Attempt to steal satellite tv signals gets man 5yrs in prison and $180 million fine

allisolm

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Jan 2, 2001
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AP story from Tampa

A man who pleaded guilty in a scheme to steal satellite tv signals must pay $180 million @ $500/mo. plus 5 yrs in federal prison.

28 yr-old Steven Frazier pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a scheme to manufacture and sell devices that would decrypt satellite tv signals and allow people to get premium services for free. Intended targets were Direct TV and Echostar who claimed they could have lost $900 Million in business.

Article here.
 

Eli

Super Moderator | Elite Member
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Oct 9, 1999
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Gee.

That's only going to take him THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS.

Who comes up with this crap, anyway?
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
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Distributors/manufacturers of parts are just asking for it. They take that risk when they try to financially benefit off the DSS scene. At least the ~million people who just steal the signal for themselves in their own private homes know well enough not to get caught doing it.
 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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RH71: IF those people bought their programmers, unloopers, loaders, etc from one of the places that got busted (in the US and Canada), then they are likely to be receiving letters from DTV. If they downloaded software from a DSS pirate board that got busted, they get letters too.

The letters inform them that DTV intends to sue them for upwards of US$10,000.00. If you ignore the letters, they get a default judgement and you must pay US$10,000.00.

If the pirate user accepts their offer to settle, it'll cost 'em anywhere from $3000.00 and up, depending on what was bought, from whom, and when.

If the pirate user chooses to go to court, the pirate user will (typically) have attorney fees that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of US$5000.00 and up, depending on the lawyer. If the pirate user then loses the case, they must then pay the (usually) US$10,000.00 on top of that.

The lawsuits are in Federal court for the alledged offender's district.

The pirate users are getting whacked pretty hard too, not just the dealers.

Jus' so ya know....

Scott
 

Eli

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Originally posted by: ScottMac
RH71: IF those people bought their programmers, unloopers, loaders, etc from one of the places that got busted (in teh US and Canada), then they are likely to be receiving letters from DTV. If they downloaded software from a DSS pirate board that got busted, they get letters too.

The letters inform them that DTV intends to sue them for upwards of US$10,000.00. If you ignore the letters, they get a default judgement and you must pay US$10,000.00.

If you accept their offer to settle, it'll cost 'em anywhere from $3000.00 and up, depending on what you bought, from whom, and when.

If you choose to go to court, you have attorney fees that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of US$5000.00 and up, depending on the lawyer. If you then lose the case, you must then pay the (usually) US$10,000.00 on top of that.

The lawsuits are in Federal court for the alledged offenders district.

The pirate users are getting whacked pretty hard too, not just the dealers.

Jus' so ya know....

Scott
:Q


My girlfriends mom's boyfriend was using a hacked card to get free satellite.. heh.

 

CPA

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Nov 19, 2001
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I can't beleive what some people will do and risk just to save 50-80 bucks a month.
 

911paramedic

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Originally posted by: CPA
I can't beleive what some people will do and risk just to save 50-80 bucks a month.
No doubt. (although it sounds like this guy was not an end user, but rather the distributor. Read: Dealer vs. Crack Head)

 

Mallow

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Jul 25, 2001
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I seriously doubt if you have frequented a DSS forum or d/led the software they can sue you for $10,000. If I had been doing this then the letter would signal me to destroy all of my equipment and tell them "try and sue me... I'll sue you for everything your worth... where's your proof?"

You can't just sue people and get default judgements w/o proof.
 

ScottMac

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It's being done.

If they sue you and you don't respond, they win by default. If they have *something* (like the site's logs, membership credit card info, and trace information they gather before it becomes public that they "own" the site), the current law allows them to sue you.

If you respond, it'll cost you (in most cases) attorney fees.

Certainly you can fight it, but fighting it also has its expenses and inconvenience.

There are a couple class action suits against this practice of blanket lawsuits by DTV. Participating in the class may stay further action until the class action is resolved, but you lose the offer to settle and must handle the suit in court.

I work with folks that are going through / have gone through this; some have settled, some are fighting it, some are joining the class. Most appear to be settling to avoid the hassle; that or they know they'll probably lose in court.

Also keep in mind that as part of the lawsuit, they may be able to supoena all of your computer and entertainment equipment for forensic examination. It is possible (given sufficient evidence) that they can engage the Federal Marshalls to come and search your home to look for additional evidence. It is also possible that Feds may decide you've broken the law to a sufficient degree to do their own investigation with possible Federal charges to follow (it has already been tested, it has already been done, people have been arrested).

But it IS happening. It's happening to people that "mearly" downloaded software for use in apparatus specifically designed to decrypt conditional access satellite signals.

If you're pirating (DTV "fer sher" , I haven't heard anything about Dish) it'd behoove you to have a couple grand sitting around, just in case.

This is likely to become the model for the RIAA to respond to the folks they think are stealing their material ....

FWIW

Scott
 

Antisocial Virge

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Dec 13, 1999
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Actually it isn't allowed, its just being done and people are paying instead of the hastle of going to court. Its like saying "you bought a handgun so you must be shooting people and are guilty of murder" DTV has just lost a case in court actually. The judge ruled that just because someone bought a iso programmer does not mean they were stealing sattelite signals. Its just a matter of time before DTV is gonna have to stop it. I actually read that how they are asking for between $3000- $10 000 as "dept collection" is against FTC rules also.

The people that got the letter for downloading software as you put it was actually downloading paid for scripts and bin files and were traced by the money transaction.
 

Mallow

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Jul 25, 2001
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I find it very hard to believe that owning the software is illegal. They would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you used it to steal the signal, which would be very hard b/c if it was happening to me I would shread my HD 100 times and trash my equipment.
 

Antisocial Virge

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Dec 13, 1999
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Originally posted by: zCypher
Originally posted by: Harabecw
The wonders of greed, on both sides.
My thoughts exactly after reading this thread. ;)
Well think of it this way. What would happen if the MPAA started sending a letter to everyone who bought a DVD burner and said "you must be pirating movies, pay us $200 or we will take you to court for $100 000"

Is stealing sattelite tv wrong, yep. Are they trying to catch them the right way, probably not. They have been losing in court because they don't have a case but the keep the "payoff" amount low enough so that people will pay it instead of fighting it in court.
 

Syringer

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
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Originally posted by: Eli
Gee.

That's only going to take him THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS.

Who comes up with this crap, anyway?
More like 360,000 years.

Let's hope he gets a good health care plan.
 

Syringer

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
19,333
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Originally posted by: CPA
I can't beleive what some people will do and risk just to save 50-80 bucks a month.
$50-$80 is the starting price of satellite. By getting every channel you have access to the premium package, which runs well over $100/month, all the PPVs, which range from $4 EACH movie to over $10 a movie, with several dozen movies running at a time, all the sporting packages which cost about $150 each, and you get this on a one time payment. That's at least thousands of dollars worth of stuff over the course of a year or two..
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: Antisocial-Virge
Originally posted by: zCypher
Originally posted by: Harabecw
The wonders of greed, on both sides.
My thoughts exactly after reading this thread. ;)
Well think of it this way. What would happen if the MPAA started sending a letter to everyone who bought a DVD burner and said "you must be pirating movies, pay us $200 or we will take you to court for $100 000"

Is stealing sattelite tv wrong, yep. Are they trying to catch them the right way, probably not. They have been losing in court because they don't have a case but the keep the "payoff" amount low enough so that people will pay it instead of fighting it in court.
Because that's a stupid analogy. DVD'-/+ RW have other purposes. Software designed to specifically steal DSS/DTV programing/services has absolutly no other purpose?? They knew exactly what they were downloading.
 

Syringer

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
19,333
2
71
Originally posted by: LikeLinus
Originally posted by: Antisocial-Virge
Originally posted by: zCypher
Originally posted by: Harabecw
The wonders of greed, on both sides.
My thoughts exactly after reading this thread. ;)
Well think of it this way. What would happen if the MPAA started sending a letter to everyone who bought a DVD burner and said "you must be pirating movies, pay us $200 or we will take you to court for $100 000"

Is stealing sattelite tv wrong, yep. Are they trying to catch them the right way, probably not. They have been losing in court because they don't have a case but the keep the "payoff" amount low enough so that people will pay it instead of fighting it in court.
Because that's a stupid analogy. DVD'-/+ RW have other purposes. Software designed to specifically steal DSS/DTV programing/services has absolutly no other purpose?? They knew exactly what they were downloading.
Kazaa is also used primarily to steal music. There is little way around it.

Imagine being sued on the basis of owning Kazaa and because 99.9% of other users use it to steal music that you must be too.
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
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0
Originally posted by: Syringer
Originally posted by: LikeLinus
Originally posted by: Antisocial-Virge
Originally posted by: zCypher
Originally posted by: Harabecw
The wonders of greed, on both sides.
My thoughts exactly after reading this thread. ;)
Well think of it this way. What would happen if the MPAA started sending a letter to everyone who bought a DVD burner and said "you must be pirating movies, pay us $200 or we will take you to court for $100 000"

Is stealing sattelite tv wrong, yep. Are they trying to catch them the right way, probably not. They have been losing in court because they don't have a case but the keep the "payoff" amount low enough so that people will pay it instead of fighting it in court.
Because that's a stupid analogy. DVD'-/+ RW have other purposes. Software designed to specifically steal DSS/DTV programing/services has absolutly no other purpose?? They knew exactly what they were downloading.
Kazaa is also used primarily to steal music. There is little way around it.

Imagine being sued on the basis of owning Kazaa and because 99.9% of other users use it to steal music that you must be too.
Anyone with an internet connection can steal music.
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
669
126
Originally posted by: Syringer
Originally posted by: LikeLinus
Originally posted by: Antisocial-Virge
Originally posted by: zCypher
Originally posted by: Harabecw
The wonders of greed, on both sides.
My thoughts exactly after reading this thread. ;)
Well think of it this way. What would happen if the MPAA started sending a letter to everyone who bought a DVD burner and said "you must be pirating movies, pay us $200 or we will take you to court for $100 000"

Is stealing sattelite tv wrong, yep. Are they trying to catch them the right way, probably not. They have been losing in court because they don't have a case but the keep the "payoff" amount low enough so that people will pay it instead of fighting it in court.
Because that's a stupid analogy. DVD'-/+ RW have other purposes. Software designed to specifically steal DSS/DTV programing/services has absolutly no other purpose?? They knew exactly what they were downloading.
Kazaa is also used primarily to steal music. There is little way around it.

Imagine being sued on the basis of owning Kazaa and because 99.9% of other users use it to steal music that you must be too.
I don't know why you can?t understand that software written specifically to pirate DTV programming and P2P software are completely different beats. DTV Pirating software has absolutely NO other use. When it?s downloaded, there is only 1 intent. With Kazaa you can download pictures and other things (like Mp3 and videos with no copyrights) and you are perfectly legal. All that has to be done is log what files you are downloading and they can determine if you are legit. If you?re downloading DTV software....come on, you?re naive if you think they are doing anything else with it.

IF a kid sticks his hand in the cookie jar, regardless if he actually grabs that cookie, his hand is getting smacked. It's just more motivation to NOT download any DTV stealing software. You shouldn't be anywhere near it unless you plan on using it and taking the risk of the consequences. Same with using Kazaa and downloading mp3's or any other form of stealing.
 

Syringer

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
19,333
2
71
Originally posted by: LikeLinus
I don't know why you can?t understand that software written specifically to pirate DTV programming and P2P software are completely different beats. DTV Pirating software has absolutely NO other use. When it?s downloaded, there is only 1 intent. With Kazaa you can download pictures and other things (like Mp3 and videos with no copyrights) and you are perfectly legal. All that has to be done is log what files you are downloading and they can determine if you are legit. If you?re downloading DTV software....come on, you?re naive if you think they are doing anything else with it.
You'd be naive to NOT think that at least 999 out of every 1000 people with Kazaa are using it to d/l copyrighted music and movies.

And believe it or not, there are obsessed hobbyists who find much pleasure in reading through the code and analyzing it..since we are dealing with somewhat complex security efforts here, which for some people can be exciting..yet never actually use it for illegal purposes. So even if that number is 1/10000 people, there still exists the possibility that the files are not being used for illegal activities..which is similar to the Kazaa concept.
 

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