DirecTV, NDS Reach Piracy Lawsuit Settlement

By | December 11, 2006 | Broadcasting, Feature, Telecom

A Chicago man accused of developing and distributing software designed to steal DirecTV programming has agreed to a $1 million settlement with DirecTV Inc. and NDS Americas Inc., DirecTV announced Dec. 8.

DirecTV and NDS, the creator of security features used to protect DirecTV’s broadcasts, filed a federal lawsuit against Robert Lazarra for violating certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Federal Communications Act and state law.

The lawsuit claimed that Lazzara developed and distributed software that allowed users to hack DirecTV’s older generation access cards. Lazzara consented to the entry of a judgment against him in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and agreed to an injunction barring him from further piracy.

"The Lazzara settlement underscores the serious consequences of engaging in satellite piracy," Dan Fawcett, DirecTV’s executive vice president for business and legal affairs, said in a statement. "Though our access cards have been secure for the past several years, we will continue to aggressively pursue — both through civil and criminal courts — any individual who has been involved in satellite piracy or fraud against DirecTV."

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