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DirecTV Sues Anyone Who Bought Smartcard Reader?

CmdrTaco posted about 11 years ago | from the absolutely-insane dept.

Technology 1072

MImeKillEr writes "The Register is reporting that DirecTV is suing anyone known to have purchased a smartcard programmer, regardless of whether or not they're actually using the device to enable stealing their programming. They're sending out letters & when people call to clear up the confusion, DirecTV is demanding a $3500 settlement as well as the programming device. They've filed 9000 federal lawsuits against alleged pirates thus far. They're obtaining lists of who purchased the devices during raids against the sites that offer them for sale."

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1072 comments

Good News For Nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464005)

The more often young and middle-age men ejaculate, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer, Australian researchers report in the journal New Scientist.

The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1,079 men with prostate cancer to answer a survey describing their sexual habits, comparing those answers with 1,259 healthy men of the same ages.

Although the preventive effect held true for men between the ages of 20 and 50, the effect seemed greatest among men in their twenties, the researchers conclude. Those in their twenties who ejaculated more than five times a week were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer later in life, they say.

The latest findings appear to contradict previous studies, which found that having many sexual partners or a high frequency of sexual activity increased the risk of prostate cancer by up to 40 percent.

The Australian researchers have a simple explanation: "Men have many ways of using their prostate which don't involve women or other men," explains the study's lead author, Graham Giles.

The scientists speculate that ejaculation prevents carcinogenic substances from building up in the prostate, lowering a man's risk of cancer.

Re:Good News For Nerds (1)

ambisinistral (594774) | about 11 years ago | (#6464220)

Heh, I was shocked my submission of the above article as a slashdot poll was rejected. Sure would have been better than that "gee, I wish I could think of a poll" crap they have running right now.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464014)

fp lol goatse

if this is FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464015)

then every one of you sucks. Seriously. I wasn't even trying. You're a bunch of pussies if this is even in the top 5.

cunts.

jeah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464019)

jeah!

So... (-1, Troll)

sulli (195030) | about 11 years ago | (#6464020)

how much do you fanboys love your DirecTivo service NOW?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464037)

I don't. DirecTV just lost a customer.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

betacrash (645763) | about 11 years ago | (#6464110)

I guess its time to sue Target(c)(TM) as well http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=2-1/qid=10 58469368/ref=sr_2_1/602-0951896-7659812?asin=B0000 66PI0

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464196)

Holy Shit! Do those work to program DiretTV cards?

BARRATRY! (5, Interesting)

Grendel Drago (41496) | about 11 years ago | (#6464023)

So... they're demanding to sue en masse like this? Using lawsuits and demanding massive settlements? Isn't this the definition of barratry---abuse of the legal system for extortion? If so, do smartcard reader owners have the basis for a class action?

--grendel drago

Re:BARRATRY! (5, Interesting)

imaro (584142) | about 11 years ago | (#6464083)

Seems like people would have an excellent suit in response to false claims. If the device was not used to facilitate an illegal activity, then its libel/slander. You could atleast go to court for emotion damages, and a judge would probably make the defendent pay lawyer's fees for the victim.

Re:BARRATRY! ddi you read the article? (2, Informative)

pigscanfly.ca (664381) | about 11 years ago | (#6464121)

It says that a number of the people who were sued , decided to form a class action lawsuit and the judge found in favour of direct TV . Of course it is being appealed but we will see.

Unfortunately.. (5, Insightful)

SpaceTaxi (170395) | about 11 years ago | (#6464224)

...it appears that abuse and extortion are what our legal system is all about. Its not about justice, its about who has the deeper pockets.

"Send lawyers, guns and money..."

Re:BARRATRY! (5, Informative)

kscheetz (86026) | about 11 years ago | (#6464248)

A class action has already been tried and thrown out .From the article:
To California lawyer Jeffrey Wilens, DirecTV's whole end-user campaign smells of extortion. Wilens filed a class action suit in Los Angeles last year accusing the company of exactly that. "Realizing that they don't have a legal position, they're just trying to use heavy-handed tactics to intimidate people, just like the record industry is going to be doing in the very near future," says Wilens. "At least the record industry will target people who `did it', instead of `could have done it.'"

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy disagreed, and in April dismissed the suit, ruling that DirecTV's demand letters were sent in connection with litigation, and were therefore legally privileged. The judge also awarded attorney's fees to DirecTV, putting Wilens' seven plaintiffs on the hook for a total of nearly $100,000 in law firm billables.

Good for them. (-1)

bulletproof troll (687611) | about 11 years ago | (#6464024)

They have the right to destroy those who steal.

Re:Good for them. (2, Insightful)

Mongo222 (612547) | about 11 years ago | (#6464065)

I assume you use a knife for eating your dinner. Since we all know a knife can be used for stabing people you are guilty of stabing people wheither you ever stabed anyone or not! Report to your nearest jail! You are guilty of murder!

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464028)

Microsoft is suing anyone who downloaded Gentoo in the f1rs7 p0st last year.

The failure of Gentoo is only topped by my own.

Wow (3, Insightful)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 11 years ago | (#6464030)

Guess I better not call them.

They are gonna have a hard time.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464095)

They are gonna have a hard time when they send a notice to the address I had my card & reader shipped to:

COD
John Smith
UPS Customer Counter - Hold for Pickup
(my local UPS counter addy)

Anyone who everr orderd a test card, set, etc., with a real addy and credit card is a moron.

Why not? (2, Interesting)

rosewood (99925) | about 11 years ago | (#6464031)

Well, if they can get a guy convicted for something he was planning to do and had not done it yet (and it wasn't murder) then why cant they sue people for things they haven't done?

I mean, its sick-twisted-wrong but it makes sense unfortunatly.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464152)

Minority Report.. or in this case Majority..

Raids against the sites that sell them?! (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | about 11 years ago | (#6464033)

What happened to consumer privacy?! Sounds like an RIAA tactic to me!

Great! (4, Funny)

brakk (93385) | about 11 years ago | (#6464034)

This is exactly what we need to clog up out legal system! I guess the murderers and rapists can wait, someone's stealing TV!!!

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 11 years ago | (#6464088)

Of course it can wait. No Senators get paid off when a murderer goes to jail. But if a company makes money, then everyone* profits!

*Your definition of everyone may vary from that of the US Senate and Large Corporations

Newsflash: (4, Interesting)

TrollBridge (550878) | about 11 years ago | (#6464040)

There is a big difference between a smartcard reader (from the headline) and a smartcard programmer (from the article).

Is this sensationalism or an honest mistake?

Re:Newsflash: (1)

notsoanonymouscoward (102492) | about 11 years ago | (#6464111)

theres a plethora of legit uses for a smart card programmer... how could they attack so broadly?

Re:Newsflash: (1)

JeThR0 (217181) | about 11 years ago | (#6464113)

My buddy bought a reader and got a letter a few months ago.

Re:Newsflash: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464145)

Enlighten us, what's the difference? Honest question. I thought that smart cards use the same simple bidirectional protocol for reading and writing. Can't anyone with a half decent reader program a smart card, given he has the right blank and software? I know there are some simple readers which are tied to specific types of cards, but a generic reader should be capable of writing the "wrong" cards, too, right?

Re:Newsflash: (5, Informative)

Xciton (84642) | about 11 years ago | (#6464172)

Actually, there is NO difference what so ever between the two.

Reader=Programmer
Programmer=Reader

A smartcard reader/programmer is nothing more than a voltage converter attached to a serial port.

The act of sending a command to the ISO card to get a response is the same as programming it. You either ask for a value in return, or you store a value in a specific location. The protocol method is the same in both cases.
There is no "high voltage" eeprom line to enable programming it (in this case at least)

The big difference is a DUMB ISO programmer (where the data lines are controlled by the PC) and a smart programmer where they have protocols embedded in the hardware ISO programmer to conform to ISO protocol standards. That's a different case all together...

Re:Newsflash: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464204)

There is no difference. Establishing communication between the card and the computer is all that the device needs to do. What the software on the computer does (read, write, or both) is up to the software.

To answer your question, I'd say perhaps a little of both.

≠≠reth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464049)


Re:≠≠reth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464087)

The problem is, they are sueing people with very little proof of any wrong doing. As many people have said in previous ./ threads, legit people buy from the pirate sites because the readers are cheaper and work better then normal outlets.

It's sad that you can sue anyone for anything, without even having to have a case. At least send people out to the locations and SEE if they have a DTV reciever on their roof (and not a subscriber). Then I'd say you might have enough proof, but even that is questionable.

Re:≠≠reth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464141)

Target card (5, Funny)

gouldtj (21635) | about 11 years ago | (#6464050)

Damn it! I knew I should have read the fine print when I applied for that Target card - but I didn't realize it was going to cost me $3500! Get a free smartcard reader [target.com]

Re:Target card (1)

brakk (93385) | about 11 years ago | (#6464070)

I've got one for my AMEX Blue. Better go burn it before they find me!

Re:Target card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464078)

Learn the difference between a smart card reader and a smart card programmer and then get back to me.

Re:Target card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464226)

Please explain.

Re:Target card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464241)

It says reader and not programmer in the slashdot headline

SmartCard Readers? They are suing.. (2, Insightful)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | about 11 years ago | (#6464055)

SmartCard readers? They are suing the DoD?

For cryin' out loud... (1)

scaife (654891) | about 11 years ago | (#6464058)

IANAL, but isn't this a little illegal? The smartcard readers don't actually steal service unless programmed to and then used to do so. Otherwise, aren't they just standard burners? That's like making it illegal to buy a knife because someone killed another person with it.

Re:For cryin' out loud... (4, Insightful)

Gossy (130782) | about 11 years ago | (#6464128)

That's like making it illegal to buy a knife because someone killed another person with it.

No, I think it's more like suing everyone who's ever bought a knife because somebody got stabbed.

Re:For cryin' out loud... (1)

reallocate (142797) | about 11 years ago | (#6464206)

Nope. Over the top, perhaps, but bringing suit, or lots of 'em, is not illegal.

BackFire (2, Funny)

gizmonic (302697) | about 11 years ago | (#6464059)

Damn, I could have cared less about Satellite TV, since I have decent cable access w/ broadband that actually works.

But that pisses me off enough that I might just go out and pirate Direct TV simply out of spite!

The RIAA business strategy (1, Offtopic)

wayward_son (146338) | about 11 years ago | (#6464060)

1. Sue everyone.
2. ?????
3. Profit.

They just kind of forgot that giant corporations suing ordinary people isn't too popular.

Business strategy (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 11 years ago | (#6464207)

Yeah, this is a great way to keep your customers happy. If I signed up for a service and then got sued for no good reason I'd drop that service in a heartbeat. That's especially true for something like satellite TV, where most customers probably have the choice to switch back to regular cable.

So who paid cash? (4, Insightful)

tjwhaynes (114792) | about 11 years ago | (#6464061)

This sounds like one of those cases where paying cash for 'grey' goods is a smart move. Unless they have some other means of tracking smartcard owners? Not that I have, want or need a smartcard reader or DirecTV for that matter (there is little enough on telly to warrant much more than basic cable for the occassional sporting event). It'll be interesting to watch who pays up, who fights it in court and just whether any of this activity will dampen the desire for smartcard readers. Cheers, Toby Haynes

Re:So who paid cash? - doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464229)

They're using shipping records/packing slips from the raided vendors - not credit card records (yet).

Re:So who paid cash? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 11 years ago | (#6464249)

This sounds like one of those cases where paying cash for 'grey' goods is a smart move.

no it's not.

I have 2 smartcard programmers. Cince I have a side business of home automation I still support a few customers who use the old smartcard technology for home access. (The newer ones have moved to Ibuttons, more secure, better,cheaper,etc...)

So DirectTV can kiss my shiny metal ass. They are NOT getting my programmers.

I am sick of asshat companies like this trying to blanket cover everyone with X device as evil.

What about the computer security professionals or open source developers writing the smartcard parts of the linux login systems? what about the thousands of other people who have perfectly legitimate uses for a stack of blank smartcards and a programmer?

Direct TV... go to hell.

I can sue your for anything! (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 11 years ago | (#6464062)

I'm going to sue slashdot for making me view ads. prolly wont win, but I can sue.

They're doing the same thing. They're finding records for people who bought this stuff with a credit card and then S.L.A.P.P.ing them with a lawsuit.

Whether DirecTV can prove the allegations is yet another thing altogether. Of course, it reinforces you pay with cash for "sensitive" goods.

Re:I can sue your for anything! (0)

rokzy (687636) | about 11 years ago | (#6464135)

course you'll win, they're stealing your eyes!!!!

just think of the millions of pounds in lost potential earnings they've cost you by using up your vision!!!

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464064)

The dirty cocksuckers...

so... (4, Interesting)

bani (467531) | about 11 years ago | (#6464068)

...if someone's name is falsely or erroneously in one of these vendor's lists...?

CD Burners (5, Insightful)

LauraW (662560) | about 11 years ago | (#6464073)

Next thing you know, the RIAA is going to sue everyone who's ever bought a CD burner. People might be using them to duplicate music CD's, after all, and that's (gasp!) illegal.

-- Laura

Re:CD Burners (2, Funny)

Im-no-orangutan (689453) | about 11 years ago | (#6464191)

hey don't give them any ideas~

Re:CD Burners (1)

c4Ff3In3 4ddiC+ (661808) | about 11 years ago | (#6464198)

People might be using them to duplicate music CD's, after all, and that's (gasp!) illegal.

What do you mean? Thats the only reason I bought a CD burner.

Eyeing my Detonator ][ programmer... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464074)

Kinda makes me happy knowing that I dont live in the u.s. and have no plans for visiting that shithole anytime soon. Wave your chinese made american flags and let corporate america buy up all your representatives, the sooner the great American empire implodes, the better.

Re:Eyeing my Detonator ][ programmer... (1)

Mongo222 (612547) | about 11 years ago | (#6464255)

As a proud american let me reply to you in this manor.... Got any job openings wherever you are? The land of the Brave, and the Home of the free isn't either one anymore and I'm tired of it. I'M DONE! I QUIT. GET ME OUT OF HERE.

Outside their market? (2, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | about 11 years ago | (#6464076)

Are they doing this to people outside their market, such as Canada? They're not allowed to sell their service here, but I know several people who have grey market equipment and have purchased a card programmer.

Whatever happened to ... (2, Insightful)

ansak (80421) | about 11 years ago | (#6464077)

"Presumed innocent until proven guilty"? Or did that die along with "Racial profiling is bad" 20 months ago?

doesn't seem to mater in civil court (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | about 11 years ago | (#6464171)

Unfortunatly that only seems to apply in criminal court.

Look at the OJ simpson case. OJ was pronounced not guilty in the criminal case, yet lost the civil case and most of his fortune.

Re:Whatever happened to ... (2, Insightful)

Mhrmnhrm (263196) | about 11 years ago | (#6464209)

Innocent until proven guilty only applies to criminal actions brought by the state (ie. The People vs. Mr. Defendant). DirecTV is filing tort claims against the non-sheep, where the standards are much lower, and there isn't a innocent/guilty dichotomy.

Re:Whatever happened to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464216)

Ahem.. that's guilty until proven innocent around these parts, thank you very much.

Dam!!!! (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 11 years ago | (#6464081)

The digital age is starting to suck--we can't do anything fun anymore!

Amex Blue (1)

chiph (523845) | about 11 years ago | (#6464082)

What about all those people with American Express Blue cards that got free readers?

Next thing you know, Kroger will be suing people who own Cue-Cats.

Chip H.

This happend to my uncle (5, Informative)

miyako (632510) | about 11 years ago | (#6464084)

I don't know all the details, but I know that they tried to sue my uncle a couple of months ago for that, apparently he made a call to his lawyer and a couple of weeks later they had dropped the suit.
I don't know all the details but if it is the same thing as it sounds, then I don't think people have a lot to worry about.

Re:This happend to my uncle (1)

tgd (2822) | about 11 years ago | (#6464160)

They have a lot to worry about if they cave without calling a lawyer.

Class action (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 11 years ago | (#6464092)

I'm familiar with class action suits. Is there such a thing as class action defense?

this post is informative (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464093)

Time to collect your winnings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464112)


when you collect your damages for malicious prosecution

goodbye DirecTV i had no idea you was contemplating suicide

reminds me of Final Fantasy II.... (1)

macshune (628296) | about 11 years ago | (#6464115)

Cecil: We see monsters increasing every day.
Tame creatures are getting more aggressive day by day.
It must be a portent of some kind...

/geek mode on (1)

numbski (515011) | about 11 years ago | (#6464212)

Final Fantasy IV

That translation we got was a pathetic joke. :P

The playstation version was a little better, but not much. Better to download the hacked translation of Final Fantasy IV Hard Type off the net. THAT'S the real game. ;P

If you can't do the time.... (2, Insightful)

b.foster (543648) | about 11 years ago | (#6464118)

These were no ordinary "smartcard readers."

The sites that sold the devices advertised them as signal theft devices. That is why the sites got busted in the first place.

Would an intelligent consumer buy white flour from a cocaine dealer? I think not.

Re:If you can't do the time.... (1)

JeThR0 (217181) | about 11 years ago | (#6464217)

Not true im my buddy's case. He bought it off a site that focused on using them for security - and he still got a letter.

Re:If you can't do the time.... (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 11 years ago | (#6464232)

There's a huge flaw in your analogy, because there's only one real use for cocaine: getting high. (Well, okay, two uses, because you can also sell cocaine to someone else, but that's beside the point.)

But a smartcard programmer could have other uses as well, both legal and illegal, and not all of them make a person financially liable to DirecTV.

Re:If you can't do the time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464256)

Yes, and intelligent consumer WOULD buy flour from a cocaine dealer, IF the cocaine dealer was selling the product legally and cheaper than your local grocery store. Which is exactly what some of these sites were doing.

OUT.

Yep. (4, Interesting)

Geekenstein (199041) | about 11 years ago | (#6464122)

Old news, this. As for suing anybody who bought a smart card reader, that's bull. They are going after the customers of sites that pretty much state that use as the purpose of the product. The only possible defense is that the chips aren't programmed (usually) out of the store to write DTV's cards, but thats been even harder to use since the hardware itself is being put together to send the right kind of signals to break into their cards.

That being said, they usually just demand money and the return of the equipment purchased. Of course the people they sue usually don't have the resources to fight the claims, so who knows if this will actually be tested in court?

Re:Yep. (-1, Troll)

MImeKillEr (445828) | about 11 years ago | (#6464228)

RTFA. Its not a smart card reader but a smart card programmer. Taco munged the title.

Failure. (0)

Renraku (518261) | about 11 years ago | (#6464125)

This broad range of lawsuits is doomed to fail. So beacuse someone owns a Smartcard reader, DirecTV is entitled to $1500 of their money because they MIGHT be using it to hack their shitty encryptation?

So I guess Coca Cola is entitled to $1500 of my money, because I Pepsi instead of them. And Nintendo is entitled to $1500 of my money because I own a Playstation.

First of all they have to prove damages. No statistics here, they must prove that the user they're suing has done something illegal. How that's remedied, is up to the police. Unless they choose to sue, and then the user will be hit with a huge fine.

Maybe this is just a ploy to get DirecTV employees a bunch of 'free money' and smartcard readers, eh?

Gee.. I wonder.. (-1, Troll)

Metroid72 (654017) | about 11 years ago | (#6464129)

how am I going to twist this story around to blame Microsoft..??????????

In other news... (5, Funny)

stmfreak (230369) | about 11 years ago | (#6464131)

...Kwikset is suing everyone who bought paperclips and thin blade flathead screwdrivers in the last fifty years.

Realizing that their locks can be circumvented with a modicum of patience and the above mentioned tools, Kiwkset raided sales records at local home and office supply chains to locate citizens who had purchased paperclips and screwdrivers. Citing that no one who purchased the two items in the same month could possibly be up to any good, Kwikset sent out cease and desist letters to approximately 40,000 citizens demanding that they turn over the screwdrivers and paperclips to local authorities.

Ecnomics 101 (2, Funny)

deadlinegrunt (520160) | about 11 years ago | (#6464133)

1. Create customer base
2. Sue them all
3. Profit!!!

Legal extortion. (5, Insightful)

wayward_son (146338) | about 11 years ago | (#6464136)

This works because lawyers are expensive. To the average person, the legal fees required to fight it are greater than the settlement.

So, in effect, what DirecTV is saying is "Give us $3500 or we will sue you." It doesn't matter if they have a case or not. They get $3500 or you pay more in legal fees.

Actually, this is more like Tony Soprano's business model than anything.

Hrmmm..... (2, Interesting)

Mhrmnhrm (263196) | about 11 years ago | (#6464137)

It's really too bad I didn't buy one of these things. I'd love to get the EFF and ACLU to take my case, given that I don't even own a satellite dish of any sort. Can we say $10B USD countersuit for extortion? Seems from the article that several judges have been seeing through this shenanigan, and might actuallly be willing to sock it to DirecTV.

Hum (1)

f97tosc (578893) | about 11 years ago | (#6464149)

DirecTV is suing anyone known to have purchased a smartcard programmer, regardless of whether or not they're actually using the device to enable stealing their programming.

Many will probably settle out of court.

Of the remainder, they may not win the suit if somebody has not used the equipment and can prove this. I guess in this case it is not "beyond reasonable doubt" but rather which side has the more compelling evidence. I can be argued that most people taht buy decoders use them, thus if you haven't you need some sort of evidence to back up your claim.

After a while there might emerge a pattern which makes it clear that most people that actually go to court win (or lose).

Tor

DirectTV is a company (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464150)

The more often young and middle-age men ejaculate, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer, Australian researchers report in the journal New Scientist.

The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1,079 men with prostate cancer to answer a survey describing their sexual habits, comparing those answers with 1,259 healthy men of the same ages.

Although the preventive effect held true for men between the ages of 20 and 50, the effect seemed greatest among men in their twenties, the researchers conclude. Those in their twenties who ejaculated more than five times a week were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer later in life, they say.

The latest findings appear to contradict previous studies, which found that having many sexual partners or a high frequency of sexual activity increased the risk of prostate cancer by up to 40 percent.

The Australian researchers have a simple explanation: "Men have many ways of using their prostate which don't involve women or other men," explains the study's lead author, Graham Giles.

The scientists speculate that ejaculation prevents carcinogenic substances from building up in the prostate, lowering a man's risk of cancer.

I'm so glad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464157)

I don't live in the land of the "free". DMCA, RIAA etc. etc. and now this. If this is what life is like in a "shining beacon of democracy" I'm glad I live in a country where the (pseudo- socialist) government hasn't been bought by big business. But hey, at least that crazy guy down the road still has the right bear automatic weapons and the your poor neighbour with the life threatening disease won't be sucking up your tax dollars by getting hospital treatment...

blackmail (1)

slackwaresupport (690285) | about 11 years ago | (#6464162)

occording to the law. that is blackmail, saying if you dont pay us we will sue you.

RE: The bastion of freedom and democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464163)

Would someone please enumerate for me the things I am permitted to do with the things I buy under U.S. law?

It shouldn't take more than a few lines.

Thank you.

next up: (1)

Machine9 (627913) | about 11 years ago | (#6464165)

RIAA sues everyone who has ever bought an MP3 player, or has run software that plays MP3s...

...oh wait, isn't that everybody who owns a computer nowadays?

I'm sorry, but the whole lawsuit business is getting rather...silly

I for one blame the american judicial system, and the stupid people that seek to emulate it.

Once again... (4, Interesting)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | about 11 years ago | (#6464168)

The bully has it their way.

Imagine, an innocent person buying a product that could be used to reprogram other equipment, such as an electronic control for art exhibits, or access control at the keyboard, is now threatened to pay thousands of dollars in damages because a corporation decided that piece of equipment can be used to violate their protection schemes (and the DMCA). The hapless individual, fearing more lawsuits in federal courts (thus costing even more than the original sum of money), decides to pay up to this bully to avoid more troubles...

Oh wait, that just happened. This is the kind of events we really should support the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for. If you happen to know anyone who are harmed by this, let them know about the EFF.

Haha (1)

Tuffnut (618438) | about 11 years ago | (#6464176)

It's just a scare tactic. Who's willing to bet that no one is going to pay the $3500? I am!

Is it illegal to possess it? If not, then how are they going to prove it was being used by the owner?

I'm sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6464184)

"I didn't know what to do, I was completely flabbergasted. So I sent the money in,"

Nobody but a complete idiot would send away $3500 if they weren't guilty.

Whoever has the biggest stick wins (2, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | about 11 years ago | (#6464187)

Another illustration that the court system and the justice system are not always synonymous. In situations like this, whoever can afford more litigation costs wins. The only people who are going to challenge this sort of legal bullying are a few fanatics who will fight on principle, and the few who use smartcard programmers for some legitimate business purpose and can justify the expense. The rest will fold up and hand them over.

SCO? (1, Flamebait)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 11 years ago | (#6464193)

Looks like they borrowed, and are playing Daryl's "If you run Linux, we're going to sue you" card. What can citizens do to stop these insane litigation fiaSCOs from happening?

Kill (-1, Flamebait)

Ann Coulter (614889) | about 11 years ago | (#6464199)

Would somebody please firebomb DirectTV headquarters and snipe any flaming survivers? And don't forget to kill the judges and lawyers who are allowing this to continue. We need to send a clear and present message that we are not going to tolerate this kind of an infringement of our rights. If they go after our right to piracy, why should we allow them to have their right to life?

Stealing (1)

latroM (652152) | about 11 years ago | (#6464200)

"to enable stealing their programming." But you can't steal anything that isn't a physical object. The author of this article uses misleading words. If I "steal" some of their broadcast how much they lose? A good question indeed.

I want to care, but the victims don't! (5, Interesting)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | about 11 years ago | (#6464205)

When he called the company to clear things up, he found they weren't interested in his explanations: they wanted $3,500 and the smart card programmer, or they would literally make a federal case out of it and sue him under anti-piracy laws. "I didn't know what to do, I was completely flabbergasted. So I sent the money in," says Sosa.

You know, people like Sosa make this really difficult. DirecTV is doing something unethical, I believe. People are getting wrongfully accused in my opinion. But Sosa just rolled over and paid out $3500. These people are a problem because they help a bad system to stay bad. It makes it terribly difficult for me to have sympathy for someone who has such a lack of conviction, such a failed sense of justice. They don't care. Should we?

they're coming to take me away! (2, Funny)

AwesomeJT (525759) | about 11 years ago | (#6464214)

Oh, I can see the paddy wagon now!
They're coming to take me away, oh my!

I wonder if this new -- Lawsuit spam. Just sue the entire country, hoping enough people will settle our of court to pay the laywers and make a nice profit too. Welcome to a Sue-happy America!

How do they know... (1)

tinrobot (314936) | about 11 years ago | (#6464239)

...exactly WHO purchased smart card writers?

This is what scares me more than anything. Did the company who makes the writers give up their customer list or something, or does DirectTV have the sales records of every electronics store in North America?

Next thing you know, they'll be searching all the grocery store "Saver's Clubs" membership lists for people who buy vodka and throw them in the slammer for drunk-driving. Pre-emptively, of course...

FUCK ME - PEOPLE ARE USELESS (0, Redundant)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 11 years ago | (#6464242)

Why is it that everytime I read about some RIAA/Direct TV/MPAA/whatever else lawsuit, these people just fucking knuckle under?

This guy sent his money in? 3,500 bucks and this guy did nothing. The RIAA college kids gave the RIAA 12,000 and 15,000 for having a fucking search engine.

They had a case! They could have countersued! Call a fucking lawyer, and take these bitches to court!

Then they have the fucking nerve to put up a paypal link, so dumbasses can reimburse them? WTF? Fight the corporate fuckers, I'll chip in for that.

If this guy has a goddamn paypal link, I'll paypal him a kick to the head. People who just roll over are hurting you and me. What's to stop Direct TV from calling random people and demanding money? It boils down to the same thing - these extortionists are judge, jury and executioner, and they won't stop until someone gets some fucking balls.

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