The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which mainly includes companies from the film and media industry, has struck another blow against illegal providers of copyrighted entertainment titles related to Germany. It announced on Wednesday that it had shut down the illegal German-language streaming sites HDFilme and xCine. Both portals were operated from Vietnam.
16 million users per month
On the main domains hdfilme.cx and xcine.me as well as on seven other addresses with other endings used by these sites, the notice that the portals are no longer available due to copyright infringement is now emblazoned in large letters under the ACE logo. According to the anti-piracy coalition, the websites have been online since 2019. They are said to have allowed illegal access to more than 23,000 films and an estimated 100,000 series episodes. More than 16 million users are said to have made use of the offers per month.
“All domains related to HDFilme and XCine have now been transferred to ACE,” says the alliance. You are now redirected to the “Watch Legally” information area with links to over 140 legal content providers. However, there are still many free riders like hdfilme.ru, hdfilme.cloud or xcine.icu. According to an industry insider, these should not be connected to the actual perpetrators. Only redirects or rip-offs without content would be offered there.
Vietnam: “Main exporter of illegal content”
“Our focus on Vietnam is an important part of our ongoing effort to reduce online piracy in Asia Pacific and across the global creative ecosystem,” said Jan van Voorn, executive vice president of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and head of ACE . The pirate hunters managed to locate the website operator with the help of legal action in Europe and national investigative work. As a rule, an out-of-court settlement is then reached, which includes the transfer of all active domains in addition to the payment of money.
According to ACE, this is the first action of this kind in Vietnam. The country is currently developing into a “main exporter of illegal content” and is “the place of origin of many of the world’s largest illegal video sites”. Van Voorn announced that it would continue “prosecuting operators of piracy services in Vietnam”. These put consumers at risk of “particularly dangerous malware”, undermined investments in the country, cost tax revenues and stifled creativity. In July, ACE held an anti-piracy symposium together with the Vietnamese government in Hanoi.
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A year ago, ACE shut down the IPTV service Iconic Streams and the Android app FileLinked running on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, which were also aimed at a German-speaking audience. In addition to major Hollywood studios such as Sony Pictures, Viacom CBS, Walt Disney and Warner Bros., the members of the alliance also include tech giants such as Amazon and Apple. The MPA acts as the executive body.
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