Federal Court enters default against Nfusion Private Server end-user Aaron Keown, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties and issues a permanent injunction
On May 8, 2013 the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for default against Aaron Keown. Keown was sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for federal claims arising out of his subscription to the Nfusion Private Server (“NFPS”) services through Thomas Dixon (aka Wufman). The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against Keown as well as an award of $10,000 in statutory damages (the maximum damages per violation) under the Electronics Communication Privacy Act (“ECPA”). DISH Network and NagraStar continue to investigate and take action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
Over 10’000 “Probox” FTA piracy devices have been destroyed in Uruguay on February 28, as a result of a legal procedure initiated in 2010 for signal theft and copyright infringement, which resulted in the seizure of the FTA devices and a destruction order issued by the Court in December 2012.
While destructions of similar FTA piracy devices took place in the recent years, this is the most massive destruction of such devices that took place in Latam.
The Alianza contra Piratería de Televisión Paga (the “Alianza”) is a group of content providers, pay-tv broadcasters and technology providers aiming at combatting FTA (Free to Air) piracy throughout Latin America (see www.alianza.tv).
California Federal Court Orders Impoundment of NexIKS websites, computer servers and business records, awards judgment in DISH Network and NagraStar’s favor for $115,000.00, and enters permanent injunction against Defendants
On November 21, 2012 the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for final judgment against Iram Jordy Bolanos, Eric Moreno Bolanos, Yolanda Bolanos and Joel Alvarado Lizama, individually and dba www.nexiks.com and www.nexiks.net. Defendants was sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for federal claims arising out of their operation of the NexIKS websites. The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against all Defendants as well as an award of $115,000 in statutory damages ($1,000 per violation) under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), an additional $5,900 in fees/costs, and orders Verisign and GoDaddy to force the impoundment of the nexiks websites and transfer them to NagraStar. The Court further ordered Defendants’ computers, servers and business records impounded and turned over to NagraStar for analysis. DISH Network and NagraStar continue to investigate and take action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
Federal Court Denies Sonicview’s Motions to Set Aside the $64 Million Dollar Judgment Entered Against Them
On October 11, 2012 the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Honorable M. James Lorenz, issued an order denying Sonicview‘s last attempt to challenge the final judgment entered against them and awarding DISH Network and NagraStar over $64,000,000.00 in damages. As previously reported, the Federal District Court granted DISH Network and NagraStar‘s motion for summary judgment against the Sonicview corporate and individual defendants on May 31, 2012. In that order, the Court found ruled that Sonicview receivers and various add-on devices distributed by the Defendants violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) as well as the Federal Communications Act (“FCA”) because they were primarily designed and intended for use in facilitating satellite television piracy. In an effort to seek relief from that Order, the Sonicview Defendants filed various motions to reconsider, set aside or clarify the final judgment entered against them or, alternatively, for a new trial. The Court’s October 11, 2012 Order denied each of those motions, and an earlier Order dated September 19, 2012 similarly denied Defendant Courtney Bernard’s motion challenging the judgment against him in an additional amount of approximately $1,000,000.00. Bernard and his brother were distributors of the Sonicview products at issue in the litigation. DISH Network and NagraStar will aggressively pursue the enforcement of the judgment and seizure of assets of the Sonicview Defendants, as well as enforcement of the Court’s permanent injunction that was issued along with the May 31, 2012 final judgment.
By means of a presidential decree, Uruguay has banned the sale of AZBox STBs and other similar brands because said devices can be modified for the reception of illegal Pay-TV services. According to Prensario Internacional, more than 40,000 of these devices have already been modified in the country. This decision applies not only to the sale of decoders in Uruguayan territory but also their distribution with the purpose of selling them abroad.
Although Uruguay is the first Latin American country to adopt such a measure, other countries have already taken steps to leverage piracy. In Argentina, for example, the Chamber of Audiovisual Channel Producers and Programmers presented last Wednesday two TV spots for a new campaign aimed at promoting the national audiovisual industry growth and fighting against piracy and content theft. In fact, the president of the aforementioned chamber, Sergio Veiga, mentioned the utilization of AZBox STBs and confirmed that it is one of the latest piracy modalities in Latin America.
Veiga also shared figures regarding the piracy issue in the region. About USD 1.2 billion are lost in terms of unsold subscriptions of authorized cable and DTH companies; which accounts for USD 500 million in terms of uncollected taxes and more than USD 800 million lost by programmers.
In turn, Chile has also announced an STB “switch-off” of pirate DTHs in the country. Constanza Tellez, DirecTV Corporate Affairs Manager, stated that “more of these devices are going into Chile, as compared with Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay, because in those countries laws are being applied”. And she added: “Here, we have fallen a bit behind”.