In 2015, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), a new initiative designed to target existing and developing piracy operations on a global scale, announced its launch.
Headed up by the studios of the MPAA plus Netflix and Amazon, more than 30 international media now complete its ranks, including the likes of BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada, MGM, and Village Roadshow, to name just a few.
In addition to targeting Kodi add-ons and their developers, ACE has made unlicensed IPTV services one of its priorities. This morning we can report that the anti-piracy giant has claimed another scalp.
In the grand scheme, OneStepTV.com appears to have been a relative newcomer. Archives suggest that the service launched in 2018 and grew to offer around 600 TV channels and 20,000 pieces of VOD content (such as movies), for $25 per month or less.
While many of One Step TV’s customers appeared to have enjoyed the service, a few weeks ago problems appear to have become evident to subscribers looking to renew their package.
A post on Facebook dated April 25, 2019, signaled payment processing issues, one of the most common signs that a platform might be in trouble.
“We have been subscribers for awhile now and like your service very much. We are a little confused and concerned as recently we were told that customers cannot renew their subscriptions anymore,” the post reads.
“Is your business going away, or do you anticipate fixing the payment issue in the near future? We really would like to continue doing business with you.”
A few days later, more serious issues hit the streaming service. With its payment processing suspended, the platform itself disappeared.
One Step TV’s public social media posts don’t give any explanation for the outage but yesterday an ominous change to the service’s homepage gave the clearest indication yet of what may have transpired.
Instead of One Step TV’s sales pitch, visitors to OneStepTV.com are now presented with a message from the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Five seconds later the page redirects to the Alliance’s homepage.
While a page and redirect like this are very easy to fake (pirate sites frequently display similar pages as April Fool pranks), this one is very different. Not only does the domain redirect to the Alliance’s website as promised, changes to One Step TV’s domain records confirm that the domain has been taken over.
As the image above shows, the domain is now in the hands of the MPAA and has probably been that way since yesterday morning. The site itself is hosted by Amazon, a founding member of ACE.
All the pieces of the puzzle together strongly suggest that in this format at least, One Step TV is done. It’s not clear if a lawsuit is involved but as far as we can see, none have been filed recently by ACE’s lead members.
While it’s difficult to say for sure, this closure bears the hallmarks of a cease-and-desist and subsequent settlement agreement. Given ACE’s reluctance to talk about such agreements, it seems unlikely there will be a detailed public statement.