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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple's TV+ streaming service has joined the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPA) anti-piracy coalition — the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) — and will join its governing board. 

Why it matters: The move represents Apple's growing commitment to its original programming. The company has long championed creators' rights, but now that it's producing its own content for Apple TV+, it is doubling down on efforts to protect original content.

Catch up quick: ACE was started in June 2017. Netflix and Amazon were founding members and part of the governing board along with MPA’s other members, and Netflix went on to become an MPA member in early 2019. 

  • The group today consists of dozens of members, mostly movie and content studios, including Amazon, Comcast, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Discovery, Fox, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Univision Communications Inc., ViacomCBS and more.

Details: Apple TV+ joins a smaller governing board of the coalition, which is comprised of the MPA’s six members — Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. — as well as Amazon and now Apple TV+. 

The big picture: TV creators, and especially streamers, have long viewed piracy as a massive problem.

  • Congress passed a bill over 20 years ago called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that sought to curb online piracy — but today, the industry still sees it as a big problem and Congress has faced pressure to update the law.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center estimates that more than 126 billion views of U.S.-produced TV episodes are pirated every year. It estimates that illegal downloading of copyrighted materials takes up 24% of the global bandwidth.
  • Streaming piracy, defined as "illegal streaming enabled by piracy devices and apps," represents 80% of all the revenue the Chamber of Commerce study calculates that content owners are losing because of piracy.

Be smart: Hardware companies that distribute content on their TVs, computers, gaming consoles or phones have typically had less incentive to tackle piracy. But even though Apple is a hardware company, it's lately begun to invest much more heavily in software, including original content for its Apple TV+ streaming service.

  • Apple participates in a variety of Washington-based trade groups and policy coalitions, but it's typically quiet about its lobbying efforts.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Apple's latest moves on racial equity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Funding for a new developer academy in Detroit is one of several moves Apple is announcing today as it implements the $100 million racial equity and justice effort it announced last June.

The big picture: The tech industry is putting more money into racial equity efforts, but progress in diversifying its own ranks remains slow.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Amazon says violent posts prompted Parler shutdown

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In a court filing late Tuesday, Amazon said it booted right-wing social network Parler from its AWS cloud service after flagging dozens of pieces of violent content starting in November.

Why it matters: Parler is suing Amazon, saying its expulsion violates antitrust laws. In its response, Amazon cites the violent content as well as its protection under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act among its defenses.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.