely initiative and the Digital Citizens Alliance will also use the PSAs in upcoming outreach effort to warn consumers about the dangers of piracy.

 


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