Thirty-nine people are under investigation for computer fraud and violations of copyright law, following an operation to combat piracy against Italian pay-TV operators Mediaset Premium and Sky Italia, as well as conditional access provider Nagravision, performed by the Communications Police.
The suspects, 28 of them residents in the Lazio region, 7 in Sicily, 3 in Piedmont, and one in Emilia Romagna, are all owners of businesses. In practice, the defendants used the card-sharing system and software, to distribute, via the Internet, the access codes enabling illegal viewing of Mediaset Premium and Sky Italia by interested Internet users who, in turn, paid directly to the pirates a lower subscription than the legitimate license fees.
Certain web sites offered “parallel” pay-TV packages, marketing software specifically configured to receive the decryption keys from the “pirate” server. Alternatively, the pirates provided decoders already configured for the reception of conditional access programs, such as sports and HD movies, for a pre-set and variable time period.
Besides seizing computer equipment and documents, the investigation has also helped the police to reconstruct the pieces of a pyramid selling scheme with international connections especially in Switzerland and Germany.
FLORIDA FEDERAL COURT ENTERS JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION AGAINST FREEFTA.TV, ILINKFORUM.COM
AND OWNER RICHARD SCHWARTZ
On December 1, 2011, Judge Kenneth Ryskamp entered final judgment and a permanent injunction against Defendant Richard (RichieMiami) Schwartz and his websites freefta.tv and ilinkforum.com <http://ilinkforum.com/> . Schwartz and his sites were sued by DISH Network <http://www.dishnetwork.com/> and NagraStar in February of this year for claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Federal Communications Act and Federal Wiretap Act based on their distribution of software files designed to facilitate the unauthorized interception of DISH Network programming. The consent judgment included findings that Defendants acknowledge the software files distributed on the websites were primarily designed to facilitate unauthorized access and included judgment in favor of DISH Network and NagraStar on each of their claims. The judgment permanently enjoins Schwartz from further conduct, including the future operation of any similar websites and ruled that any such future violations would result in $110,000 in statutory damages per act. NagraStar and DISH Network continue to investigate and take action against individuals and entities responsible for trying to circumvent the companies security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
Texas Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment Against Dark Angel End-User Elvis Perry, Awards Over $20,000 to NagraStar/DISH and Enters Permanent Injunction
On December 16, 2011 the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment against Dark Angel end-user Elvis Perry. The Court ruled that Perry’s subscription to the Dark Angel IKS Service constituted a violation of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) and awarded NagraStar and DISH Network $10,000 in statutory damages plus $11,471 in attorneys’ fees and $2,118.26 in costs. The Court also entered a permanent injunction against Perry prohibiting him from future violations. 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.
U.S. Marshals Seize Satellite Pirate’s Car and Motorcycle as Part of NagraStars Enforcement of Judgment
On Friday December 9, 2011, members of the United States Marshals service seized an automobile and motorcycle belonging to Nathan Green. The vehicles will be sold at auction and proceeds distributed to NagraStar and DISH Network. Green was sued in December 2009 for his involvement in setting up DISH Network accounts linked to unauthorized access to DISH Network programming. Green failed to respond to the complaint and on April 22, 2010 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a permanent injunction against him and granted NagraStar and DISH Network final judgment in the amount of $24.4 million dollars. Greens vehicles were seized as part of the post-judgment collections process. NagraStar and DISH Network continue to investigate and take legal action against individuals and entities trying to gain unauthorized access of DISH Network programming.
Federal Court enters default against Dark Angel end-user Jon Main, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties and issues a permanent injunction
Federal Court enters default against Dark Angel end-user, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties and issues a permanent injunction
On December 11, 2011 the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for default against Jon Main. Main 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 Main 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.