Dozens of servers around the world used for the illegal distribution of pirated content were also disabled.
Members of the global pirate community known as The Scene are in turmoil following the disclosure of US indictments. Against key members of the SPARKS group and several related subsidiary groups including GECKOS, DRONES, ROVERS and SPLINTERS. According to sources of the portal Torrent Freak, several raids were carried out in Europe. During which several key members of the groups were arrested.
In January 2020, a US government lawsuit was filed against George Bridi, a British citizen who, according to the. US government resided on the Isle of Wight. Bridi has been identified as a member of the SPARKS and its affiliates.
“The main goal of SPARKS was to fraudulently obtain DVDs and Blu-ray discs of copyrighted movies and .TV shows prior to their retail release date, circumvent disc copyright protection. And play and upload copyrighted content to servers controlled by SPARKS. And distribute protected content online for public use before DVD and Blu-ray discs are available for sale by retailers,”. The indictment against Bridi said.
After receiving the content of the TV show. SPARKS members allegedly used special software to rip discs to remove copyright protection. And then encoded the content into a format readily available on the web. The content was then uploaded to servers controlled by SPARKS members. And distributed to streaming sites, torrent networks, and other servers.
Two key members of the SPARKS were arrested this month: George Bridy, 50, and Jonatan Correa, 36. Another criminal, 39-year-old Umar Ahmad using the pseudonym Artist, has not been arrested and is still at large.
In collaboration with law enforcement agencies in 18 countries and with the support of Eurojust and Europol. Dozens of servers controlled by SPARKS have been shut down worldwide, including in North America, Europe and Asia. The group used these servers to illegally store and distribute copyrighted content.