A massive international investigation has led to the arrest of many people suspected of film piracy.
Led by Homeland Security and Europol and in collaboration with law enforcement in 18 countries the investigation focused on a film piracy ring, better known as Sparks Group. The Group allegedly facilitated the illegal distribution of blockbuster films.
"Dozens of servers controlled by Sparks "Groups went offline today around the world, from North America to Europe and Asia," the US Department of Justice said in a statement. Press release. The Sparks Group used these servers to illegally store and distribute copyrighted content to its members worldwide.
"Its members Sparks "Group reproduces and distributes hundreds of movies and TV shows before their release date, including almost every movie released by major production studios, causing millions of dollars in losses to the film and television industry," said Peter Fitzhugh of Homeland Security.
To obtain films that were not released, its members Sparks allegedly pretended to be DVD and Blu-Ray retailers in order to defraud legitimate distributors into giving them movies before release dates. And while the pirates promised not to distribute the content before the release dates, they removed any copyrighted protection and released it to various streaming services and torrent sites.
According to Europol, officers confiscated more than 60 servers operated by the Group Sparks in various countries, such as Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, South Korea and many more.