Skip to main content

Court allows limited fines for theft of DirecTV signal

People who use equipment to watch satellite television without paying for it can be fined up to $10,000, but they aren't subject to a commercial piracy law aimed at manufacturers that carries damages as high as $100,000, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday...

The ruling is important because DirecTV has sent hundreds of thousands of letters seeking damages from people who have bought devices that can be used to intercept programs, said attorney Jason Schultz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who argued the case. He said the court not only reserved the higher penalties for commercial pirates but also implicitly recognized that only those who actually use the equipment for satellite interception - as opposed to innocent hobbyists and researchers - are subject to any penalties.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
JavaScript license information