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EFF Coordinates Fight Against DirecTV 268

Posted by michael
from the always-need-another-website dept.
wumarkus420 writes "In response to recent lawsuits filed by DirecTV against purchasers of smartcard equipment, the EFF and Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society have announced a new site devoted to the legal fight against DirecTV's aggressions. Hopefully, this new site will provide innocent consumers that have been threatened under the veil of the DMCA with professional legal advice and information."
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EFF Coordinates Fight Against DirecTV

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  • Buy one (Score:3, Funny)

    by poptones (653660) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:12AM (#6683578) Journal
    I'm wondering if I bought one of these now would it still attract the attention of dtv? I used to be one of their customers, and I could use a good fight right now...
    • by corebreech (469871) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @05:05AM (#6683908) Journal
      The Dish Network is going to soon come out with the DishPVR 921 [tech-4-homes.com], a PVR that handles HDTV and *should* save the MPEG stream straight from the dish to the disk.

      Yes, DirecTV is coming out with one too, and theirs is a joint venture with TiVo.

      But you'll want Dish for the pr0n [dishnetwork.com].
      • Dish is a superior alternative, and should be rewarded for not acting like DirecTV (or your typical cable provider, for that matter). This reward is provisional, but there are other reasons to go with Dish:

        1. Doesn't compress its signals as much as DirecTV.
        2. Isn't owned by Murdoch (Mr. "Fair and Balanced"), but is run by Americans.
        3. Offers good PVR's, and doesn't charge extra for using them like DirecTV does (you'll hardly notice it's not a Tivo).
        4. Offers lower-priced basic service.

        I'm quite happy with
        • Dish is a superior alternative, and should be rewarded for not acting like DirecTV (or your typical cable provider, for that matter). This reward is provisional, but there are other reasons to go with Dish:

          1. Doesn't compress its signals as much as DirecTV.
          2. Isn't owned by Murdoch (Mr. "Fair and Balanced"), but is run by Americans.
          3. Offers good PVR's, and doesn't charge extra for using them like DirecTV does (you'll hardly notice it's not a Tivo).
          4. Offers lower-priced basic service.

          I'm quite happy wit
    • You do not want to do that! These guys are bloodthirsty villans. I was served for a summons to Federal Court over a month and a half ago. I have been in contact with the EFF for a while now, see http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=71490&cid=646 5 738 . . . . but as much as they want to help, they cannot afford to represent all of us in court. Thus, you end up in the same boat i am in. . . . a sinking one. . . . .

      I Was contacted yesterday to see if i wanted to pay them off. . . . and i was told that
      • The big question, of course, is "did you actually pirate direcTV?" if you did then I guess you're screwed and it's too bad for your family. If you didn't then why are you paying them off? Go to the local news agency and tell them your story - a fat helping of bad TV publicity has a way of changing these things pretty quick.
    • by n0cturnal79 (690290) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:02AM (#6685850)
      i had some problems with the link to my original post. . . so here it is . . . . . Yes, I have been served with papers, and trust me. . . this whole thing sucks. I was served at work, where i am a unofficial IT guy, with my fellow co-workers looking on as if i were a dangerous criminal. (Embarassing does not even begin to explain the feeling.) My first reaction was, WTF is this? I have never been sued before, i have never been in any kind of trouble before, hell, i have not had a speeding ticket in over 10 years. . . . but low and behold, here was a document stating that i am being sued for $120,000 by a company that i have been a long standing customer with for many years. As i read on, i found out that it was for a Smart Card Programmer. Once again that WTF feeling came back. . . . I purchased this equipment over 2 years ago for a security project that never got off of the ground. A company that i worked for wanted a better way to keep control over who used the company network, i found some info on smart cards, did a search for "smart card programmer" and purchased the cheapest unit i could find. (about $160 if memory serves me correctly), Only to find out that it would not work for what i wanted to do. And now im being sued! And as i said earlier, i am a DTV customer, have been for 6 years. If i were going to hack TV cards, you would think that i would do mine first! Just to make one thing clear, I am a poor guy, And as a poor guy, there are not many options for me to take. Anyway, i dont want to rant about this, however i believe that it is a great injustice. This is just extortion, plain and simple. I was told that i could settle for $4,500 before i went to court, or $10,000 after the court process had began. Alternatively, i could fight it, and the cheapest lawyer would be on the average of $15,000 by the time it is all over. Obviously, not a "poor boy" option. And since it is a civil case, i am not entitled to a court appointed lawyer. So the only option left for me is to fight it myself. Which, if any of you have ever looked into the paperwork involved in a Federal Civil Case, looks like i have just over a snowball's chance in hell. So if i go to court and loose, by law, they can take what little i have, and then some. One option that they could take is garnishment, and being that this is a Lawsuit for damages, they could take a chunk of my pay check for the next 25 years! I only make $12 an hour now, and have a wife and 2 kids, so this is not a good thing for a person who is just barely making it. This Lawsuit is designed to crush people like me so that people who have the money to pay the ransom, will do so.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:17PM (#6689118)
        1) File an answer and deny the allegations that are not true. Admit the ones that are true. If you have any AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES , like part of the statute that says "it shall not be a violation of this section if [blank]" you must stat them in your answer such as if the statute says "this section shall not apply to use or possession by persons utilizing the card solely for use in [blank]" you need to state in your answer that you were doing exactly that.

        2) Look up the law they are suing you under, and look at each specific "element" that is necessary for them to prove to win.

        3) If they did not allege all the correct elements in their complaint (assuming at this state that EVERYTHING they say in the complaint is true at this state of the game), you file a "motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim" under rule 12(b)(6). There are many examples on the web. You state in the motion that "A claim under [statute] requires the elements of [1, 2, 3, 4 ...]. Plaintiff has not even alleged [xxxxxx] and thus their Complaint fails to properly state a claim.

        4) if they properly alleged all the elements (they usually do) you don't get anywhere by filing a motion to dismiss. Instead file a "Motion for Summary Judgment" under rule 56. In it, you set out numbered statement of FACT (not opinion) and you MUST have a document or affidavit that supports each statement of FACT.

        To respond to your motion, they must ALSO come up with hard FACTS and the EVIDENCE to back them up. In a motion for summary judgement, all FACTS you state and support with an affidavit or document, are ASSUMED TO BE TRUE by the court for that motion and it is THE OTHER PARTY'S BURDEN to find evidence and PRODUCE it to rebut them.

        Most cases that do not settle are decided fairly early with either a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment.

        For example, if the statute requires "intent" to use the card for unauthorized interception, the motion may be something like:

        Defendant moves the Court to Grant Summary Judgment" pursuant to Rule 56 FCRP on the grounds that:

        1. The card was purchased on [date] from [vendor] for [purpose].

        2. At that time I was employed by [company] and my job included evaluating methods of security analysis for such and such project, and smart cards of the type I purchased were one such technology evaluated.

        3. The card was purchased in my role as employee of [company] and used solely for the project [project].

        4. The card was stored and used at the facilities of [company] at [address] and no where else at any time.

        5. The card was never removed from the premises by me or anyone else.

        6. At no time did I use the card, or intent to use the card in any way whatsoever to intercept, acquire, or otherwise use any broadcast or other content of a broadcast medium.

        7. The use by me on the project [project] was [blank] [fill in here language that makes your use qualify for an exemption in the statute.

        8. Plaintiff secured the names of purchases of these cards from various sellers, and has sued these purchasers without any inquiry whether some have legitimate and perfectly legal uses of the cards.

        9. Plaintiff has brought this particular action without any inquiry into the relevant facts that make this possess/purchase by me legal.

        Plaintiff requests a hearing on this motion at the earliest convenience. For the reasons state herein and supporting testimony, affidavits, and evidence, Defendant asks that summary judgment in his favor be Granted.

        Then include a sworn affidavit that restates each necessary fact, and include documentation (like a copy of a W2 showing employment, etc.) Makes it look better.

        You dress nice, and it will probably be heard in chambers by a magistrate judge. Calmly and simply state your case. DON'T get into back and forth with the other guy. Take notes and point out that YOUR affidavit is the only fact that sets out the relevant fact
  • Smart Card Readers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:18AM (#6683623) Homepage
    Once again another reason to get rid of the DMCA. DirecTV should at least clarify their position (unless they are painting everyone with the same brush). Another great kick from coporate America

    Rus
  • by dphoenix (623525) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:19AM (#6683627)
    I think that DirecTV's case against the modders is EFF'in' bullshit.
    Once you buy hardware, you own it.
    That may not be the case with copyright protected content, but just as you are authorized to privately show a DVD you own as many times as you want to (.. for now), you can privately hack your hardware any way you want to! Sealand, anyone? Or perhaps China. Australia would be good, except they just reversed their earlier decision and made selling mod-chips illegal again. However, it is still legal to install them over there!
    • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:34AM (#6683667)
      Once you buy hardware, you own it

      But not the software in it. Hacking a SmartCard involves someone copying the software off the card, modding it, and copying it back to the card (or more maybe lots of people).

      The hardware yes, but the softare? Nope.
      • by Pofy (471469) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @04:39AM (#6683831)
        >But not the software in it.

        Unless you made some special agreement in the shop when you bought the hardware, then yes, you indeed own that copy of the software too. Of course, you don't get to own any copyright to it, but you do own the copy of it, just as you own a book you buy despite not owning the copyright to it.
      • And you reach the fundemental problem why is software protected unlike any other good? I baught it I paid for it I should own it and be able to do whatever I want with it sans copping and redistributing it. Software seems to be the tool that the first sale docterine is getting destroyed by. Corperations allways hated it that people have the right to open up there hardware and modify it it cost them money in support and warentee service. How many expensie car parts fly apart like a watch when opened? So
    • Except that stealing DirecTV doesn't involve just hacking your box. It involves rigging your box to pass false information onto their servers in order to gain unauthorized access, essentially hacking/cracking hardware on the other end of the phone line. If it were easy/possible to decrypt the DirecTV signal without using the phone jack on the box, this would be a non-issue.

      Or are you arguing that, becuase I own my computer, I have the right to use it to break into yours over the internet?
      • by Chazmyrr (145612) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:32AM (#6684523)
        Except that stealing DirecTV only involves hacking your own box. You reprogram the smart card in the receiver to authorize any channel. It is easy/possible to decrypt the signal without using the phone jack. In fact, if you don't want to get caught, you better make sure that phone jack stays unplugged.

        Think about it. If 3 million people were dialing up DirecTV and hacking their servers on a regular basis, don't you think there would be a lot more being done about it? Don't you think Hughes would already know who all the pirates are? All they would have to do is match the address the call came from against their billing database.
      • involves rigging your box to pass false information onto their servers

        I chose to respond rather than mod you down, because there isn't a "clueless" mod option.

        Of course, you're dead wrong. Nobody is hacking anybody's servers. Do you have any idea how DTV works? Here's a lesson: The signal is broadcast to the entire country. You receive it via your dish.

        Now, in order to watch it, you have to decrypt the signal. This is where your smart card comes in: All of the decryption algorithms are stored here, as a
      • If it were easy/possible to decrypt the DirecTV signal without using the phone jack on the box, this would be a non-issue.

        You really have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

        You needn't be in contact with them to hack and decode an encrypted signal. If that were so, how would Mexicans and Canadians do it? You think DTV wouldn't have at the very least Caller ID that could tell them when someone was calling from outside the US?

  • their advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rokzy (687636) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:19AM (#6683629)
    3. If you currently subscribe to DirecTV, don't change a thing. A company official has testified that a sudden termination or change in service spells likely guilt in DirecTV's eyes, and a judge may see this logic.

    omg what a great business model, sue people for cancelling service to prevent people who will quit because they don't like their business practices.

    and wtf does "sudden" mean:
    "hello I'd like to stop subscibing, please phase out all my channels over the next 2 years"
    • "a judge may see this logic"

      BEDEVERE: Tell me ... What do you do with witches?

      ALL VILLAGERS: Burn them! Burn them! Burn them up!

      BEDEVERE: And what do you burn apart from witches?

      FIRST VILLAGER: More witches!

      SECOND VILLAGER: Sh!

      THIRD VILLAGER: Wood!

      BEDEVERE: So why do witches burn?

      FOURTH VILLAGER: [pianissimo] ... Because they're made of wood...?

      BEDEVERE: Good.

      [PEASANTS stir uneasily then come round to this conclusion.]

      ALL VILLAGERS: Oh! Oh yeah!

      BEDEVERE: So. How do we tell whether she is made of
    • Re:their advice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ryanwright (450832)
      WTF? If a company I was doing business with sued me without cause, the first thing I'd do is terminate my relationship with them. I mean, duh!
  • by kscd (414074) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:21AM (#6683633)
    Forgive me if I'm off-topic. I'm glad the EFF has decided to fight this. I remember a while back there was some talk of donating money to the 4 kids involved in legal fights with the RIAA over enhancing the Windows sharing available on their campuses. While donating money to them to recoup their settlements was a novel idea, how about setting up a sort of legal defense fund for similarly accused students for the future. That way some of these cases may actually go to trial, and the absurdity of the DMCA can be tested. Think of it, 60 million ppl use peer to peer. We support artists, just not the cartels that house them now. (Hell, I haven't even used these networks in years, considering all the shit that's put out by the majors, I rely on CDbaby.com to find new music.)It's time to fix the broken state of the law to be more in line with serving the people it was created for.
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:21AM (#6683634) Homepage Journal
    My understanding is that whatever kangaroo court hears domain dispute consistently sides with trademark holders. So I bet DirectTV's first step will be to take the DirecTVDefense.org domain away from the EFF.

    A friend of mine has operated a website called www.afm.com [afm.com] for quite some time. "AFM" stands for American Flea Market. A little while ago the American Film Marketing Assocation [afma.com] disputed the domain, saying that he was cybersquatting on their trademark. Their complaint filled a four-inch binder. He's operated the domain for several years before hearing from these jokers.

    They accused any of everything from kidnapping the Lindbergh baby to crashing those planes into the World Trade Center. Oh, yeah, and Andy had weapons of mass destruction.

    My friend is no fool. He fought the dispute tooth and nail, without any legal representation - and won, he got to keep his domain. But not everyone has been so lucky.

    Andy put up a site about it called www.ShameOnTheAFMA.com [shameontheafma.com], which has some resources that others could use to defend their domains.

    • I'm surprised the American Federation of Musicians, commonly known as the AFM, didn't come after him.. but they tend to be a more sensible organization. I'm surprised the AFMA is claiming the letters AFM as their trademark, when clearly it belongs to... the AFM.

      -- AFM local ?? Shit, I can't remember.
    • A friend of mine has operated a website called www.afm.com for quite some time. "AFM" stands for American Flea Market. A little while ago the American Film Marketing Assocation disputed the domain, saying that he was cybersquatting on their trademark. Their complaint filled a four-inch binder. He's operated the domain for several years before hearing from these jokers.

      heh, that's funny, because when I read AFM, I first thought about the American Federation of Musicians" [afm.org] at afm.org.

      -dB

  • by fruey (563914) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @03:49AM (#6683715) Homepage Journal
    ... and this case seems remarkably similar to me.

    Victor Hugo said, back in 1831/1832, that the printing press killed architecture, by taking away part of what architectural edifices were about (telling a story, imposing a theme, etc). Books lasted longer, could be more widely diffused, and were not subject to being rebuilt and demolished in the same ways (amongst other things, for more read "Ceci tuera cela" in "Notre Dame de Paris").

    The Internet is now killing all other media, because it is at once all media, and is the same thing to all people, rather like the book was more accessible than the edifice as Victor Hugo observed had happened from the 15th century onwards*.

    As has been mentioned elsewhere, ITV Digital went down due to piracy. Canal Horizons, the Moroccan digital TV unit, also went down due to piracy. Not that people were pirating their signal, they were pirating French digital TV instead ;-)

    All this leads us to the logicial conclusion that paying for recorded content is going to be a harder and harder thing to enforce, whatever the medium. Which is great, in my opinion. It might bring back live entertainment, something which was originally killed by the recorded work. People moan about how piracy is killing CDs, DVDs and so on - but the real artists who could really perform live lost a livelihood to recorded works. Maybe they will see a renaissance, which would be much more democratic than some big-ass company making all the $$$ for a recording.

    I can't help feeling that content is priced too high. Why should "Friends" actors make a million bucks an episode? Why should Arnold Schwarzenegger make so much? Careful editing and effects respectively make these two vehicles much more successful than the actual TALENT (or lack of) of the actors.

    The re-democratisation of content is perhaps happening today. And live shows might perhaps make a comeback. I'd much rather hear a live show in a bar (sometimes for like $5 and maybe I'll leave a tip for the band or buy their self-marketed CD) than pay $15 for recorded works of some pimped singer who actually can't play an instrument or write anything, just has a nice voice _once it is processed_ ...

    DirecTV, indeed TV in general, had it coming to them. Even their good content is becoming diluted by the sheer volume of crap out there, and indeed the success of mediocre vehicles like recent Friends, Simpsons and others just goes to show that the public is less and less able to find something good to watch (or listen to). People probably have a strong urge to pirate because it is quite frankly not worth the subscription fee most of the time. And, Internet is already giving us content on demand, including movies, on the wrong side of the law, while conventional media is actually playing catchup. Time to start seeing this for what it is, a paradigm shift for the 21st century.

    * indeed Hugo was talking about an era before his time, the 15th century, when Gutenberg's press was invented. The novel "Notre Dame de Paris" was written in 1831-2 but the story takes place in 1482.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      " People probably have a strong urge to pirate because it is quite frankly not worth the subscription fee most of the time"

      These people were paying $30 a pop for the new card software images to get every channel. They could have paid $20 to get the standard 300 channels. Obviously they were just greedy and wanted HBO and the skin channels for free.
  • It's a Witchhunt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @04:07AM (#6683763)
    I bought a smart card programmer for a friend overseas and had it delivered to my fathers address. My dad was a huge fan of Direct TV (bunch of dishes, always paid his bill) until they started threatening him with a lawsuit.

    Now he is a fan of Dish Network...
  • Furthermore (Score:5, Informative)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @04:40AM (#6683837) Homepage Journal
    DirecTV is suing Canadian citizens and attempting to disrupt information websites (presumably under the guise of the DMCA). What interesting about this is that DirecTV has no jurisdiction in Canada, as they have no presence there (they are not licensed to broadcast into Canada, which is what started this whole mess in the first place). Also, the DMCA does not apply to non-US citizens (although we've seen how well that's been applied in the Sklyarov case).

    Right or wrong about the genesis of their actions (some folks really are intercepting DirecTV signal), DTV is just flat wrong about how they prosecute their case and need to be reigned back in.

    • Re:Furthermore (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nadaou (535365) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @05:48AM (#6683990) Homepage
      DirecTV has no jurisdiction in Canada

      DirecTV has no jurisdiction anywhere outside their own corptate structure. They're a friggin company, not a public instituion granted the right by the people to cast judgement. Same goes for the BSA, *AA, etc. They can't raid you. They can only 'lobby by check' politicians who tell their FBI underlings to do the raid..

      Repeat after me: laywers++ != law. Don't let their marketeers get into your brain[*].

      These verbal slips are just like "IP" and "DRM" phrases that pass into common usage but are really just twisted-meaning corportate bullshit!

      Fight the noun.

      [*] remember a faraday cage needs total coverage, so you have to go mummy-like, really.
      The hat isn't enough.


      Dict.org:
      2. The authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate;
      the right of making or enforcing laws; the power or right
      of exercising authority.
      • Re:Furthermore (Score:2, Informative)

        by tprime (673835)
        Actually, Bell ExpressVU has filed the lawsuit against the web sites and sales locations... They are claiming that the people who are pirating DTV are potential customers of ExpressVU and that they have lost revenue due to this. Similar tactics to the whole RIAA and MPAA thing. Most of the people in Canada would not have subscribed to ExpressVU anyway because their service is terrible. No real lost revenue there...
    • the DMCA does not apply to non-US citizens

      Wrong. It most certainly can aaply to non-US citizens, but does not have to. If you are a non-US citizen, and you come to the US and break a law, you can be held accountable for that law, there is no, but I'm not American defense. I know I'll get flamed for this, but Sklyarov was in the US when he was arrested, so in that case they did have jurisdiction.
      • I know I'll get flamed for this, but Sklyarov was in the US when he was arrested, so in that case they did have jurisdiction.

        But they charged him with violating a law that he violated while in RUSSIA. Sure, they had jurisdiction to arrest him since he was on US soil, but they didn't have jurisdiction to charge him with a crime he didn't commit while on US soil.

        Imagine going to some country where prostitution is legal. You pay for a little fun, come home, and you're arrested for violating a US law while i
        • i understand your point, but it gets cloudy. Lets say you were in Russia, and you broke into a US bank and transfered some funds. You just broke a lot of US laws. Then you come and visit the US, the US authorities find out, and arrest you. Perfectly normal.

          I guess the real question is where do computer crimes jurisdiction lie? In the jurisdiction the offender is in, or the jurisdiction that the victim is in? The example of prostitution (which is legal in the US in some places, i.e. Nevada), you are not
    • Re:Furthermore (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chess_the_cat (653159)
      What are you on about? Who cares if DirecTV is suing Canadian citizens? It's not them you have to worry about. It's the CRTC. If you are receiving television signals from the US you are breaking the law. You say it yourself: DirecTV is not licensed to broadcast in Canada. Conversely, Canadian citizens are not permitted to view those signals because they do not carry the required amount of Canadian content.
      • Conversely, Canadian citizens are not permitted to view those signals

        No, that's bullshit. The fact that DTV isn't licensed to broadcast in Canada does not mean Canadian citizens aren't permitted to view the signals. In fact, it was wholly legal to hack DTV cards in Canada for quite some time, though I believe they've changed that.
  • by Musashi Miyamoto (662091) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @06:22AM (#6684179)
    This is a good example of the lack of anonymity that we have as consumers on the internet. Had these people been able to purchase their products anonymously, this sort of abuse wouldn't be possible.

    If the government were to try a stunt like this, it would be against the constitution's "ex post facto" rules. But instead, we are moving toward a society that's "laws" are defined by corporate entities.

    Though we loathe the idea of the government installing cameras and watching us, bugging our phones, reading our e-mail, record our purchase transactions, and track our movements, we allow corporations to do it all the time. This is already bad enough, but if we allow the government to centralize these corporate databases, then by default, we will have allowed the frightening world of 1984 to exist.
    • It's not easy to ship someone something physical anonymously. You at least need their address.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @06:36AM (#6684311) Homepage
    The Congress shall have power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. [loc.gov]

    Inventors for all practical purposes now means corporate entities, because if they can ban the tools required to investigate and experiment with technology, then the era of the individual inventor is over. The ability of corporations to stifle scientific investigation now rivals that of the Inquisition.

    Now the question isn't "what can I invent?", but "can I afford a lawyer to defend my right to invent?"

    I actually feel physically sick.

  • by donscarletti (569232) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:19AM (#6684469)
    It does seem ironic that the right wing factions promote freedoms and civil liberties that give people the right to posess guns (devices for killing), also promote freedoms of commerce that prohibit the posession of smart card programmers (devices for sticking numbers onto cards).

    Just goes to show freedom is only gained by trampling the freedoms of others.

    • It does seem ironic that the right wing factions promote freedoms and civil liberties that give people the right to posess guns (devices for killing), also promote freedoms of commerce that prohibit the posession of smart card programmers (devices for sticking numbers onto cards).

      Firstly, I can't even believe I'm replying to you seeing as you're ovbiously ignorant.

      What is the point of attacking the "right wing factions" as you call them? DirecTV, while it is indeed a business, does not represent any

  • by RouterSlayer (229806) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:37AM (#6684546)
    SCO should be suing DirecTV right about now (or at least soon). Why is this post on topic?
    well, DTV has two units, the Tivo and the UTV, both of which run Linux.
    so DTV is "pirating" SCOs software (cough).

    bah to those who can't see the humor in the above, but at least it's nice to see them finally get under fire from someone.

    I know many people who are legit smartcard developers, some for RSA, some for microsoft, etc, who all get letters from DTV about lawsuits. What the hell is this all about?

    Heck, there's a guy in town running a photocopy center (you know the kind) using smartcard technology who's getting sued.... Uhm... what the hell?

    btw dtv has lost a few of the suits lately, seems some of the judges are starting to get pissed off about their antics.
    • btw dtv has lost a few of the suits lately, seems some of the judges are starting to get pissed off about their antics.

      Hopefully not. While I certainly do not support DTV in any way, their lawsuits should be tossed out because they are not legally sound. They should not be tossed out because of "antics."

    • The Tivo units that DTV sells use earlier versions of Linux that have never been cited in a complaint from SCO. This is a red herring.

      -dB

  • by MrChris007 (523454) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:00AM (#6685819)
    The web site mentions the rather strange fact that "intercepting satellite signals" is illegal. This may be a bit off topic, but it seems to me that this is very strange. Is it illegal to purchase or build your own radio receiver which will receive radio wave signals that are constantly broadcast into your home ? Of course not. Why then is it that when a satellite company broadcasts signals into my home, it is illegal for me to "intercept" those signals. Do they "own" the signal ? If so and if they don't want me to recieve their signal if I am not paying for it then why are they broadcasting it into my home? Can I sue them for invading my privacy by boradcasting signals into my home that I do not want to receive? I also find the use of the term "intercept" to be strange much the same way it is incorrect so say that making a copy of copyrighted software is "stealing". Just as copying software is not really "stealing" , it's "copying" so it is also true that when a satellite signal enters my home I am not "intercepting" it (because if I am , then who is it intended for ? As far as I know there is no one living underground below me), but rather I am "receiving" it, and it was the satellite company that sent it to me in the first place, even if I do not pay for it or ask for it. If I have the capability to build my own satellite reciever and decode the signals that are being sent into my home I see no reason why I should not be allowed to do so.
  • As I noted in another discussion, the problem is that this litigation is too damn cheap. It is like SPAM, in htat it costs the relatively nothing to file these lawsuits, but costs those that have to respond a lot to respond. Even if you win, you end up owing. So, what do you do? If you are "wise" you fold. And they can cite another win against a nasty pirate.

    Now, if we were in an English-style, "loser pays", system then we would be able to fight this, win, and stick the bill to DirectTV. You can bet that i
  • DoD Smart Cards (Score:2, Informative)

    by darkstar949 (697933)
    I find it hard to believe that DirecTV thinks that the only use for the Smart Cards is to steal satellite TV, when the cards are quickly growing in use on computer networks as a means of user login and digital signatures. In fact the DoD has acquired 2.4 million Common Access Cards (Modified Smart Cards that include a photo ID on the card) that are used on DoD computer networks. (Ref: Government Computer News, Vol 22 Num 14)

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