Ten month sentence for owner of illegal card sharing network;
Global security leaders partner with content distributors to combat media piracy in Europe
It was revealed today that global content security companies Irdeto and NAGRA have been working with satellite service provider M7 Group to investigate and disrupt the illegal distribution of pay TV content in Belgium.
As a result of this work, Ahmad Masroor was convicted in the Herselt Court in Belgium charged with operating an illegal commercial control word sharing server on 29 September 2012. Masroor was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and ordered to forfeit €50,000 in a Paypal account that was used to collect subscriptions to the illegal service.
Said Hans Troelstra, COO, M7 Group: “M7 will continue to fight piracy with both legal and technical means. We have joint forces with CA vendors and other pay TV operators throughout Europe to further increase the effect of our counter measures.”
Investigation into the case commenced in 2009 and focused around the website www.CCcam.tv. The site offered pirate subscriptions for a wide range of pay TV content including TV VLAANDEREN, TéléSAT and CanalDigital. Irdeto made a test purchase from the suspect and subsequently provided expert evidence regarding the control word sharing server to the Belgian Economic Inspectorate. Control word sharing piracy poses a major threat to pay TV operators and broadcasters and occurs when a pirate steals and retransmits a regularly changing control word that is passed between a smart card and a set-top-box (STB), allowing subscribers to watch TV content they have not paid for. Upon receiving the evidence, the Belgian Economic Inspectorate raided the premises of the suspect, seizing PC’s, laptops, hard drives, servers and business records. Click here to see Exhibit A: CCcam.tv home page, Exhibit B: CCcam.tv pirate subscriptions and Exhibit C: CCcam.tv FAQ.
A security director of the Irdeto Anti-Piracy & Forensics Unit, said, “The result of this case is significant not only for the strong conviction, but is one of the first cases where assets in the form of profits in a Paypal account were forfeited.
“Illegal profit is the primary motivation for pay TV pirates and this judgment sends a forceful deterrent message to other would-be pirates that if you are caught, not only will you face a lengthy prison sentence but you will also lose your ill-gotten gains. The final court result is very pleasing given the months of work put in by Irdeto, NAGRA and the M7 Group to protect our customers from this significant commercial threat. We continue to work closely with our customers and our industry on both technical and legal fronts to address piracy.”
Pascal Metral, Principal Corporate Lawyer at NAGRA and Kudelski Security units said, “This decision confirms the trend observed in other territories where such pay-tv piracy leads to numerous and successful prosecutions. Fighting piracy requires a combination of technical and legal countermeasures. We were pleased to bring our expertise and collaborate with M7 and Irdeto in fighting this case and will continue to do so around the globe.”
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 enters default against Dark Angel end-user Adrian Khan, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties, an additional $6,050 in fees/costs, issues a permanent injunction and rules that the entire judgment amount is non-dischargeable in the Bankruptcy proceeding filed by Khan
On October 25, 2012 the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for default against Adrian Khan. Khan was sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for federal claims arising out of his subscription to the Dark Angel services. The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against Khan as well as an award of $10,000 in statutory damages (the maximum damages per violation) under the Electronics Communication Privacy Act (“ECPA”), an additional $6,050 in fees/costs, and rules that the entire judgment amount is non-dischargeable in the Bankruptcy proceeding Khan filed in an attempt to escape liability. 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 Orders Impoundment of MyFreeNeeds Domains, Awards DISH/NagraStar $12,000,000 in Statutory Damages, and Enters Permanent Injunction against Angel Solis
On October 15, 2012 the United States District Court for the Southern District of California entered judgment in DISH Network and NagraStar’s favor in their case against Angel Solis and the myfreeneeds.com website. Solis and others were sued in January of 2012 for their operation of the myfreeneeds.com website, and the site’s distribution of piracy-related software files. The Court previously entered a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction compelling the website to be taken offline. In addition to the permanent injunction entered by the Court in the October 15th Order, the judge also awarded DISH Network and NagraStar statutory damages in the amount of $12 million under their Federal Communications Act claim. The Court further ordered GoDaddy to transfer the website domains at issue in the case to NagraStar, and ordered Defendants to turn over for impoundment all software files, business records, inventory computer hard drives and servers related to the operation of the myfreeneeds domains to DISH Network’s counsel for impoundment.
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.