Two Las Vegas-based computer programmers pleaded guilty Friday to operating two of the country's largest online TV show and movie streaming services after an FBI investigation led officials to the two men.
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Darryl Julius Polo, 36, pleaded guilty to five different counts of criminal copyright infringement and one count of money laundering for his operation of the streaming service iStreamItAll (ISIA), though he admitted to helping operate other streaming websites, according to the Justice Department.
Luis Angel Villarino, 40, pleaded guilty in the same case to one criminal copyright charge for his role as a computer programmer for the streaming service Jetflix, which Polo also helped operate. Jetflix dates back to 2007 -- the same year Netflix launched its streaming service, according to Wired.
Jetflix used various different kinds of domains, as well as servers in the U.S. and Canada, "to search for, download, process, store, stream, and make available for download infringing television programs,” an August federal grand jury indictment reads.
ISIA was a $10-or-less subscription-based streaming service based in Las Vegas that allowed thousands of users to download and stream copyrighted TV shows and movies without permission from their owners. Polo, who made about $1 million through piracy, admitted to copying and redistributing hundreds of shows and movies for ISIA subscribers.
"The estimated harm to television program and motion picture copyright owners as well as licensed streaming services caused by ISIA was millions of dollars. Like Jetflicks, ISIA functioned as a subscription-based service akin to well-known, legitimate online video streaming and download services. ... [including] both motion pictures and commercial-free television program," the indictment reads.
Polo told officials that ISIA carries more than 118,000 different TV episodes and nearly 11,000 movies. He said in his plea agreement that ISIA had more content than all the major streaming services in the U.S. including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Vudu.
In emails to clients, Polo urged subscribers to cancel their payments to traditional streaming services and subscribe to ISIA instead.
Both Polo and Villarino pleaded guilty to working as computer programmers for Jetflix -- another subscription-based streaming service that allowed users to watch tens of thousands of pirated TV shows and movie throughout the U.S. Both ISIA and Jetflix were programmed to work on various devices including Macbooks, PCs, tablets, smartphones and more.
Other defendants in the case are scheduled to appear in court in February 2020.