Eight people face federal charges for running illegal streaming sites
The creators of Jetflicks and iStreamitAll are facing federal charges for running two of the largest illegal streaming sites in the United States. A federal grand jury today charged eight people with conspiring to violate copyright law for their involvement in the sites. According to the indictment, the individuals reproduced tens of thousands of copyrighted television episodes without permission. One of the sites, iStreamitAll, even claimed to offer more television programs and movies than Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Vudo combined.
Defendants listed in the indictment include Kristopher Lee Dallmann, 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. The individuals, all who were involved in Jetflicks, are all charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The 36-year old Darryl Julius Polo also faces charges. Polo, who was a part of the team that ran Jetflicks, left the company to start iStreamitAll, a service that offered movies.
If you’re not familiar with iStreamitAll and Jetflicks, it’s probably for a good reason. Both services remained under the radar as many questioned their legality. First established in 2009, Jetflicks, which is headquartered in Las Vegas, emerged as a paid video-on-demand service for mobile devices. Cordcutters shelled out $10 a month (or $20 quarterly) to stream cable TV shows on a variety of different devices, including smart phones, tablets, game consoles and digital media players.
But unlike legitimate streaming operations like Netflix or Hulu, Jetflicks and ISIA didn’t acquire the licenses for the programs it distributed to subscribers. Instead, the DOJ alleges that Jetflix and ISIA relied on advanced computer scripts to obtain content from torrent websites around the world, such as The Pirate Bay and Torrentz. Prosecutors said that Jetflicks at one point claimed to have over 183,000 TV episodes, while ISIA claimed to have over 115,800 TV episodes and 10,500 movies. After a crackdown on private channels due to piracy concerns, Roku dumped both ISIA and Jetflicks from its platform.
Numerous complaints filed by Jetflicks customers to the Better Business Bureau describe the service being down and calls and emails to the company remaining unanswered. Today’s indictment very likely means that the days are numbered for both services. While the website for ISIA is still up at the time of publication, the Jetflicks website appears to be have been taken offline.