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06.21.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Court says DirecTV can't sue users for possessing equipment

An appellate court affirmed a ruling against satellite company DirecTV that it cannot sue individuals for merely owning gear that could be used to hijack satellite signals.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found that DirecTV can’t sue individuals for owning equipment that enables them to intercept television programming. The court supported an earlier ruling by the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida’s Fort Myers Division that also found that DirecTV could not sue individuals for owning gear.

DirecTV had targeted its suits against vendors selling gear. More recently, it turned those efforts toward consumers. It filed more than 24,000 lawsuits, alleging that they stole programming.

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