Global Anti-Piracy Coalition Battles an Overlooked Enemy ⁠— Password Sharing

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photo: Arek Socha

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is turning its attention to password sharing among streamers.

The organization hasn’t announced any concrete measures, but they are looking into best practices for tackling the issue. ACE was founded to combat torrent piracy, but password sharing is a new hot-button issue.

ACE consists of several high profile studios like Netflix, Amazon, and Comcast. Comcast became the first internet service provider to join the alliance this year. Canadian company Bell soon followed, with Charter signing up just yesterday.

The organization has moved on from fighting torrents to taking down illegal streaming services. But password sharing may be the next piracy frontier it tackles. The problem is that most end-users don’t see a problem sharing passwords, even though it is against terms of service for streaming services.

Most media platforms don’t do much to crack down on the practice, in theory. For example, Spotify seems more concerned with family plan abuse than password sharing. ACE is hoping to change that by sharing “best practices” for highlighting “improper password sharing.”

The CEO of Charter, Tom Rutledge, says he’s thrilled the alliance will embrace the process.

“We are very pleased that ACE and its coalition of members have committed through this initiative to take on unauthorized password sharing and other content security practices, and we look forward to working together on this important issue.”

A report published last year suggests Netflix is losing $135 million in subscriptions due to password abuse. It’s a massive problem for TV and movie streaming services, but what about music?

A report from April suggested that at least 1 in 3 Apple Music subscribers share passwords. The survey size of that report was only 1,000 people, but it does appear to be a problem in music. That survey also revealed that people with premium Sports subscriptions were most likely to share their passwords with friends.

2 Responses

  1. Alice

    How about smokin’ in the boys’ room? Are tehy chasing that, too? Ooops, I mean vapin’ in the boys’ room.

    Password sharing — funny how they phrase that: “improper”

    Next: A law against password sharing!

  2. Damien Y. Bizeau

    Another way for pirates to get round laws this new password sharing technique….When in February 2004 NASA Office of Inspector General told me it asked the NASA GSFC IT expert Eric F. Vermote to stop his unethical peer to peer file sharing of digital content activities I didn’t expect it would later insured me he had done nothing illegal; that is actually the weirdest situation I ever experienced in my entire life and it caused me a trauma as a professional musician who took his first piano lessons at age 4: of course it was just a way for NASA GSFC OIG to tell me “you aren’t getting the anti content piracy whistleblower fees you requested upfront from our agency because our OIG failed verifying the case, and we don’t care about it, which you therefore have to accept to make us happy”.