Fox & Charter/Spectrum Agree to Clamp Down on Piracy

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Fox Corporation and Charter Communications have signed a long-term renewal of their content distribution agreement. As part of the arrangement, the companies have agreed to work together to deal with "abusive password sharing" while implementing "new business rules" to mitigate piracy.

Once upon a time, telecoms companies, Internet service providers, and content creation companies trod their own path.

Increasingly, however, they are becoming more reliant on each other, with the latter using the formers’ distribution capabilities to present and deliver content to the public. As a result, they are forging mutually beneficial business relationships, ones that will hopefully prove profitable for all.

On Monday, Fox Corporation and Charter Communications announced what they describe as a long-term renewal of a distribution agreement. It will see Charter maintaining access to Fox’s “full portfolio” of news, entertainment, and sports networks. Interestingly, Fox will also get a couple of things in return.

Password sharing has appeared in the news on several occasions in the past couple of years, with some content organizations framing the activity as a type of piracy. The new deal will see Charter, which operates under the Spectrum brand, collaborate with Fox to reduce it.

Additionally, Charter has also signed up to cooperate with Fox to mitigate piracy in general. The information released thus far is lacking in detail but the companies have reportedly agreed to implement “business rules” to address unauthorized access to content.

“This agreement allows continued access to all of the FOX programming for our customers and FOX viewers, but it will also amplify our mutual efforts to address piracy and abusive password sharing issues,” says Tom Montemagno, Executive Vice President, Programming Acquisition for Charter.

“We appreciate FOX’s desire to further collaborate as the video landscape continues to evolve.”

In August, Charter announced a similar-sounding deal with another entertainment industry giant.

“Disney and Charter have also agreed to work together on piracy mitigation,” the statement read. “The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”

Just last week, Comcast became the first Internet service provider to join ACE, the global anti-piracy alliance comprising dozens of the world’s largest entertainment and distribution companies. The way things are moving, it probably won’t be the last.


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