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.
California Federal Court Enters Summary Judgment Against Korean-Based Receiver Manufacturer Vicxon Corporation and Its CEO Soo Jong Yeo, Awards Damages in Excess of $27 Million, and Issues Permanent Injunction and Inventory Destruction Relief
On July 26, 2013 the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted DISH Network, NagraStar and EchoStar Technologies’ (collectively “DISH Network”) Motion for Summary Judgment against Vicxon Corporation and its CEO Soo Jong Yeo. Vicxon Corp. is a Korean-based satellite receiver and dongle manufacturer that shipped various products into the United States for domestic distribution. DISH Network filed suit against Vixcon Corp. and Yeo on January 3, 2012. After prevailing on various motions to dismiss filed by Defendants, DISH Network moved for summary judgment on its DMCA claims. The Court found the receivers and dongles manufactured by Vicxon to violate the DMCA insofar as they included various hardware and software components designed primarily to facilitate circumvention. The Court granted DISH Network’s motion, entered final judgment in their favor, awarded$27,758,200.00 in statutory damages and issued a permanent injunction against future violations. The Court further ordered Defendants to destroy all remaining product inventory and held that Vixcon’s CEO was also individually liable for the judgment amount. 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.
On July 16, 2013, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona ruled in favor of DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar in their long-running battle against Danial Pierce, one of the owners and executive officers of Sonicview USA, Inc. DISH Network previously filed suit against Danial Pierce and his business partners in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California based on their importation and distribution of Sonicview receivers and accessories. On May 31, 2012, the California court ruled that these Sonicview receivers and accessories constitute unlawful piracy devices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Federal Communications Act, and awarded DISH Network approximately $64.9 million in damages and a permanent injunction against Danial Pierce and his co-defendants. DISH Network was in the process of collecting Danial Pierce’s assets in satisfaction of the Sonicview judgment when he and his wife, Sincha Pierce, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Arizona court. DISH Network moved for dismissal of the Pierces’ bankruptcy case on the basis that it had been filed in a bad faith attempt to frustrate DISH Network‘s ability to enforce the Sonicview judgment. The Arizona court granted DISH Network‘s motion and dismissed the Pierces’ bankruptcy case. DISH Network is pleased with the ruling and will continue to aggressively pursue execution of the judgment against Danial Pierce and his co-defendants in the Sonicview litigation.
Minnesota Federal Court Enters Final Judgment Against Joshua Lamaack a/k/a RAZOR420, Awards $350,000 in Damages, Issues Permanent Injunction and Orders Passcode Impoundment
On June 5, 2013 the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota granted DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar’s final judgment against Joshua Alan Lamaack, a/k/a RAZOR420. DISH and NagraStar sued Lamaack in October 2012 in connection with his role in the operation of the RazorTV IKS service and his sale and distribution of illicit passcodes for that service. The Court found Lamaack’s conduct violated section 605 of the Federal Communications Act and found evidence establishing 35 separate violations. The Court awarded DISH Network and NagraStar $350,000.00 in damages calculated at the maximum statutory amount of $10,000 per violation. The Court further found Lamaack’s conduct violated section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations by Lamaack. Finally, the Court invoked the impoundment provisions of the DMCA and ordered Lamaack to turn over for seizure all remaining passcodes and electronic storage media containing those passcodes to DISH Network’s counsel within 10 days. 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.