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DISH Network sues second Crossroads man for allegedly stealing signal

By Gheni_Platenburg
March 16, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Updated March 15, 2011 at 10:16 p.m.


About Plaintiffs:

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.

The plaintiffs are represented by Houston-based attorney Joseph H. Boyle.

A second Crossroads man has been sued for stealing satellite television programming.

Plaintiffs DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar filed a lawsuit against Cuero resident Bob Lucas in federal court on March 8.

A lawsuit was filed by the plaintiffs against Victoria resident John Borden for the same offense earlier this month.

"We're very vigilant about stopping this," said Mark Lumpkin, spokesperson for DISH Network. "We are doing everything we can to protect our signal."

Lucas, who lives at 1104 N. Valley St., is accused of purchasing a subscription to a pirate television service operated by www.dark-angel.ca in May, 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.

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 Lucas had been a subscriber.

As a subscriber to Dark Angel, Lucas 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, Lucas used a pirate satellite receiver loaded with piracy software, the suit alleged.

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 Lucas to descramble the encrypted signal and view television programming without authorization.

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

In addition to wanting all of Lucas' 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 Lucas, who could not be reached for comment.

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