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Satellite Hackers Charged Under DMCA

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the grounded dept.

The Courts 578

RexHavoc writes "'Invoking the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal grand jury has indicted six people on charges of developing software and hardware designed to hack into paid TV satellite transmissions.' My guess is that for those who haven't already plead guilty, they will have a tough time proving that they had good intentions, unlike Dmitry Sklyarov's e-books case."

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Prost? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5302947)

na na na na na na na na first post
na na na na na na na na first post

first post
first post

na na na na na na na na first post
or second by now

-cornjchob

In Soviet Union.... (-1)

Mr. Troll (202208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303082)

Satellite hackers charge YOU!

RUSSIA, fucklick, RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303319)

The joke is "in Soviet RUSSIA."

Is it a DMCA violation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5302949)

to use my ueber-leet sk33lz to get FRIST POST?

You sir are a retard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303080)

Maybe you can use your l33t sk33lz to win something at the special olympics!!

Thank You

Pretty Sad (2, Interesting)

rolandbm (620159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302950)

Its pretty sad when you can be arrested for the giving out of information. By giving out info, I could go to prison. Guess I won't leave the house again.

P.S. fp?

Re:Pretty Sad (3, Interesting)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302984)

Whats more scary is that you can be arrested just for having that information! Did these people actually hack a satelite/feed? What is this, fscking Minority Report?

Re:Pretty Sad (3, Insightful)

rolandbm (620159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303045)

Since most of them did plead guilty, I'm assuming that they did actually hack the sat/feed. Of course with the DMCA rules, their lawyers could have just said, "If you are found guilty, you'll go to jail for the rest of your life!!!" (yes I'm exaggerating).

But still, if I show you how to hack the dish and give you the hardware for it, what law have I broken? Ability does not imply intent. All people who have knifes, aren't cooks. Some are serial killers :)

SOME information wants to be free (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303303)

I think your employer would press charges if you "gave out information" on the combination to the finance office's safe!

Re:Pretty Sad (2, Insightful)

2names (531755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303035)

I wouldn't go all hermit just yet...

Let's wait and see how the case turns out. Perhaps the judge will also recognize the idiocy in punishing people for giving out information.

Writing the code, or giving out the code is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than USING the code to break the law.

Re:Pretty Sad (1, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303262)

Writing the code, or giving out the code is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than USING the code to break the law.

You're right. That's why Congress passed the DMCA.

Arrest one script kiddie, and you give some punk a free education.

Arrest the black-hat hacker who makes the scripts for the kiddies, and you can actually do something.

Re:Pretty Sad (2, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303060)

"Giving out information" has always been able to get you in trouble, if said information is classified or was a trade secret. The only difference now is, giving out information can land you in jail if it costs another corporation a certain amount of money. . . but really, that's nothing new either.

That's nothing new... (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303068)

If you give out some kinds of information that's treason. Other kinds of information may get you in civil court for violation of intellectual property agreements. Giving out false information can be fraud. This is not such a novel concept.

Frankly this is the only application of the DMCA that I've seen to date that I think is reasonable. You've got people creating devices to decrypt copyrighted material that people could legitimately pay for and play in any manner they wanted to. I've got DirecTV, and I can certainly record the shows, and excerpt them for commentary, etc. There's no reason that you need to decrypt these signals, save for not having to pay for them.

Re:That's nothing new... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303252)

You've got people creating devices to decrypt copyrighted material that people could legitimately pay for and play in any manner they wanted to.

The delivery mechanism is flawed. They're beaming it right into my house.

If they don't want me to listen, then stop beaming!

There are more secure delivery methods, such as that used by cable.

Re:Pretty Sad (puhleeze) (4, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303129)

The defendants allegedly sold or distributed free software and hardware to hundreds of thousands of people, giving them free access to paid subscription satellite TV services, Spertus said.

Why don't you put that comment back where you pulled it from. Did you read the article?

The defendants allegedly sold or distributed free software and hardware to hundreds of thousands of people, giving them free access to paid subscription satellite TV services, Spertus said.

Sounds to me like they got busted doing something illegal. Fine, let them get nailed, and let the court use the DMCA. I think one of two things will happen:

1. The DMCA will be validated, and all hell will break loose, people will be arrested for owning information.

2. Someone gets busted under the DMCA for doing actual illegal activity such as this. Other invoctions of the DMCA, for things like the Skylarov case, will be a glaring example of why they aren't the same thing, and the DMCA will be ammended.

Re:Pretty Sad (1)

meatplow (184288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303242)

Are you an idiot ?

Is it ok for me to give out your information. --- SS#, Credit Cards, DL#, Bank accounts, PIN#, ALL login/passwords.. etc.

ALL INFORMATION IS NOT FREE EVER !!!

Meatplow

Wau! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5302952)

Homerand Security!

Why is this news? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5302969)

Here comes 300 posts stating the DMCA is bad regardless of the crime!!11!!

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

Krow10 (228527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303031)

They are not accused of actually hacking into anything. They are accused of developing software capable of hacking into a pay sattelite feed. This should not be a crime, IMO.

-Craig

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303069)

Yeah! They're beaming that stuff into my head, I should at least have a crack at finding out what it is before I decide to pay for it or not.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

LiquidAsphalt (627915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303153)

What if I build a nuclear bomb for the sake of building one? Should that be a crime?

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303042)

the DMCA makes breathing a crime

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303046)

Here comes 300 posts stating that Nazi concentration camps are bad regardless of the crime!!11!!

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303126)

Concentration camps by nature are not "bad." It is what you do in the concentration camps that is bad. The US had concentration camps during WWII for Japanese but we didn't cook them in ovens.

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303164)

brilliant analogy.

Concentration camps were mostly an excuse for bad people to do bad things.

The DMCA is a tool to stop people while preparing to do bad things. It's concept is flawed, in that not every person with a spindle of blank CDs and a copy of Windows 98 is a illegally copying software.

Heck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5302970)

You can indite a loaf of bread!!!

But see this is America, you know, land of 'Innocent until proven guilty'...you DMCA NAZI's

Re:Heck (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303096)

But will the prison term vary if it was whole wheat or white?

Re:Heck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303166)

white bread sux0rz, b10tch

wheet bread up in da hoooouuuuseee! awww ya!

Re:Heck (0)

Blueice88 (648233) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303145)

Yeah, which you talk have have coherence And i Suport and talk more:If in all world dont have laws against hackers, in the future the situation must be worst than present time.Best regards.We Should be protect,because nobody give us security.Best regards. Blueice88

Good intentions don't matter (4, Insightful)

poisoneleven (310634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302979)

Research used to be enough to justify doing that, and under the law, "Good Intentions" are not exempt under the current letter of the law.

They wanted their MTV (4, Funny)

CrypticOutsider (615336) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302980)

Blame it on the Dire Straits!

well.... (5, Insightful)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302988)

looks like a legitimate case. the DMCA does enforce some issues that do need to be enforced. I agree that these people were in the wrong...but on the whole I still think the DMCA needs some serious re-writing.

Re:well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303012)

http://profiles.yahoo.com/tx_mgm

Happy spam day. You have just been subscribed and spammed yahoo employees worldwide.

Re:well.... (1)

The Wing Lover (106357) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303185)

DirecTV won't sell me their service because of where I live. It is impossible for me to pay DirecTV. It doesn't cost them one thin dime if I steal their service, as they *will not allow me* to give them money. So why shouldn't I decrypt the information? Why should people go to jail if they help me decrypt the information?

Re:well.... (1, Insightful)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303316)

DirecTV won't sell me their service because of where I live.....as they *will not allow me* to give them money. So why shouldn't I decrypt the information?

maybe that could be a good argument if it were true...if you are on the internet, then id say your chances of being out of range of any kind of cable provider are slim to none.
plus, them not wanting to sell you service is their right and does NOT entitle you to steal their service, regardless of how little money the lose from your actions (and, yes...stealing satellite cable does still cost them resources)! For example, if i had the money, i would want to buy myself a harrier jet...but guess what, I WONT GET ONE! why not? because the military wont sell it to me! so does that give me the right to break into a military compound and STEAL one? i think not!

Re:well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303211)

The bigger problem is that these satellite signals are beamed right through our homes. The radio spectrum should belong to the people, not to corporations. If a signal comes into my home, I should be able to do whatever the hell I want to with it.

IMHO (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5302992)

In a criminal court, intent comes into play as the difference between, say, murder and manslaughter. I think it's a fundementally more dangerous problem when your intent (which, obviously, is can be damn hard to prove either way) is the difference between comitting a crime and not committing a crime. That's the danger of the DMCA.

Re:IMHO (1)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303135)

Good point, except the law typically dismisses intent when determining if someone violated the law.

For instance, with sexual harassment laws, it's never the intent of the person infringing the others rights, because intent can't be determined reasonably.

So, the true nature of law ignores intent. the only place you see intent matter is when you have jury trials, and the defense plays on the juries feelings by convincing them the intentions of the committer were good.

in cases like this one though, the law is pretty black and white to a federal grand jury. the grand jury reads the laws, they decide if they were violated, case closed.

Re:IMHO (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303193)

ok... and what exactly is the non-criminal intent of descrambling a satellite signal? I can think of only one... pure intellectual curiosity. That brings an interesting question... if I am a full subscriber (neglect PPV for this thought experiment) to Dish or DirecTV and I hack the signal, say... because my receiver is broken... have I violated the DMCS. I would guess legally I have, but this particular case might be challagable in court. Just a thought...

Re:IMHO (1)

MartinG (52587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303332)

ok... and what exactly is the non-criminal intent of descrambling a satellite signal?

They didn't descramble a signal. They made a tool that does, just like gun manufacturers make guns. Gun makers don't know the intent of the user, which may well be illegal, but they are (rightly) allowed to manufacture the tool anyway.

death by a thousand goatses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303000)

OLD IKE [texoma.net]

Well... (1, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303011)

That's when you just gotta position the satellite over their house, charge up the capacitors, and slowly focus a laser beam on their forehead before discharging!

...Sorry, been watching too much Akira.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303013)

In Soviet Russia, Satellites hack you!

Horay for the DMCA! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303017)

The criminal injustice system prevails again!

for a change.... (2, Insightful)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303034)

...it looks as though we have a case for which the DMCA was originially intended.

Question though - If the DMCA didnt exist - could they be charged/tried similar to those who install/use illegal cable hookups?

I doubt it (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303088)

The article is a bit light on what they actually managed to do, but the answer to your quesiton is (IANAL) a resounding maybe. It depends on what their intent was. If they were doing it for research and or for the hell of doing it, probably not. If they were doing it so they could get all the free HBO they wanted (IE, as a way of getting around paying for it), then probably yes.

Re:for a change.... (1)

LiquidAsphalt (627915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303093)

Yes they can, and have been. The DMCA just now makes OWNING/Having the equipment a crime I believe because it is a circumventin mechanism. My question is what if there was a an idiotic security mechanism that even kids could break, then directv could sue basically everyone and make a killing on those suits. Hmm maybe I should go into that business?

Re:for a change.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303189)

DirecTV isnt suing, the feds are prosecuting.

Re:for a change.... (2, Insightful)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303123)

No without the DMCA they can only be tried if they have commited the crime. In this case it appears that they only wrote the software and it is unclear if they used it or not. So basically the DMCA makes possession of the tools illegal but under the "old" laws you have to use the tools to be in violation. This is why the DMCA is evil. But yes if the DMCA did not exist everyone who stole using the tools could be charged.

Re:for a change.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303270)

Not exactly.

We're talking about the people selling the tools, not the ones possessing or using them. You have to look at the rules for indirect infringment, which do predate the DMCA.

It wouldn't be hard to show that infringement was occuring, that these individuals knew about it, and that these individuals were facilitating it. That would be enough to convict with pre-DMCA copyright laws (and modern interpretation thereof by the courts).

Other places (2, Informative)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303063)

A similiar article appeared here [theregister.co.uk] yesterday.

Urrm... (5, Funny)

labratuk (204918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303065)

Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Satellite TV transmissions are analogue, aren't they?

Not quite (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303151)

It's a digital signal over an analog tranmission medium. The Svideo cable that goes from your DVD player to your TV is the samme thing -- it carries signals in the form of voltage (analog) but those signals are quantized -- nothing but 1's (5v, methinks) or 0's (0V, probably).

Urrm...They are (1)

linuxwolf (161541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303191)

DirecTV and Dish Network both use a form of the Digital Satellite System (by Hughes, IIRC) for their transmissions.

You can read the DirecTV FAQ about it here [directv.com] .

Ummm... No. (1)

Pii (1955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303215)

DBS - Digital Broadcast Satellite

Both DirecTV and Dish Network transmit digital signals.

Re:Urrm... (1)

zentigger (203922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303231)

Most satellite transmissions are about as analogue as ethernet.

In this case, the typical direc-tv-type signal is a DVB feed, which is a digitally encoded video signal.

Re:Urrm.uhh ahhh ohh ooohhh uuhg ughahh ahh.. (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303327)

What were you saying? I was watching channel 595.

Well, my plans are all shot to hell... (1)

I'm a racist. (631537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303073)

Damn, and I had just been thinking about setting up a satellite system for myself. I wanted to hook up a couple of dishes (aimed at different satellites) and have a PC or two decode the transmissions, then route the signal to a TV/monitor.

Actually, if you aren't distributing software/hardware for doing this, there's really no big concern. How can anyone find out that you're tapping into the signal?

The big thing that would stop me from going through the trouble of doing this is that I wonder how to keep up to date with the keys used to encrypt the signals. One reason to tap multiple signals (besides sheer greed) is because you are more likely to find a key for 1 out of 3 providers than you are to find the key for just 1 provider. I heard there are some places on the Internet that routinely post keys for various providers, but I don't know where they are anyway (I haven't gone looking either).

By the way, anyone seen those ominous ads about the man "stealing" satellite signals (I've only seen them when travelling in Canada)? Ooooh, he's viewing information that you've freely broadcast to everyone, he's evil!!!

Re:Well, my plans are all shot to hell... (1)

LiquidAsphalt (627915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303121)

Umm they always were shot to hell.. What your wanting to do is illegal outright even without the DMCA. You purchase a subscription and then get the content for which you purchased, if you do it any other way legally its called stealing. IMHO if I can go through thr trouble of figuring out how to "decrypt" an encrypted signal and your beaming stuff at my house I can do what I want.

Re:Well, my plans are all shot to hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303175)

Ooooh, he's viewing information that you've freely broadcast to everyone, he's evil!!!

Since when is HBO, Showtime, etc. freely broadcast to everyone? If you are only planning on watching network television then you are fine but anything else and you are stealing.

Re:Well, my plans are all shot to hell... (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303280)

"Damn, and I had just been thinking about setting up a satellite system for myself."

You still can; I hear there are lots of places *in your own neighborhood* that sell these these little dedicated boxes that can actually decode satellite signals.

Of course, it will involve not being a fscking cheapskate and stiffing the people that provide the sat. signal.

Slashdot DMCA Discussion (4, Funny)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303074)

Let's just get it all over with at once.


Passionate exhortation that information shouldn't be illegal!


Wishful thinking hope that case may lead to overturning of DMCA at higher court level!


Trollish assertion that pirates and thieves get the punishment they deserve!


Copyright violation does not equal theft!


Reference founding fathers' views on intellectual property!


Kumbayah, fellow 'dotters, kumbayah.

Re:Slashdot DMCA Discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303196)

It was alright till you got to the song.... urge to kill... rising...

=)

They go through the air! (4, Insightful)

Yohahn (8680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303086)

What ever happened to the days that people were upset that you couldn't receive a signal that was passing THROUGH YOUR BODY.

If you can decode it, and it passes THROUGH THE AIR, it shuoldn't matter what it is.

But people have forgotten all about that.

Re:They go through the air! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303132)

Airplanes pass through the air as well. Doesn't mean you can shoot them down if they fly over your house.

Re:They go through the air! (1)

Yohahn (8680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303180)

That would be above your house, not IN IT.

Re:They go through the air! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303300)

Satellite transmissions cant make it through the canopy of oak leaves behind my house, what makes you think they penetrate into the house?

Re:They go through the air! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303288)

Right, but that is hardly the same thing since the planes are not flying _through_ your house or your body.

So? (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303094)

Where can I download this software? :)

Two important point - info distro/action (5, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303099)

1. Should it be illegal to tell someone how to do something?

NO

2. Should it be illegal to actually do said 'thing'.

Yes, so long as said thing violates what the citizens want to be wrong.

In the end, I don't want to be breaking the law by simply knowing something, and sharing that knowledge. That's the thing the DMCA does that scares me.

Oh, and.... (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303118)

of course,

In Soviet Russia, the DMCA violates you! ....

eeeeyuuuu!

Noooooo! (-1, Offtopic)

lasmith05 (578697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303114)

I was really enjoying those free pr0n channels. In digital quality no less.

Different Opinions (4, Insightful)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303117)

While I don't think it's a terrible thing to create software and hardware to illegally use satellite TV, I do think that it should be against the law to actually use them.

It's a good thing that we don't have a DMCA-style piece of legislation for weapons, or any person who has PVC pipes, potatos and hairspray in their house could be brought up on charges.

If we assume people are criminals because they have the tools to commit a crime, everyone with hands should be locked up to provent potential fist-fights. Every person over 21 should be held for potential public drunkeness. Every eighteen-year-old in the US should be arrested for the possibilty of providing cigarettes to minors. And every car owner should be thrown in jail for possible vehicular manslaughter.

Not that I'm approving of breaking the law. But the DMCA is the same mentality as suing McDonald's for dropping coffee in your lap. It's saying that you aren't capable of not doing these things without intervention; hat anyone would drop coffee in their lap if there was no label; that anyone would steal satellite services if they knew how; that anyone with a gun will surely commit murder.

If we have become so weak as a people to no longer be able to stop ourselves from any activities, then we need more legislation than the DMCA. But, as long as we are capable of rational thought, we should be held accountable for our actions, not our thoughts.

Re:Different Opinions (2, Insightful)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303239)

But the DMCA is the same mentality as suing McDonald's for dropping coffee in your lap.

You had me until that one. I'm all for suing McDonalds because they serve 190+ degree coffee that melts the plastic lid and explodes all over your lap, causing third degree burns on your thighs and genitals. Especially when they had already settled this exact same situation over 700 times for about $20,000 each.

The DMCA is a bit different, to say the least. It's more like declaring it a felony to install aftermarket parts on your car.

Re:Different Opinions (5, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303299)

But where's the crime?

DirectTV broadcast their signals to everyone. Who are they to demand how their signal is used?

To criminalize the act of decrypting satellite TV is the same as criminalizing the act of translating spanish radio into english. The radio station cannot demand that only people that understand spanish listen to it. It's just taking information that's being broadcast to everyone and translating it into a different form.

Intention irrelevant.. (5, Insightful)

xchino (591175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303120)

Whether or not the intentions of the authors were good or not makes no difference. It should ALWAYS be up to the end user to exercise good judgment in usage of information. In Kenpo, I was taught how to break bones and even kill people. I have yet to break anyone's bones, other than my own, nor have I killed anyone. Should I be punished for knowing these things? Should my teacher be punished for teaching me? No. If I chose to use my knowledge unfairly, should my teacher be punished for my irresponsibility?

The DMCA is the modern day non-racial equivalent of the Jim Crow laws. If you can keep "them" uneducated you can keep "them" under control.

MOD PARENT UP! (2, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303161)

This is precisely the point that needs to get across.

Screw their intent. I don't care WHAT they intended to do. If they hacked their satellite system and broke the law, fine.

If they simply DESCRIBE how to do so, that should not be illegal. Period.

NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303244)

Don't tell me what I can or cannot moderate, you insignificant fuck. Prepare to meet the bottom barrel of moderation. That and the parent post too...because you had to scream "MODERATE THIS UP BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO SAY!"

LOL, that coming from... (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303276)

an anonymous coward. How fitting. :P

What!? (5, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303128)

So, they send the information to my home, without my permission. It bounces around my dish, causing interference, and then they have the audacity to say that I'm not allowed to apply mathematical operations on this noise!?

If they don't want me to pirate their signal, why did they send it to me?

Screw you, mod him up anyway. :oP (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303194)

Why? Because I want to draw attention to you. I'm curious...

Curious whether or not that argument would hold up in court.

That...and it's funny. :)

Same thing Bush (America) is about to do to Iraq (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303130)

Everyone is complaining that these guys got arrested for producing devices and software that allow hacking of the Satalite networks. And that they shouldn't be arrested because they didn't do any hacking themselves. Should they be prosecuted?

Well, the US has 156,000 troops about to invade Iraq because they are building Weapons of Mass destruction. They haven't used them to to cause any destruction, but they are building them. Is there any difference?

Re:Same thing Bush (America) is about to do to Ira (0, Offtopic)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303235)

There is a distinct difference - Iraq is already a violent nation that invaded a neighbor and has committed violent acts against its citizens. This is more like not permitting a convicted felon from owning weapons. Similar to how they dissallowed Mitnick from going near an internet connection after he was released.

I have no problem limiting the hardware allowed to hackers *after* they have already been proven guilty of a computer crime. Just not before.

Re:Same thing Bush (America) is about to do to Ira (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303261)

Nope. Stealing satellite TV and throwing babies out of incubators are the same thing. I think that people who tear the tags off of mattresses should get the death penalty. Or worse yet, people who drive with their blinkers on should have to watch their children killed slowly by bloodletting and/or eyepoking.

Who has the most (media-freindly term coming...) Weapons of Mass Destruction?

The US.

Is there any difference?

Half a million in damages? (4, Interesting)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303139)

From the article:
Linh Ly, 38, of Rosemead, Calif., agreed to plead guilty to violating the DMCA and distributing hardware that ultimately resulted in a loss of slightly more than $560,000 to DirecTV and Dish Network

Over half a million dollars? That's outrageous!. I suppose that DirectTV is just assuming that anybdy that bought modded equipment was going to buy every single channel and every single pay-per-view event/movie they ever offered. I'm sure that phone companies will start calculating damages from cellphne fraud by assuming that every hacked account was calling to a sex-line in Sudan 24/7. Or even better, that the account was calling to every single phone number in the world, at once 24/7.

Now that I think about it, that would be really amusing.

Re:Half a million in damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303169)

Hello,

Please tell me more about "calling to a sex-line in Sudan 24/7".

Thank you,
-- P. Bateman

Re:Half a million in damages? (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303251)

"Or even better, that the account was calling to every single phone number in the world, at once "

wasn't that done in a really bad movie 'the lawnmower man' they should clim prior art ;)

Re:Half a million in damages? (1)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303294)

How about damages relating to recoding the system so the algorithms that the defendants released don't work anymore.

That's going to come pretty damn close to half a million.

But, then again, this could be like the stats of drug busts. "They were producing $1,000,000 of marijuana a day"... Yeah, right, if they went out and sold it all a gram at a time.

Re:Half a million in damages? (3, Insightful)

zentigger (203922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303311)

Funny, but isn't DirecTV obligated under some sort of Security Comission regulations to report all losses to their share-holders?

I'm pretty sure that DirecTV has not reported this loss. I suppose this could lead to 1 of 2 things. Either the losses must be re-evaluated, or DirecTV executives are in breach of trust and should now all go to jail!

china? (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303144)

am I wrong but havn't similar things happened in china? such as interrupting satelite downfeeds to get a message across.

slightly offtopic but it may tie in somewhere.

Excuse me, (4, Funny)

genka (148122) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303155)


If sat providers don't want me to mess with their signal, they shouls cease to radiate it on my house in backyard!
This is not like I am tapping into their cable.

Book 'em (5, Funny)

LongJohnStewartMill (645597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303158)

they will have a tough time proving that they had good intentions

Imagine prison life for them. Once word gets out that they gave millions of viewers free Lifetime, they're goners.

Free Lifetime? (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303234)

What about all those Veggie Tales PPV's?

"Oh where....is my hairbrush? Oh where....is my hairbrush."

"3...2...1....Penguins!"

*rips out hair* *screams* *runs away*

The DMCA people take a step forward (4, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303182)


Having tried a few times to establish the full power of the DMCA by prosecuting people almost at random, they have now realised that they will have to start with a few obvious wrongdoers in order to establish credibility and precedent.

I expect after a few of these they'll try another Sklyarov type case and win.

USA.. USA... USA.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303207)

USA... ("Land of the free")... hahahaha...

Hack into a transmission? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303259)

How do you "hack" into a transmission? (Take an axe and hit it in the gearbox?)

These companies are beaming a signal right into my house! On Purpose!
If they don't want people to decode their signal, then perhaps they should refrain from beaming the signal at them. Duh!

Have you seen these anti-piracy ads?
Paraphrased: "This man is about to steal something... blah blah blah... He's stealing signals that we are beaming into his house!"

Now, where did I put my tinfoil hat?

okay (1)

Ty (15982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303272)

Freedom of speech and DMCA rants aside..

Why on earth should it be considered a crime to do what I want with a signal that is being blasted onto my private property without my consent?

Re:okay (1)

slakdrgn (531347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303331)

An interesting twist would be to block the signal in your back yard, and if other peoples sat's happen to shoot thru your back yard to get the signal, tough luck for them.. I wonder what kind of reaction that would bring..

Piracy may be illegal, but I don't want to be tempted so I just block the signal. If I can't use it, I don't want it being blasted into my back yard.

What do you guys think? if anything it should post an interesting debate.

Digital TV sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5303287)

Mehh, the quality on DirectTV sucks anyways. I remember watching Mr. Hollands [opus] leave mpeg streak across the screen as he walked.

They compress the channels too much.

Give me analog over highly compressed digital tv any day. You can change channels faster too.

Question for the lawyers out there. (5, Insightful)

JAZ (13084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5303323)

Why is it legal for me to have a cable tv descrambler and watch a cable off of a wire (which the cable company can claim ownership of) but not for me to decrypt a satalite signal from the airwaves which the statalite company cannot legimately claim ownership of?

Under current law, it seems that if someone throws a brick through my window and I pick it up, I am guilty of stealing a brick.
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