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Five men face jail time for running the illegal streaming service Jetflicks

Published by Engadget on Sat, 22 Jun 2024

The illegal streaming service Jetflicks once boasted on its website that visitors could watch just about any TV show or movie 'Anytime. Anywhere.' Now the five people behind the bootleg streaming service are facing some serious jail time.A jury found Kristopher Dallman, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi and Peter Huber guilty in a Las Vegas federal court on Friday for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Dallmann was also found guilty on two counts of money laundering and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement for leading the Jetflicks operation, according to court documents and a US Department of Justice press release.Jetflicks used computer scripts and software to scour the internet for illegal copies of movies and television shows and posted hundreds of thousands of illegal copies as far back as 2007 from torrent and Usenet sites. The defendants created a catalog of bootleg shows and movies bigger than the combined collections of streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime, according to the Department of Justice.Users could pay a subscription fee to access the site on pretty much any media streaming device with a web browser. Jetflicks claimed to 'offer more than 183,200 television episodes and have more than 37,000 subscribers,' according to the initial indictment filed in the Eastern District of Virginia in 2019.Dallmann, the leader of the group, and his co-conspirators 'made millions of dollars streaming and distributing this catalog of stolen content,' according to the press release.At one point, operators and employees of Jetflicks were making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from its subscription service. Dallman wrote in an online chat that his site made $750,000 in one year, according to the indictment.The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) took notice of Jetflicks in 2012 and sent cease and desist letters to the site's operators. Four years later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started its undercover operation of the site by paying for a six-month subscription. Undercover agents recorded multiple instances of illegal uploads of shows like Shameless, Ray Donovan, The OA and SyFy's 12 Monkeys alongside charges for accessing them. Then the agents traced those charges back to the defendants' bank accounts, according to court records.A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. The Department of Justice says Dallman could face up to 48 years in prison and the four remaining defendants could each face five years in prison.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/five-men-face-jail-time-for-running-the-illegal-streaming-service-jetflicks-202758485.html'src=rss
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