Screen capture of the Jetflicks website in 2016 shows the video streaming service on a smartphone.

Enlarge / Screen capture of the Jetflicks website in 2016. (credit: Internet Archive)

A federal grand jury yesterday indicted eight people who allegedly ran two pirate streaming services that "offered more television programs and movies than legitimate streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video," the Department of Justice said.

Jetflicks, which operated from 2007 to 2017, obtained its video from torrent sites and Usenet sites "using automated programs and databases such as SickRage, Sick Beard, SABnzbd, and TheTVDB," the indictment said. Jetflicks made "those episodes available on servers in the United States and Canada to Jetflicks subscribers for streaming and/or downloading," the indictment said. Torrent sites that Jetflicks operators relied on allegedly included the Pirate Bay, RARBG, and Torrentz.

With this method, defendants often "provid[ed] episodes to subscribers the day after the shows originally aired on television," a DOJ announcement yesterday said. Jetflicks charged subscription fees as low as $9.99 per month, letting subscribers "watch an unlimited number of commercial-free television programs," the indictment said. The service claimed to have more than 37,000 subscribers.

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