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DirecTV Takes No Prisoners


— October 25, 2003

DirecTV has been waging a war on piracy that makes the record labels look nonchalant. The company has filed about 10,000 lawsuits and mailed more than 100,000 “demand letters” giving suspected pirates a brutal choice: Pay $3,500 to settle or go to court. Problem is, the campaign targets anyone who bought smartcard programming gear from certain merchants; officials just assume it’s used for hacking. Is that fair? DirecTV enforcement chief Larry Rissler thinks so.

Read Wired’s (brief) interview with DirecTV’s enforcer here. (BTW, the DirecTV/TiVo combination is the best thing that’s ever happened to TV. If you don’t have it, you ought to think about getting it — just make sure you pay for the service.)


DirecTV has been waging a war on piracy that makes the record labels look nonchalant. The company has filed about 10,000 lawsuits and mailed more than 100,000 “demand letters” giving suspected pirates a brutal choice: Pay $3,500 to settle or go to court. Problem is, the campaign targets anyone who bought smartcard programming gear from certain merchants; officials just assume it’s used for hacking. Is that fair? DirecTV enforcement chief Larry Rissler thinks so.

Read Wired’s (brief) interview with DirecTV’s enforcer here. (BTW, the DirecTV/TiVo combination is the best thing that’s ever happened to TV. If you don’t have it, you ought to think about getting it — just make sure you pay for the service.)

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