This week the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia indicted eight people who allegedly ran pirate streaming services.

Those services include Jetflix and iStreamItAll and the indictment offers a candid look into the operation of a rather large privacy ring.

The court heard that between 2007 and 2017, Jetflix acquired its content from torrent and Usenet sites and then charged users a $9.99 fee to stream or download said content as much as they like.

What we found interesting was the lengths the eight went to in order to secure content.

Automated programs and databases such as SickRage, Sick Beard, The TVDB and more were used to automatically download episodes of series so that they could be made available days after it originally aired.

The indictment also points to a former member of Jetflix, Darryl Julius Polo leaving the operation to start iStreamItAll. That service is similar to Jetflix although unlike the latter it is still online.

Jetflix claimed to have 183 200 episodes of series which is remarkable when compared to something like Netflix but, when you don’t have to deal with licensing issues the amount of content one can offer is nearly unlimited.

Indeed Jetflix did brag about having more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime which is just asking for trouble.

All eight people will face charges of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement but two persons (Kristopher Lee Dallmann and Polo) will also be charged with money laundering and aiding and abetting as well.

While we don’t support piracy we think Jetflix might have realised something we’re only now starting to see. There are a multitude of streaming services available. In South Africa alone we have Video Play from Vodacom, black, Showmax, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, DStv Now and others. While these services individually are rather affordable they do start to add up after a while.

Having a place to access all the content you want really is the dream that Jetflix seemed to be filling albeit illegally. We do wonder if the diversity we’re seeing as regards streaming is ultimately a bad thing given the fact that eventually folks won’t be able to afford the subscriptions for all the content they want.

If that does happen we might see more services like Jetflix pop up sooner rather than later.

[Source – Ars Technica][Image – CC 0 Pixabay]