This week the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, also known as ACE, has again won a case against an owner of an illegal IPTV service. This time Joshua Streit the owner of HeheStreams has agreed to a plea deal that will see him spend up to 3 years in prison and pay $3 million in restitution.
This ruling is on top of a separate settlement agreement with ACE back in 2021. Part of the deal was the service would shut down, but that didn’t stop the FBI from pressing charges against Mr. Streit, according to a report from TorrentFreak.
HeheStreams worked differently than many IPTV services. It focused on MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL content. Instead of hosting it on its own services, it sold access to official streams from MLB.TV, for example.
Mr. Streit had found a vulnerability in the streaming software that allowed him to sell access to these official games. According to reports, he approved MLB asking for a $150K bounty to share how the MLB could fix this vulnerability. The MLB said they don’t pay bounties like that. Instead, the MLB reportedly turned over the information to the FBI to start an investigation into HeheStreams.
An appeal of this sentence is pending and could be changed.
Increasingly what was once considered a civil case when IPTV services were shut down is now considered a criminal case. In the United States, laws were recently changed to make running an IPTV service a more serious crime. Recently the owner of the Gears Reloaded IPTV was sentenced to 5 and a half years in jail and $30 million in fines.
After winning a series of major IPTV cases ACE seems to be even more determined then even to shutdown every IPTV service they can find.