DirecTV Dragnet Snares Innocent Techies

from the sounds-like-extortion dept

A great article over at Security Focus looking at DirecTV's attempts to go after satellite cable pirates that is getting innocent techies in trouble. DirecTV has been very aggressive in shutting down various companies that sold equipment needed to build pirate DirecTV smart cards - and in doing so, took possession of their customer lists. They've sent threatening letters to many of those customers, even if they had no proof that the customer ever used the technology to steal DirecTV. There are legitimate uses for smartcard programmers, but DirecTV doesn't care. They say that these sites were clearly designed to be used by those who wanted to pirate signals, and thus, you must be guilty if you ordered from them. Even in cases where people seem to have legitimate reasons for using the devices, DirecTV tells them to pay a $3,500 "settlement" fee - which they point out will be cheaper than going to court. In one case where some of the accused people are fighting back, the judge sided with DirecTV and awarded attorney's fees to the decision - meaning that these folks who claim they bought the devices (under $100) for legitimate purposes (like building a secure PC), have to (a) pay $3,500 to DirecTV and (b) a portion of the legal fees for the lawsuit. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2003 @ 4:28pm

    No Subject Given

    Unfortunately, innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply to civil suits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    MR MOW, Jul 17th, 2003 @ 5:53pm

    EVERYONE IS GUILTY

    YOU ARE ALL GUILTY ! YOU STEAL TV,DOWNLOAD MUSIC AND IF YOU BUY ANYTHING SOON LIKE A DVD BURNER YOU WILL ALL GOTO JAIL!DO NOT PASS GO!
    URGE CONGRESS TO ELIMINATE THE DCMA!
    IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS LOOK IT UP
    GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT?
    DO YOU WANT THAT????????????YOU GOT IT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    MR MOW, Jul 17th, 2003 @ 5:55pm

    EVERYONE IS GUILTY

    YOU ARE ALL GUILTY -YOU STEAL TV,DOWNLOAD MUSIC AND IF YOU BUY ANYTHING SOON LIKE A DVD BURNER YOU WILL ALL GOTO JAIL!DO NOT PASS GO!
    URGE CONGRESS TO ELIMINATE THE DCMA!
    IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS LOOK IT UP
    GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT?
    DO YOU WANT THAT????????????YOU GOT IT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    mrs. mow, Jul 18th, 2003 @ 5:11am

    Shhhh!

    Stop shouting dear. People will be angered by your typing in all caps and just move on to the next poster and your posting will not receive the attention it deserves.

    Now, put down the keyboard, step away from the computer and give Mama some sugar. There, there... now that's a good boy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Dmitry, Jul 18th, 2003 @ 6:56am

    Fight back

    Why dont we at techdirt do more then talk?

    Mike, how about you put something in place where we can make a formal letter to sign and send out to various gov bodies to protest actions such as this.

    Until geeks voices are gathered, we will never be heard.

    I can help with the technology aspect, feel free to give me an email.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This