US DOJ indicts people behind two mammoth pirate services

Source: US Department of Justice

“A federal grand jury returned an indictment (on August 27, 2019), charging eight individuals with conspiring to violate federal criminal copyright law by running two of the largest unauthorized streaming services in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars by television program and motion picture copyright owners.”

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A US DOJ press release detailed how two pirate streaming services, Jetflicks and iStreamItAll, had access to distribute what the services boasted to be “more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime” combined.

Jetflicks had claimed to have more than 183,200 unique TV episodes.  One of the Jetflicks defendants had left Jetflicks to start up a competing pirate site, iStreamItAll, which claimed to have 115,849 TV episodes and 10,511 movies, according to the US Department of Justice.

Read the full DOJ press release

Link to the indictment – US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Why it matters

Rather than simply directing consumers to streaming sites, these pirate services hosted the pirated content on their own servers; making them distributors, which carries much greater penalties. Also among the 19 counts in the indictment were charges of money laundering by the pirates.

Online pirate streaming sites compete directly with legitimate video providers, depriving them of revenue.  In this case, even the pirate video was being pirated, a huge irony.

(Note: Updated Sept. 3)

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