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Five men face jail for running illegal streaming service Jetflicks

The illegal streaming service Jetflicks once boasted on its website that visitors could “watch any TV show or movie at any time.” Anywhere. Now, the five men behind the pirate streaming service are facing serious jail terms.

A jury in Las Vegas federal court on Friday found Christopher Dahlman, Douglas Coulson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jarecki and Peter Huber guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. guilty. Dahlman was also convicted of two counts of money laundering and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement for leading the Jetflicks business, according to court documents and a report. .

Jetflicks uses computer scripts and software to scour the Internet for illegal copies of movies and TV shows, releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal copies from torrent and Usenet sites as early as 2007. According to the Justice Department, the defendants created a catalog of pirated shows and movies larger than those of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime combined.

Users can pay a subscription fee and access the site via a web browser on virtually any media streaming device. According to reports, Jetflicks claims to “offer more than 183,200 TV series episodes and has more than 37,000 subscribers” The lawsuit was filed in 2019 in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Dahlman, the group’s leader, and his co-conspirators “made millions of dollars streaming and distributing this catalog of stolen content,” according to the release.

Jetflicks operators and employees once made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from its subscription service. According to the indictment, Dorman wrote in an online chat that his site made $750,000 in one year.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) took notice of Jetflicks in 2012 and issued a cease-and-desist letter to the site’s operators. Four years later, the FBI began operating the site covertly by paying a six-month subscription fee. Undercover agents documented multiple instances of illegal uploads of shows, e.g. Shameless, Ray Donovan, OA and SyFy 12 monkeys and the cost of accessing them. Agents later traced the charges to the defendants’ bank accounts, according to court records.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. The Justice Department said Dahlmann could face up to 48 years in prison and the remaining four defendants could each face five years in prison.

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