An international group of law enforcement agencies, including US Homeland Security and Europol, have busted a notorious movie piracy ring…
An extensive international investigation has led to the arrest of several individuals suspected of running an illegal movie piracy organization. Authorities with US Homeland Security, Europol, and other law enforcement agencies in eighteen countries busted the Sparks Group, which allegedly facilitated the unlawful distribution of a sizable number of blockbuster titles.
Homeland Security and Europol Bust Notorious Movie Pirates
Members of the Sparks Group purportedly posed as DVD and Blu-Ray retailers in order to trick wholesale distributors into giving them movies prior to their scheduled release dates. The pirates promised to honor the release dates, they instead stripped the content of all copyright protections, then distributed said content over various streaming services, along with a number of torrent sites. Homeland Security’s Peter Fitzhugh says:
“Sparks Group members reproduced and disseminated hundreds of movies and television shows prior to their retail release date, including nearly every movie released by major production studios, causing millions of dollars in losses to the film and television industry.”
The law enforcement agents took down more than 60 servers managed by the Sparks Group in a number of countries across the globe, including Canada, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, South Korea, and others.