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If you have received a demand letter regarding “IKS” reception of the Dish Network signal, the evidentiary basis for it is gathered by professional investigators. Unless they can be convinced that they have no claim, or you negotiate a settlement, their lawyers (Hagan Noll and Boyle LLC) will initiate a legal proceeding against you in your local federal court.
Signal piracy and unauthorized streaming prosecutions are generally conducted pursuant to the Federal Communications Act (Title 47 U.S. Code), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and the "Wiretap Act" (Title 18 U.S. Code), all complex and little understood areas of the law. Certainly, it will be very difficult for you to find a local lawyer who is familiar with it all. In fact, many of my clients are actually other lawyers, who, having been called upon by one of their regular clients for help in this kind of situation, require my assistance to first understand the issues themselves. Moreover, I know of no one else on the defense side with my knowledge and experience as gained during the defense of hundreds of these cases.
Do not default (fail to respond to a Summons and therefor give the claimant the opportunity to magnify their claim against you in your absence; moreover, judges don't look kindly upon those who ignore a Summons). The consequences of ignoring this will lead to a significant federal judgment against you. A signal piracy case can run into five figures depending upon how the claimant presents the facts and the discretion of the judge - and in the case of distributors or resellers, minimum damages start at five figure sums. Moreover, as piracy acts are associated with the tortious act of conversion, such a judgment generally cannot be vacated in bankruptcy.
that as these are civil (rather than criminal) cases, the burden of
proof is “preponderance of the evidence” or “which
is the most likely” - not “proof beyond a
reasonable doubt”. Accordingly, civil cases are generally much
easier to prosecute (and therefore harder to defend) than criminal
Moreover, it is very important to note that the signal provider (or rights owner) enjoys a unilateral (one-sided) claim to attorney fees. That is: once a lawsuit commences, and unless you prevail, the DMCA gives a judge discretion to charge Nagrastar's attorney fees to you (and Title 47 cases give the judge a legal obligation to so do). If, however, defendant wins, defendant has no such rights. (Doesn't sound fair, does it? However, it is true!)
misinformation and impractical guidance on the web, such as: "innocent
infringer" or "non-use" defenses.
These are basically "false hope" defenses, for unless can claim you could not make your purchased IKS decryption code work and
you can produce proof that you made an effort to claim a refund from
the seller - for if you can, and your purchase was a "one-of',
Nagrastar should immediately withdraw their claim. Going to court will not be necessary; nor will you need to hire me.
These claims arise when decryption code purchases are well in excess of the
average IKS end user's needs. Accordingly, it is taken as "likely" that
IKS decryption code is being passed to others (it is not necessary to "sell" it - even
a gift of IKS decryption code to a family member is considered "reselling"). If you
will peruse the relevant anti-piracy statutes you will discover that
the damages schedule for resellers can be about 10 times that of end
users. Relevant U.S. anti-piracy statutes can be downloaded here.
to going to court: your statutory exposure to considerable assessments
for both Nagrastars' legal expenses and "costs" will put you at an
extreme disadvantage. Indeed, the experience could leave you wishing
you had acceded to Nagrastars' original demands. Moreover, in the event
you have made other purchases of IKS decryption code which are (as yet) undiscovered
by Nagrastars' investigators, you will be the recipient of yet
another"demand letter, even if you were to win the first case. In fact, "court" is not a good place for a
defendant in an electronic piracy case to be.
But if you settle, will you be getting the best deal? Remember also: you will be paying for a "release", the terms of the which are both important and variable. Moreover, these settlements involve future injunctive obligations which are exclusive of the settlement sum.
Other sites from the Law Office of Gary Ruff:
Relevant U.S. anti-piracy laws can be downloaded here.