graphic
News > Technology
DirecTV to sue freeloaders
July 31, 2001: 11:28 a.m. ET

Broadcaster will seek damages from individuals who steal its service
graphic
graphic graphic
graphic
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - DirecTV is preparing to sue and seek damages from as many as 1 million people who illegally receive its satellite-broadcast programming, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed Tuesday.

The move represents a major shift from the company's prior policy, which focused almost exclusively on multimillion-dollar civil claims against a few alleged middlemen suspected of helping steal its signals, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We've gone after the developers and major distributors, and believe it's also important to identify and target users" of illegal equipment, said Larry Risler, the DirecTV vice president in charge of the initiative.

  graphic
The Journal said the company, a unit of Hughes Electronics (GMH: up $0.13 to $19.43, Research, Estimates), has been cooperating with the government to launch criminal cases against a few groups accused of peddling unauthorized access cards and other equipment capable of tapping DirecTV's wide array of programs free of charge. However, the effort has shown only spotty success.

DirecTV, based in El Segundo, Calif., now is targeting what it estimates may be as many as 1 million homes across the country illegally receiving the satellite broadcast service. DirecTV has about 10 million subscribers.

Click here for a look at more satellite stocks

The company also has launched what it calls "an end-user campaign," including mailing strongly worded letters to thousands of individuals and families suspected of pirating DirecTV signals, the report said.

As many as 100,000 names and addresses were collected from searches of alleged bootleg equipment operations, and some of the illicit devices still can be obtained on the Internet, the newspaper said.

Hughes -- widely reported to be an acquisition target of News Corp. is a division of General Motors (GM: up $1.16 to $64.06, Research, Estimates)graphic

  RELATED STORIES

Hughes' profits, guidance fall - July 16, 2001

EchoStar's Hughes bid founders - June 15, 2001

Hughes issues 2Q warning - June 11, 2001

GM approves DirectTV talks - May 1, 2001

  RELATED SITES

Hughes Electronics


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNNmoney




graphic

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.