I had missed this story when it came out last week, but thanks to a reader (who prefers to remain anonymous) for sending it in. Apparently, Dish Network is suing DirecTV, claiming that DirecTV (and its parent News Corp) hired notorious satellite TV hackers to break Dish's encryption and "flood the market" with hacked smart cards
. That's quite a claim, and it will be interesting to see what evidence the company has to back it up. After all, reverse engineering a product is perfectly legal -- and, indeed, DirecTV claims that's all it did. Furthermore, it seems doubly strange that DirecTV would go down this route after so thoroughly pissing off smart card hackers of all kinds a few years ago by accusing them all of stealing DirecTV signals with almost no evidence, and then pushing many to pay up
to avoid a lawsuit. It's also hard to see what the real benefit to DirecTV is of such a plan. Making it easier to get Dish for free shouldn't increase DirecTV's market at all. One would hope that Dish actually has some serious evidence to go along with these claims.