For a Directv commercial exhibition problem go here.
If you have received a demand letter* regarding “IKS” reception of the Dish Network or Nagrastar signal DO NOT IGNORE IT! These lawyers aren't sitting there wondering where they will find a process server – and if you ignore it, a very large federal civil judgment will issue against you – and once it issues, you're stuck – even bankruptcy won't get you out of it. Fortunately, you are not cornered, but you must take action now. A “demand letter”, such as you have received, is based upon evidence that is typically gathered by professional investigators (frequently retired police investigators) and is a sufficient basis to take the position they are taking. In other words, they have no doubt that they can prove it.
The rights owners have experienced attorneys who are prepared to commence a civil prosecution against you. Unless they can be convinced they have no claim, or a settlement occurs, a “Summons and Complaint” (usually returnable in your local Federal District Court) will be forthcoming).
Signal piracy civil prosecutions are conducted pursuant to both Title 47 U.S. Code and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) - both 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. 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 the 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.
It should be understood 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 cases.
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 if the claimant wins, Title 47 cases give the claimant a legal right to make the defendant pay for the claimant’s attorney, together with filing fees; however, if defendant wins, defendant has no such right. (Doesn't sound fair, does it? However, it is true!)
Beware of legal misinformation on the forums. And “I bot it but I couldn't get it to work” is not, generally, a viable defense. However, I will inform you as to what is a good defense.