October 31, 2004

Sued by DirecTV

Thank you for covering DirecTV's slash-and-burn legal efforts to rid the world of so-called "pirate devices" (Apr. 30). There was a major favorable development in June, when the Eleventh Circuit federal appeals court ruled that DirecTV could not sue consumers for "mere possession" of devices capable of intercepting their signal. However, DTV is still waging its campaign as it has done for the last three years. In a number of states, customers have struck back with RICO suits against the company.

Readers can learn more about this issue by visiting the site directvdefense.org, run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Stanford Center for Internet & Society Cyberlaw Clinic. There also is a forum at wumarkus.com that has been of great help to all involved in this battle, and which includes dockets and material helpful in defending a case; both lawyers and defendants participate.

I am among those targeted and unfortunately it has cost me tons of money to defend myself in federal court. -- name withheld by request, Allentown, Pa.

Posted by Walter Olson at October 31, 2004 10:35 PM