Eight people in the U.S. have been charged with running two illegal video streaming services, one of which claimed to offer “more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.”
A federal grand jury returned the indictment on Tuesday, August 27, charging the individuals with conspiring to violate federal criminal copyright law via what the Department of Justice described as “two of the largest unauthorized streaming services in the United States.”
The online operations — called Jetflicks and iStreamItAll — each received subscription payments from users, and resulted in TV and movie copyright owners losing revenue to the tune of millions of dollars, the Department of Justice said.
According to the indictment, Jetflicks was allegedly operated by Kristopher Lee Dallmann, 36; Darryl Julius Polo, aka djppimp, 36; Douglas M. Courson, 59; Felipe Garcia, 37; Jared Edward Jaurequi, aka Jared Edwards, 38; Peter H. Huber, 61; Yoany Vaillant, aka Yoany Vaillant Fajardo, 38; and Luis Angel Villarino, 40. Polo is accused of setting up iStreamItAll after leaving Jetflicks.
Both services were operated from bases in Las Vegas, and gave users access to streams — and to a lesser extent downloads — of copyrighted content without the consent of the relevant copyright owners.
They were designed to work across numerous platforms, including different PC operating systems, web browsers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, set-top boxes, video game consoles, and digital media players.
Jetflicks once claimed to have more than 183,200 different TV episodes available for streaming, while iStreamItAll claimed to have 115,849 different TV episodes and 10,511 movies.
According to the Department of Justice, iStreamItAll “publicly asserted that it had more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.”
The indictment alleges that Jetflicks used automated computer scripts to pull content from pirate sites that included The Pirate Bay and Torrentz, often offering TV shows to subscribers the day after the shows originally aired. Polo is accused of using the same tools as Jetflicks to gather content for iStreamItAll, with some of the movies landing on the service before they were even available for authorized sale, download, or viewing outside of a movie theater.
The Department of Justice was keen to point out that the charges and allegations are “merely accusations” and that the defendants will soon have an opportunity to claim their innocence in a court of law.