Jetflicks / iStreamitAll piracy trial postponed to July 2020

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Image source: Jetflicks (Twitter page)

One of North America’s larger recent video piracy cases has been moved back again, giving a US federal court more time to review materials handed over by Canadian authorities.  The case of Jetflicks and iStreamitNow has been postponed from February 2020, to July.

The two sites had claimed to offer “more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime” combined.

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In August 2019, eight individuals were indicted for violating copyright law by running Jetflicks.  One of these eight went on to launch iStreamitAll.  In December, that defendant pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and another pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit same.

Part of the discovery process is to review materials relating to the alleged crime.  Jetflicks and iStreamitAll used hosting servers that were based in Canada, which took nearly two years to obtain after an early 2018 request made through the US-Canadian Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

According to an order filed by the Judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the court needs the additional time to process a “the large volume of information” that was finally received in December 2019 from Canadian authorities through the FBI.

This included a 2.73TB hard drive containing more than 2.3 million files, and other items that, in all, were estimated to be about 30 times the amount of evidentiary material that had previously been available to the case.

The history of this case can be traced through the listing of court documents associated with this case, “United States v Dallmann” (1:19-cr-00253-TSE) in the US District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.  Document 141 contains the listing of additional materials.

Why it matters

Court documents indicate that it took nearly two years for the Canadian government to produce the materials now being documented in this case.

Canada is on the Watch List in the 2019 Special 301 Report of the US Trade Representative, which identifies Canada as country with high rates of streaming piracy and low rates of law enforcement.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), an independent group of organizations that represent US companies distributing copyright-protected materials around the world, also published a report which notes that Canada has a reputation for laxity with respect to copyright infringement and digital media piracy.  The report makes recommendations as to how Canadian regulators and industries can improve that situation.

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