The Trusted Partner Network (TPN), the global content security initiative operated by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), recently launched its enhanced program with a new membership model, application and cloud content security assessments, as well as the new TPN+ platform. With this expansion and the launch of the new TPN+ platform, TPN is bolstering its program to keep pace with rapid change and evolution throughout the media and entertainment industry.
Photo (L-R): Terri Davies and Jan van Voorn
Jan van Voorn, executive VP/chief of global content protection with MPA, as well as head of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), and TPN president Terri Davies, recently shared insight into the TPN updates, launch and the overall impact on the industry. They also detail how MPA’s TPN and ACE programs provide a 360-degree approach to content security and protection for content owners.
In addition to TPN, the MPA also leads the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), a coalition for reducing digital piracy. How are ACE and TPN working together to protect content in our industry?
Terri Davies: “TPN and ACE are a key part of the MPA’s content protection network. We are all aligned in our shared goal of helping to prevent content leaks and shutting down the illegal distribution of content. TPN provides a proactive program and platform that assesses a service provider’s content security preparedness with the goal of raising standards and awareness, and ACE combats digital piracy globally. Jan and I work closely together, as many of the TPN and ACE members overlap.”
Jan van Voorn: “ACE and TPN are really two sides of the same coin for protecting content. TPN provides content owners with the tools they need to help prevent security breaches and content leaks, as Terri mentioned. ACE, meanwhile, works globally to identify and stop commercial-scale piracy operators who are distributing content illegally. ACE takes an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to reducing piracy; its legal and operational toolkit includes law enforcement-assisted knock-and-talks, criminal referrals and litigation, among others. From script to screen, ACE and TPN represent the MPA’s 360-degree approach to content protection for the entire creative and content ecosystem.”
Post has been following the progress of TPN. Perhaps you can elaborate on the new membership and TPN+ platform, and what it means to the industry as a whole?
TD: “At TPN, our goal is to make content security an easier, more efficient and transparent process for all stakeholders, and to ensure that the TPN program provides value to all our members. Our upgraded program and brand new TPN+ platform allow service providers to share self-reported and verified security status on a service, site and application level. This provides content owners with a source of trusted information on multiple levels from which to make their own independent, risk-based decisions regarding vendor engagement. The new membership model was designed with our new application and cloud assessments in mind. It’s more inclusive in that any operation — from a three-person shop to a multimillion-dollar, multi-site or cloud-based application serving the entire industry — can access it. In short, our program and platform have become more sophisticated to address emerging threats to content security that could potentially impact the entire industry.”
The MPA Best Practices are foundational to the TPN initiative. I know you and your team have spent a significant amount of time streamlining those as well as the TPN assessment questionnaire. Can you elaborate a bit on that?
TD: “The MPA Best Practices have been foundational to content security in the media and entertainment industry for decades. Serving as the de facto industry resource, they are also the basis for the TPN security assessment questionnaire. When we updated and published the MPA Best Practices V.5.0 in October 2022 to include application and cloud, we consolidated the pre-existing 350-plus Best Practices to only 64. This work has also helped us streamline the TPN questionnaire from 400-plus questions down to 137. We have designed and built the TPN+ platform to filter the type of questions a service provider needs to answer in the TPN questionnaire by a series of criteria, such as service and workflow types, site or cloud environment, as well as pre-existing non-TPN certificates. As I mentioned previously, we have really focused on an improved and more efficient user experience for all TPN members, and we are excited to continue building on these significant improvements, while still maintaining the exceptional standards that the MPA and TPN represent.”
How is the new TPN+ platform streamlining the process for service providers and the way they handle their content security assessments?
TD: “Yes, we’ve greatly streamlined the process, and also introduced many new features that enhance the TPN program. As previously mentioned, we have significantly reduced the number of questions in the TPN questionnaire, which I’m sure will be a welcome relief for our members. We have also enabled service providers to manage their own profile on the TPN+ platform, which serves as a matrix, displaying cross-referenced details about all their services, sites and their owned and/or licensed software applications. In addition, members can upload non-TPN certificates, legacy TPN or other assessments, and a variety of other documents they may wish to share with their customers (content owners). This is a big change, because service providers now can manage and communicate their security status across their entire technology stack if they choose to. We have also streamlined and improved the user experience for the actual third-party assessment, as everything will now be managed via the TPN+ platform. This includes an online chat function between the assessor and the service provider member to expedite communication and keep everything in one place. Management and communication of remediation (if needed) has also been streamlined. Service providers can now add their own updates, and content owners who are at the Gold membership level can also communicate their priorities via the platform. Your readers can find more information on membership levels on the TPN website (https://www.ttpn.org/membership/).”
JV: “Making the user experience as streamlined as possible means that content owners and service providers will use the platform on a consistent basis. If we can stop content leaks this early in the creative process, the likelihood of a content owner’s intellectual property ending up on an illegal operator’s platform is diminished.”
How does the platform improve the experience for content owners?
TD: “Content owners can now understand a service provider’s full profile, including services offered, sites and owned and/or licensed applications. They can also view a service provider’s self-reported security status related to each of these using the TPN questionnaire, as well as view the final third party assessed security status report and associated remediation items. If the content owner is a Gold TPN member, they can prioritize each remediation item. One of the big industry challenges we wanted to solve was accelerating a service provider’s ability to report their security status to the content owners. Therefore, it was important that we removed as many bottlenecks as possible as we designed the new TPN+ platform and enhanced the process. We have achieved this in many ways by reducing the number of assessment questions, enabling the service provider to complete their profile and questionnaire during the onboarding phase and more.”
Let’s talk about TPN’s early adopters. I’ve been noticing quite a few announcements that vendors are making about joining TPN.
TD: “Yes, it’s really exciting to see the rapid adoption of the new membership model and TPN+ platform. More are joining every day! The security of content is critical and is constantly growing in complexity. TPN plays an integral role in the industry, helping organizations understand the threat landscape, and is providing the content security platform to help avoid content breaches. Any company committed to keeping content safe and looking for an efficient and centralized way to manage and communicate their security status to their customers (the content owners) should consider becoming a TPN member.”
JV: “From a global perspective, I’m thrilled by the number of early adopters. Distributors of pirated content look for ways to circumvent security measures, so we need to be steps ahead of the game with the latest technology. The new TPN+ platform helps members enhance their content security. And as with all new technology, early adopters are our greatest asset in motivating other potential users to not be left behind.”
What can we expect to see coming from TPN in the future?
TD: “We launched our updated program and new TPN+ platform on February 6th, which has been a significant turning point in the TPN initiative. Over the next few months, we will continue to solicit feedback from and consult with our members and the industry in general so that we keep evolving and addressing challenges. By introducing software application and cloud TPN assessments for service providers, we are offering a content security toolset and community platform that is supporting our industry’s rapid evolution. Our goal is to keep providing value, maintain forward momentum and be ready for whatever is next! I welcome your Post readers to visit the TPN FAQ page (https://www.ttpn.org/faqs/), where they can watch our recent webinar series and find many more answers to questions.”