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Satellite TV Hacker Handed His Bill: $180 Million

from the pay-up dept

It’s no secret that I can’t stand legal cases that revolve around bogus, completely made up, numbers of “losses” that can’t be substantiated. In the case of a satellite TV hacker, the story is even worse. The guy was trying to build devices to let people get satellite TV for free. He didn’t complete the work because the FBI stopped him before he was done. However, the satellite TV companies still say he would have cost them $900 million is losses. This ignores the fact (of course) that most of the people who would have bought his hacked devices weren’t likely to actually pay for the satellite TV service anyway. In response to the $900 million claim, the judge has sentenced the guy to pay back $180 million to the companies despite the fact that the satellite TV companies didn’t actually lose any money. The guy didn’t make a dime off of the boxes, since he never got to sell them. Now, clearly, the guy was doing something illegal – but he didn’t make actually make any money off of it, and now he has to pay $180 million he doesn’t have. To be nice, the court will let him pay it off in monthly installments of $500, which will take around 30,000 years to pay off (clearly, they’re not expecting him to pay off anywhere near the full amount). However, for the rest of his life, this guy is going to be paying a $500/month satellite TV bill.

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Comments on “Satellite TV Hacker Handed His Bill: $180 Million”

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TM says:

Re: crime=time

If you read the article, you’ll see that he’s doing time AND paying the “restitution.” It makes no sense for DirecTV and EchoStar to receive compensation when they suffered no loss. If he’s to pay money it should be a fine, so that the state is compensated for the cost of investigating and prosecuting the case.
That’s assuming what he did should be a crime in the first place, which is not a given.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: crime=time

Not a question of whether is ‘should’ be a crime or not. IT IS A CRIME as currently seen by the US gov. He willfully and knowingly went about participating in actions which were against this law. So whether you agree with the law, or even the punishment as handed out, HE WAS GUILTY and the punishment was within the scope of the law.

With any luck he’ll find a good lawyer (man, that’s a oxy moron) or have a white knight come forward that will get the sentence reduced to something more reasonable.

Your going to see more of this as media companies look to put the fear of god into people for infringing on what they feel they own.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 crime < punishment

By the same token, something is wrong when individuals can sue a corporate entity for their poor decision. Urks me to see smokers suing, fast food being sued, website operators being sued, … hell wall street analysts being sued, because the ‘individual’ refuses to take the blame for their own actions.

Tis the land of litagation my friends and everyone, from the multi-billion dollar companies, to the dirt poor individual are suing each other because they think someone owes them something.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Tough Choice

> […] or move to a non-extradition country […]

Perhaps you’ve been sleeping for the past two years, but there’s no such thing any more.

If the USA wishes it so, you will be extradited… posibily to Cuba where you will get to play fun prison games with angry Marines for a largly indefinite period of time.

The reaility of the matter is that extradition is simply a matter of money and/or credibility of force.

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