July 21, 2024

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Five men were convicted for running Jetflicks, a low-cost streaming service that amassed more TV shows than Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime combined

2 min read

If a streaming service sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the case of Jetflicks, it was too good to be legal.

A federal jury in Las Vegas convicted five male defendants for their roles in a complex scheme of scraping popular television shows and award-winning movies from pirate sites and bundling them into a streaming service called Jetflicks, said the Department of Justice in a statement on Thursday. According to the indictment, Jetflicks operated as a subscription-based streamer that allowed users to watch and download copyrighted TV shows and movies without permission from the copyright owners.

“The defendants operated Jetflicks, an illicit streaming service they used to distribute hundreds of thousands of stolen television episodes,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, in a statement. According to the DOJ, the group ripped off thousands of copyrighted television episodes generating a mass of content larger than “the combined catalogues of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.” 

For a $10 monthly subscription fee, users could watch shows on multiple devices and platforms within days of new episodes appearing on legitimate services and channels, authorities said.

“The defendants ran a platform that automated the theft of TV shows and distributed the stolen content to subscribers,” said assistant director in charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office, in a statement.

The five are Kristopher Dallmann, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi, and Peter Huber. The indictment states that the cadre obtained content from pirate sites such as SickRage, (also known as SickChill), Sick Beard, SABnzbd, and TheTVDB and offered it up in one place to subscribers. At one point, Jetflicks claimed to have more than 37,000 paid users and 183,200 episodes of television. Authorities estimated the monetary harm to program owners to…

Amanda Gerut

2024-06-20 21:30:45

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