There is no denying that the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has been rather successful over the past few years.
The anti-piracy group, which represents prominent rightsholders such as Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, and beIN, systematically hunts down key piracy players.
These enforcement actions have resulted in the demise of high-profile targets including Openload, RapidVideo, Pelisplushd.net, Afdah.video, and many others. This week we can add another name to the growing list.
ACE reports that, in collaboration with local rightsholder True Visions, it helped the Thai police to shut down We-Play.live. The site offered a wide variety of piracy content including films, TV shows and sports. It reportedly generated revenue through subscriptions and carried advertising for illegal gambling operations.
The Economic Crimes Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police raided a condo in Bangkok where the 26-year-old operator of the site was arrested. He will be prosecuted based on copyright infringement-related charges.
ACE’s Chief of Global Content Protection Jan van Voorn is pleased with the outcome. He hopes that it will clearly signal to other site operators in the region that piracy isn’t tolerated.
“ACE commends the Thai Police for their continued collaboration and the effective takedown of this infamous streaming website,” van Voorn says. “The operator of the We-Play network of sites deserves his day in court.”
We-Play had been in operation for four years and had an estimated 2.8 million visits per month according to ACE, citing SimilarWeb data. However, according to True Visions and local news reports, the site ‘only’ had 20,000 monthly visitors.
Despite this confusion, all sources agree that the site caused roughly 50 million Thai Baht ($1.4m) in damages per month. This estimate is based on information provided by local police.
With 20,000 visitors, this would mean that every visitor causes $70 in damages to rightsholders. And even at 2.8 million monthly visits, every visit would take a $0.50 out of the rightsholders’ coffers, which is still pretty high.
On the heels of shutting down We-Play, Thai Police also shut down the pirate IPTV service pglivetv.com.
With support from ACE and True Visions, several servers were seized at the local hosting provider World Internetwork. The 37-year-old operator of the subscription-based IPTV service was arrested at a Bangkok residence, where a number of documents and devices were also seized.