Uruguayan authorities, helped by Interpol and the US movie industry, have arrested the alleged operators of the popular streaming site Pelispedia. The couple stands accused of profiting from copyright infringement. Following a raid on their house, several assets were seized and the site was shut down.
With over a million visitors per day, Pelispedia.tv was one of the most popular streaming sites in Latin America.
Just a few weeks ago, it was highlighted by the US Trade Representative as a notorious pirate site, following a referral from Hollywood’s MPAA.
By then, rightsholders and enforcement authorities already had their eyes focused on the site’s alleged operators, a couple from Uruguay. Following collaborative efforts from Interpol, rightsholders, and Uruguayan authorities, this culminated in two arrests last week.
According to Uruguayan prosecutor Mónica Ferrero, the alleged operators are charged with “a continuing offense of making available a digital broadcast for profit without the written authorization of their respective holders or successors, and a crime of money laundering.”
The two, who are referred to in local media by their initials JAGR and MJHG, will remain in custody for 30 days. Their case is being handled by a court specialized in organized crime, which will take a closer look at the allegations.
Initially, Pelispedia.tv remained online following the arrests, but since yesterday it is no longer available. The sister site Pelisplus is still accessible but is also expected to shut down.
The pair reportedly have no other employment and made roughly $5,000 per month from the business. In addition to the arrests, several assets were seized including hardware, a 2008 Peugeot, a 2014 Volkswagon, $1,257 in cash, and two Payoneer cards.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment collaborated with the authorities and is pleased with the outcome thus far.
“We thank Interpol, the Uruguayan police, and prosecutors for their leadership in this important action against a major illegal streaming service operator,” ACE spokesperson Richard VanOrnum said, commenting on the news.
MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin agrees and sees the shutdown of Pelispedia.tv as another example of ACE’s successful and ongoing global effort to reduce piracy.
“Each time we collaborate with law enforcement authorities to disrupt major piracy operations like Pelispedia.tv, we support the millions of people around the world working in the film and television industry and the dynamic legal marketplace for creative content,” Rivkin notes.