On November 5, 2010, the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of DISH Network L.L.C., EchoStar Technologies L.L.C. and NagraStar LLC (collectively “DISH Network“) in their case against Global Technologies, Inc. (“Global Tech”). Global Tech was a Korean-based manufacturer of Pansat-branded satellite receivers which were imported into, and distributed throughout the United States. The Court’s Order Granted DISH Network‘s motion for summary judgment and found that Global Tech’s receivers were primarily designed and manufactured for use in the theft of DISH Network‘s subscription-based satellite television services. Based upon that finding, the Court awarded DISH Network $626,260,000 in statutory damages and entered a permanent injunction against future efforts by Global Tech to traffic in similar products or engage in other efforts to facilitate the theft of DISH Network‘s services. NagraStar and DISH Network continue to aggressively investigate and take action against companies and individuals who are engaged in attempting to compromise their security systems.
Federal Bankruptcy Court rejects Bagdasaryan’s attempt to seek refuge from NagraStar/DISH’s pending suit against him
On May 12, 2009, DISH Network and NagraStar filed suit against Khachik (“Chris”) Bagdasaryan in connection with his posting of circumvention software on various websites using the alias “Blacklist”. On June 1, 2010, DISH Network and NagraStar filed a motion for summary judgment against Bagdasaryan for his illegal-related activities seeking a permanent injunction and $151,767,600.00 in statutory damages. In response, Bagdasaryan filed for bankruptcy in an effort to seek refuge from the pending claims against him. On September 23, 2010, the Bankruptcy Court rejected Bagdasaryan’s efforts, and entered an Order on October 14, 2010, lifting the stay temporarily imposed by the Bankruptcy filing. As a result, the civil suit against Bagdasaryan will be re-instated so that DISH Network and NagraStar can proceed to judgment. This sends a strong message to other potential defendants who believe they can seek refuge from theft and fraud related claims by filing for bankruptcy in hopes of getting judgments against them discharged.
A federal court in Connecticut authorized the seizure and impoundment of multiple computers and devices in a wide-ranging legal action against a dozen websites, including www.nfusion.ws, www.dssboxes.com, and www.conaxsat.net. The legal action, brought jointly by DISH Network, EchoStar and NagraStar, is part of a string of legal victories against websites and individuals who cater to audiences seeking ways of illegally obtaining pay-TV signals.
As part of their ongoing efforts to combat satellite piracy, DISH Network, EchoStar and NagraStar seized multiple computers, peripherals and devices in a civil suit against Infinity Systems and its operators filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Defendants are cooperating.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has sentenced Ravin Ramkissoon d.b.a. The Digital Store, commonly known as Nfusion Canada, and his wife Roseline Ramkisson to jail sentences of four months and two months, respectively. They were found in contempt of civil seizure (Anton Piller) Orders obtained by EchoStar, NagraStar and Bell TV in December, 2009. The Ramkisoons sold and distributed nFusion and other brands of free-to-air receivers through their company stores and web sites.
The contempt findings arose out of the Ramkissoons’ refusal to grant access to parts of their business premises when the Orders were served. They also deliberately prevented the Independent Supervising Solicitor (ISS) appointed by the Court from observing Ravin Ramkissoon in order to ensure that the evidence covered by the Orders was preserved. Additionally the Court found that Ravin Ramkissoon willfully disobeyed the Orders by removing hard drives from computers in an attempt to prevent data from being copied by the Plaintiffs.
In sentencing the Ramkissoons to jail terms, Justice Cumming stated that the Ramkissoons’ contempt was “deliberate, blatant and willful” and that having been served with civil search orders on a prior occasion, they were knowledgeable as to what was required of them in preserving relevant evidence. In awarding the Plaintiffs their legal costs in the amount of $265,887.12, Justice Cumming noted that while the costs were considerable, they were the direct result of the contemptuous actions of the Ramkissoons. These sentences represent a significant victory for the Plaintiffs in their continuing efforts to prevent satellite pay-TV piracy in Canada and the United States.