One of the largest piracy services in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region has been shut down in Egypt by the Egyptian police, in collaboration with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE).
According to ACE, CimaClub enabled users to directly download or stream pirated content, offering a VOD library of nearly 50,000 movie and TV series titles in Arabic and their original versions. All ACE members were affected.
It adds that the service attracted more than 29 million monthly visits through its 65 domains. Most of the traffic originated from Egypt, France, Canada, the United States and Germany.
Egyptian police identified and confronted the operator in Giza, Egypt.
Commenting on the shut down, Natasha Matos-Hemingway, chief commercial and marketing officer at Shahid, a leading Arabic streaming platform by MBC Group and ACE member, said: “ACE remains persistent in cracking down on piracy, collaborating closely with authorities to pinpoint unlawful operators in the MENA region.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Egyptian authorities involved, who work diligently to prevent illegal content sharing, and we are grateful to both. It’s no secret that piracy results in tremendous losses, not only for broadcasters, but for production companies and emerging content creators as well. At MBC Group, we remain aligned with ACE in its ongoing mission to protect the intellectual property rights of our creators. We are grateful to the Alliance for their great work throughout the year, and we look forward to continuing to fight content piracy together”.
Fiona Robertson, general counsel of OSN, a member of ACE, added: “Content piracy has severe implications across the entertainment value chain.
“As one of the leading entertainment companies in the region, we are committed to protecting the rights of all content creators by working closely with law enforcement and regulatory authorities in our operational markets.”
Jan van Voorn, executive VP and chief of global content protection for the Motion Picture Association and head of ACE, said: “We applaud the Egyptian police for their swift action in identifying the operator of one of the most notorious piracy services in the MENA region.
“The sheer breadth of this illegal operation affected every ACE member, compromising the intellectual property of numerous creators and content owners. Today’s action underscores the power of a global and joint effort to protect the integrity of the creative marketplace”.