by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jan 28th 2010 2:53am
It continues to amaze me that there's anyone out there who thinks that the damages awarded in many copyright suits are anywhere close to reasonable or proportional to the "crime" at hand. Copycense points us to an article about a guy who was found guilty of putting software on the internet that allowed people to unlock Dish Network programming on unauthorized receivers. Because of this, Dish and another satellite TV provider, NagraStar, were awarded $51 million. $51 million -- for putting the software on the internet. That's all. The amount was determined based on the number of people who downloaded the software, even though, in all likelihood, a much, much smaller percentage would have ever actually paid for an authorized satellite TV account. Furthermore, this guy did not do the actual act of accessing the unauthorized signal, or breaking any encryption. He merely provided the tools to do so. Charging him with the bogus "cost" of each user of his software makes no sense at all. Even if you accept what he did was wrong and clearly illegal, it's difficult to see how that justifies the ridiculousness of the award.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- China's Great Firewall Turned Around: Why China Wants To Censor Global Internet
- Competition In The Music Space Is Great: Fragmentation In The Music Space Is Dangerous
- How The TPP Agreement Could Be Used To Undermine Free Speech And Fair Use In The US
- Cisco Has Enough Of TiVo Patent Claims, Files To Invalidate TiVo Patents
- Guess That Bull In Texas Was A Good Investment: EchoStar Agrees To Pay TiVo To Settle Patent Case