ACE in MENA antipiracy takedown
January 26, 2024
By Colin Mann
Antipiracy coalition the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has secured a major victory in its fight against content piracy in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region with the shutdown of Cima4U, an illegal streaming service based in Giza, Egypt.
Cima4U operated 498 domains that enabled users to stream online content illegally. Through its various domains, the site attracted over 30 million combined monthly visits from 11.6 million unique visitors. The illegal service offered a VoD library of more than 165,000 movie and TV series titles in Arabic and original versions, affecting all ACE members.
“The shutdown of Cima4U is a significant blow to the entire piracy landscape in the MENA region,” asserted Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Head of ACE. “With the assistance and expertise of the Egyptian police, we have been laser-focused on criminal operators in MENA for some time and successfully shut down numerous illegal operations there in the past year alone. The sheer scale of Cima4U made it particularly notable, and this takedown proves that even the most audacious infringers will face the law.”
ACE members MBC GROUP and OSN, two of the leading broadcast companies in the MENA region, applauded the shutdown.
“OSN continues to be committed to fighting TV content piracy in the region through technical disruptions, on-ground support, and in-market enforcement actions,” confirmed Fiona Robertson, General Counsel at OSN. “We are happy to collaborate with ACE and other members in the industry to help create awareness within our user communities.”
The impact on OSN and MBC was significant, as traffic to Cima4U originated primarily from Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, major media markets for both companies.
“Combating piracy is vital for the entertainment industry as it safeguards creative content, fosters innovation, and ensures fair compensation for artists, creating a sustainable ecosystem,” stated Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer VOD at MBC GROUP. “We are grateful for the continuous partnership with ACE in protecting our content.”