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DISH Network sues Victoria man for allegedly stealing signal

By Gheni_Platenburg
March 12, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated March 11, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.


A Victoria man is being sued for stealing satellite television programming.

Plaintiffs DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar filed a lawsuit against John Borden in federal court earlier this month.

Borden, who lives at 5971 Wood Hi Road, is accused of purchasing subscriptions to a pirate television service operated by www.dark-angel.ca in January, March and June 2010, thus, unlawfully circumventing the DISH Network security system and receiving copyrighted, subscription-based DISH Network satellite television programming without authorization and without payment, according to the lawsuit.

DISH Network is a multi-channel video provider that delivers video, audio and data services via a direct broadcast satellite system to more than 14 million subscribers.

Meanwhile, NagraStar provides smart cards and other technology to DISH Network and EchoStar provides receivers that process incoming DISH Network satellite signals.

In a separate lawsuit, DISH Network sued Dark Angel in Canada and seized the pirate television service's computer server and business records, which showed that Borden had been a subscriber.

As a subscriber to Dark Angel, Borden was able to obtain DISH Network's descrambling control words to illegally receive and descramble DISH copyrighted television programming, according to the lawsuit.

To access Dark Angel's computer server, Borden used a pirate satellite receiver loaded with piracy software, the suit alleges.

Each time the defendant tuned his pirate satellite receiver to a scrambled DISH Network television channel, the pirate satellite receiver would access the Dark Angel pirate server to request the descrambling control word for that particular channel, according to the lawsuit.

In turn, the Dark Angel server would return the control word, allowing Borden to descramble the encrypted signal and view television programming without authorization.

The lawsuit contends, Borden's actions violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Communications Act of 1934 and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

In addition to wanting all of Borden's unauthorized pirate equipment impounded, the plaintiffs are seeking damages of up to $2,500 for each violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, $10,000 for each violation of the Communications Act and $100 per day for each violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Court documents did not list an attorney for Borden.

Calls made to Borden went unanswered, and calls made to DISH Network's attorney were not returned.

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