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ACE comes together to tackle online piracy

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has outlined an initiative to try and tackle online piracy.

Members of ACE include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Amazon, MGM, SKY and BBC Worldwide.

The creative sector in the US alone contributes over $1 trillion to the economy, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with consumers now able to pick from over 480 online services.

However, online content means piracy is rampant, with an estimated 5.4 billion illegal downloads of films and TV shows in 2016.

Piracy not only prevents profits from reaching the creators, but can also leave malware on machines used by downloaders.

The new initiative by ACE will see them work with law enforcement agencies while conducting research, file civil litigation and work with national content organisations.

Martin Freeman, general counsel at BBC Worldwide said: “The ACE initiative is hugely important at a time when content consumption habits are rapidly shifting and methods of piracy are becoming more and more sophisticated.”

Walt Disney Company senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Alan Braverman, said: “ACE will help protect the viability of the creative community and ensure audiences continue to enjoy the high-quality content they have come to expect. It enhances our collective efforts to fight online piracy by disrupting the criminal enterprises that profit from the theft of copyrighted content, while promoting the legal market for that content, and ultimately gives consumers greater confidence that their viewing choices are not supporting unlawful activities.”

Hyundai launches UK’s first online-only car store

Hyundai has started what it claims to be the first entirely-online car store, with cash buyers able to have their brand new car delivered straight to their door.

The site, called Click To Buy, aims to streamline the process of buying a car, and you can reportedly finish your transaction within 5 minutes of opening the site.

It’s also possible to trade-in your old car, but that still requires exchanging it at a local dealership.

“The entire online process is possible to complete in about the same time as it would take to refuel your car,” said Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai UK, who believes the ‘haggle-free’ software is “a real benefit for those who feel uncomfortable doing so or simply don’t have the time.”

The site means you can order a brand new Hyundai from your mobile phone, but those paying through finance will still require additional paperwork.

“This is a pivotal time for the car industry as a whole and the start of what I think will be a transformative period,” explained Mr Whitehorn, “I’m delighted that we are leading the charge and we will continue to innovate within this space moving forward.”

Best global brand awarded to Apple for fourth consecutive year…

Despite attracting some questionable headlines of late, theBest Global Brands’ report devised by Interbrand has voted Apple as the ‘Best’ for the fourth consecutive year – taking into account its influence on customers, the strength it has to command a premium price, and overall financial performance.

After experiencing a 5 per cent increase in growth this year, Apple narrowly beat Google to secure the top spot; in addition to Coca-Cola (-7 per cent), Amazon (+33 per cent) and Samsung (+14 per cent). The top 29 positions were filled by automotive and technology brands, as well as the financial sector maintaining a strong performance with a total of 12 inclusions.

Interbrand’s global chief executive officer, Jez Frampton, commented on this year’s report: “These brands clearly understand their ‘anatomy of growth’ – that it’s complex, nuanced, and personal. For each brand, growth means something different, and every story is unique. The best brands are looking inward and outward, expanding into new markets, creating better experiences. They’re not just weathering change, they’re driving it.”


View the full Best 100 Brands list here