PRESS RELEASE (AEPOC)- German court sentences card sharing operator to 18 months in prison for computer fraud
The district court in Stolzenau (Lower Saxony, Germany) has pronounced a clear verdict in a criminal case against a 51-year-old man who was charging third parties to provide them with pay-TV programming illegally obtained from the pay TV company, Sky Deutschland. Services were provided to the third parties through card sharing. The defendant was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment without parole for commercial computer fraud carried out in partnership with others.
Following Sky and NAGRA’s consistent measures to combat information and communication technology crime, the companies’ expert tracked this case for a few years. It was suspected that the same offender had sold such illegal offers via the internet on several occasions. Sky and NAGRA, the manufacturer of one of the content protection systems used by Sky, worked closely together on intensive intelligence-gathering. On the basis of their findings, the Central Office for Combating Information and Communication Technology Crime of the Verden public prosecutor’s office commenced proceedings that led to the identification and successful prosecution of the perpetrator.
Dr. Andreas Rudloff, Vice President Platform Services & Security at Sky said that “The verdict is a further decisive step in the fight against information and communication technology crimes, also known as cybercrime. Once again, a clear sign has been given that the perpetrators of these illegal activities will be brought to justice. Close cooperation between the companies affected – Sky Deutschland and NAGRA in this case – during the preliminary investigations in the black market and the persistent investigative work by the law enforcement authorities have shown that decisive, focused action leads to success.”
Pascal Métral, Vice-President Legal Affairs at NAGRA and Kudelski Security said that: “This sentence sends a strong signal to pirates and cyber criminals, whereby pay-tv piracy and cybercrime is considered as severe offences and punished as such. This decision is the result of efficient cooperation between Sky Deutschland and NAGRA and thorough investigation by the cybercrime unit of the Verden public prosecutor’s office. NAGRA is continuing the battle against piracy and cybercrime to support its customers in Germany and elsewhere around the globe.”
Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, commented that: “This case shows that persistence and tenacity pay off and demonstrates also the benefits of collaboration amongst AAPA members. Very importantly, the case has confirmed that card sharing is a computer fraud and associated investigation techniques should be applied.”
Federal Court enters summary judgment against IKS Rocket end-user Bill Williamson, awards over $12,000 to DISH Network and NagraStar and issues a permanent injunction
On November 21, 2013 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for summary judgment against Bill Williamson. Williamson was sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for federal claims arising out of his subscription to the IKS Rocket services. The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against Williamson as well as an award of $10,000 in statutory damages (the maximum damages per violation) under the Electronics Communication Privacy Act (“ECPA”), and an award of fees and costs totaling $2,127.50. 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.
Nevada Federal Court Enters Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Digital Warehouse, Inc. and David DiMarco
On October 31, 2013 Judge Robert C. Jones from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada entered final judgment and permanent injunctive relief against Nevada-based electronics distributor Digital Warehouse, Inc. and owner David DiMarco. DISH Network and NagraStar filed suit against these Defendants in December 2011 alleging violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and Federal Communications Act (“FCA”) in connection with their distribution of various satellite receivers and other electronic components associated with those receivers. The agreed judgment awards DISH Network over $8.6 million in statutory damages against Digital Warehouse and David DiMarco. The judgment also includes a permanent injunction against all Defendants prohibiting them from future violations. DISH Network and NagraStar continue to investigate and take all appropriate legal action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
California Federal Court Enters Final Judgment against Johnny Tran, Rene Valdez and their Respective Distributor Companies, Awards Over $5.3 Million in Damages, Issues Permanent Injunction and Impoundment Order
On September 27, 2013 Judge David O. Carter from the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s Motion for Judgment against Defendants Johnny Tran, Rene Valdez, Satellite Dish Expert, Inc., New Era Electronics Corp., Swyft Products, LLC, and FTA Republic. DISH and NagraStar filed suit against these Defendants in July 2012 alleging violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and Federal Communications Act (“FCA”) in connection with their distribution of various satellite receivers and other electronic components associated with those receivers. The Court’s Order found those devices and the Defendants conduct violated both the DMCA and FCA and awarded over $5.3 million in statutory damages against the Defendants as follows: $3,873,200 in damages assessed against New Era Electronics, Corp.; $1,259,200 in damages against Satellite Dish Expert, Inc.; $128,800 in damages against Swyft Products, LLC; $5,261,200 in damages against Johnny Tran; and $57,000 in damages against Rene Valdez d/b/a FTA Republic. The Court also entered a permanent injunction against all Defendants prohibiting them, under penalty of contempt, from future violations. Finally, the Court ordered all Defendants to turn over remaining inventory in the infringing products to Plaintiffs for impoundment pursuant to the DMCA. DISH Network and NagraStar will aggressively pursue enforcement and collection efforts against Defendants and continue to investigate and take all appropriate legal action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
NagraStar LLC, together with Nagravision S.A., DISH Network LLC, EchoStar Satellite LLC and EchoStar Technologies LLC settle their legal claims against Dean Love a.k.a. wEeDeR.
NagraStar LLC, together with Nagravision S.A., DISH Network LLC, EchoStar Satellite LLC and EchoStar Technologies LLC, today announced that they have settled their legal claims against Dean Love a.k.a. wEeDeR. Love was active on piracy forum web sites and engaged in efforts to hack DISH and Nagra access cards to circumvent their conditional access systems. Love has posted the following apology on multiple piracy forums:
I was sued for my wrongful activities and paid a heavy price. I urge anyone who reads this to not attempt to hack or reverse-engineer DISH Network‘s, EchoStar‘s, NagraStar‘s or Nagravision’s property and to respect their rights. They will find you.
The settlement of the case against Love is another significant victory in the companies’ efforts to combat signal theft.