In August, the US Department of Justice indicted eight defendents who operated a major pirate Webs site from Las Vegas, called Jetflicks. One of the eight also ran a second site, iStreamItAll.
On December 13, the US Department of Justice announced that two of the Jetflicks defendants, including the one who started iStreamItAll, had pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and money laundering charges in separate procedings. According to a DoJ statement, Jetflicks claimed to offer more than 183,200 individual television episodes, while iStreamItAll had 118,849 different television episodes and 10,980 individual movies.
These sites used automation to identify and capture new content from global Torrent and Usenet sites, and then hosted that content on their own servers; which redistributed the content via streaming and download using a paid subscription model. One of the two defendants also established additional piracy sites, from which he made an estimated $1 million. The operators claimed that iStreamItAll “had more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime,” and that they encouraged users to quit those services to take their own.
These two defendants will be sentenced separately in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in March, 2020. The other defendants in the Jetflicks case will go to trial in February.
Why it matters
This is another case of industrial-scale theft and redistribution, which even included the theft of stolen content from other pirate operations. Interestingly, the DOJ news release made no mention of collaboration between US law enforcement and any of the media and entertainment industry organizations (like ACE, for example) that exist to fight piracy – although I would speculate that it’s entirely possible ACE was involved in some way.