Eight people have been accused by the United States of running two of the "largest unauthorized streaming services".
The federal commission that issued the indictment claims that the two streaming services, Jetflicks and iStreamItAll (ISIA), have caused millions of dollars in damages to copyright holders.
Both services were used by tens of thousands of subscribers who could access from many systems, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, video game consoles, digital media players, decoders and web browsers.
Jetflicks reportedly "bought" TV shows from pirated websites - such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and Torrentz - using automated scripts and then made the pirated content available to subscribers immediately after the show aired.
ISIA used many of the same automated scripts that Jetflicks used to detect, download, edit, and store illegal content. ISIA provided but also provided films in addition to television programs.
The two agencies reportedly aired tens of thousands of unlicensed TV episodes and movies, the Justice Department said, to tens of thousands of subscribers from the United States and Canada.
"At one point, Jetflicks claimed to have over 183.200 different TV episodes." Reported the Ministry of Justice.
The two services reportedly offered more TV shows and movies than the legal streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video.
According to the indictment, the Jetflicks service was run by Kristopher Lee Dallmann. Darryl Julius Polo, also known as djppimp. Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Edward Jaurequi, also known as Jared Edwards, Peter H. Huber, Yoany Vaillant, also known as Yoany Vaillant Fajardo. and Luis Angel Villarino.
The second ISIA service was reportedly created by Polo, who left Jetflicks.
Dallman and Polo are also accused of money laundering. All have been prosecuted for copyright infringement through reproduction or distribution, and copyright for public performance
Outside the US, countries like Australia have stepped up their efforts to curb the illegal distribution of copyrighted content. Over the past 18 months, there has been a lot of controversy in Australia over pirated content, resulting in the banning of websites that sell TV boxes and websites that provide subtitle files.
In Europe, the development of a controversial copyright directive has created a very strict regime that requires anyone who copies even a snippet of text from other articles to be allowed to do so.
It also requires companies to take responsibility for content posted by their users. The European Parliament argues that the measures are intended to help musicians, performers and writers, news publishers, and all copyright holders in general.