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Posted: 11/17/2003 5:55:33 AM EDT
I heard it would happen sooner or later and finally it did.

A few years ago I purchased a device called an unlooper from a website, they are used mostly to 'hack' Directv's signal and get you "free tv".
Apparently what has happened is a warehouse in CA. was busted by the feds and the shipping records were siezed. DTV then used that list to begin about 30,000 lawsuits, me being one of them.

Anyone else got the letter? What did you do? Do they have a case? The cannot prove it was ever used illegally or used at all, apparently possession is enough to charge.

The settlement is 3500 dollars if I just plead guilty, and if I decide to defend myself, it will be at least that in lawyer costs alone not to mention if I lose the case.


Any suggstions on how I should proceed? I would like to sleep again and worrying about this makes it difficult.

add another hash to my bad luck list, dammit.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:58:12 AM EDT
Take the blue pill and pretend it never happened.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:58:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:01:30 AM EDT by QuietShootr]
tell them to eat your ass with a spoon.

Seriously, I'd ignore it.

edited to add: get the lawyer...if you have to give $3500, give it to the lawyer rather than those turd burglars.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:58:26 AM EDT
Shouldn't have stolen their property in the first place.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:59:11 AM EDT
Who says I did?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:02:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gilfrd:
Who says I did?


Well, it certainly wasn't any of us starting this thread, feeling all guilty about something.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:03:08 AM EDT

(Cost of this legal action) - (Value of stolen DTV services) = Amount of "Oh shit!" factor

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:05:07 AM EDT
So, you're saying you bought the device but never used it?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:06:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gilfrd:
Who says I did?





Well I belive those are legal aslong as you never acessed programming you were not paying for.

I say hell with them, I worked for hughes, get irate they bend over for you then.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:07:59 AM EDT
He had the means to do it, but it doesnt necessarily mean he did use it for free TV...

If they cant't proved you used it, the best they have is intent, right? Its like the feds busting me for having an AK74 kit and intending to make an assault rifle.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:08:32 AM EDT
The device is not illegal. Using it to pull the signal is. If they can't prove you used it, they have no case. Get a lawyer though. But thats how it was explained to me by a friend who works for the local cable company about the black boxes and cards for digital boxes. owning them is not a problem, using it is. And they have to prove use. Toss the fucker away and there is no way they can prove that it was used.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:12:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
edited to add: get the lawyer...if you have to give $3500, give it to the lawyer rather than those turd burglars.


Exactly what I thought when I read the first post in the thread.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:13:30 AM EDT
Hmmmmm... I was thinking that as well but ya know.. after all the lawyer fees, time, effort and worry factors it would be simpler to settle with them although it does not seem right in principal.

I also heard that if you decide to settle they'll want the unit back "if you still have it"
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:13:43 AM EDT
Obtaining television services in that manner may seem like a "Robin Hood" type of thing, but in the end, it is stealing.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:16:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gilfrd:
Hmmmmm... I was thinking that as well but ya know.. after all the lawyer fees, time, effort and worry factors it would be simpler to settle with them although it does not seem right in principal.

I also heard that if you decide to settle they'll want the unit back "if you still have it"



Fuck that. Settling = admission of guilt.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:16:28 AM EDT
Moving beyond this person's specific incident ... it's OK to do wrong as long as you don't get caught? I try to treat others, including "nameless" businesses providing a service, as I would like to be treated.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:16:59 AM EDT
IF it was between giving a lawyer or DTV the 3500 I'd choose the lawyer.

The thing is though I'd rather give DTV $3500 than a lawyer $5000

That is my quandary.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:17:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:21:27 AM EDT
Those were sold on hundreds of website, I claim bad luck being that the website I chose wound up being busted... If I would have chose another site, I would have been ok.

I certainly take personal responsibility for everything I do but I dont simply roll over to anyone that brings a case against me or accuses me of anything without any proof at all.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:22:23 AM EDT
Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:24:34 AM EDT
How much was the original cost of the doodad? A couple of hundred bucks?

Can someone enlighten me as to why you would spend good money on a device which is only used to steal pay TV services unless you were going to use it to steal pay TV services?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:25:09 AM EDT

Originally posted by gilfrd:

They cannot prove it was ever used illegally or used at all...



gilfrd,

Having not paid for premium cable/pay-per-view myself since 1990 - I would say:

Fuck 'em.

If they could prove that you were receiving their signal "illegally", you can bet sure as fuck that you wouldn’t be getting some letter in the mail brother – you’d be gettin’ a knock at the door!

They’ve got your name on a list – that’s all. Someone is trying to fleece you – and giving them $3500 is simply an admission of guilt if you ask me.

I’d LOVE for Time-Warner Cable to try this shit with me – it’d be the biggest mistake they’d ever make. I’d make Waco look like a goddamn camp-fire girls outing.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:28:27 AM EDT
Dolomite, that's taking the high road. I bet you'd scream bloody murder if anyone stole from you. The point is that we're talking about someone else's property.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:28:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:29:38 AM EDT by Sidx]
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:28:56 AM EDT
Yeah... but weren't all those great shows worth it ?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:30:25 AM EDT
Not that I know of these devices, but I wouldnt settle. Unless they confiscated the unit and checked your computer for DTV bins, how are they going to know for sure that was it's intended use. There are other applications for unloopers and loaders. All you bought were parts. It's up to you to decide how to use it. And if they cant prove it, fook em.

Ahhh, I miss the old days...Football cards and emulation...... These new cards are a bitch.


So I hear.

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:34:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnGalt:
...I bet you'd scream bloody murder if anyone stole from you.



Bud, If someone’s going to charge me upwards of $65 a month just so I get to watch commercial after commercial (albeit – with an amazingly crisp and clear signal) – I can say with a 100% clear conscience – THAT is being ripped off!
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:34:49 AM EDT

Originally posted by Gilfrd:

I also heard that if you decide to settle they'll want the unit back "if you still have it"



Um, the unit in question was not manufactured by them in the first place, right? Then in that case it isn't theirs' to "have back" at all.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:35:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
How much was the original cost of the doodad? A couple of hundred bucks?

Can someone enlighten me as to why you would spend good money on a device which is only used to steal pay TV services unless you were going to use it to steal pay TV services?




80 bucks

It is also used for security control.. Microsoft has a website touting it's benefits.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:38:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:41:41 AM EDT by gilfrd]

Originally Posted By MACHINE:
Not that I know of these devices, but I wouldnt settle. Unless they confiscated the unit and checked your computer for DTV bins, how are they going to know for sure that was it's intended use. There are other applications for unloopers and loaders. All you bought were parts. It's up to you to decide how to use it. And if they cant prove it, fook em.

Ahhh, I miss the old days...Football cards and emulation...... These new cards are a bitch.


So I hear.




You are a funny guy!!
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:41:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:

Originally Posted By JohnGalt:
...I bet you'd scream bloody murder if anyone stole from you.



Bud, If someone’s going to charge me upwards of $65 a month just so I get to watch commercial after commercial (albeit – with an amazingly crisp and clear signal) – I can say with a 100% clear conscience – THAT is being ripped off!




Ah, a clear TV signal is one of our basic, God-given rights under the Constitution. Never realized that!
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:42:19 AM EDT
If you think they charge too much don't do business with them. That's your choice. Fight the government-established monopolies that created this cable structure in the first place. But DON'T STEAL. Once you've crossed the line (screw property rights!) where does it stop? From then on it's only a matter of degree. Is it then OK to break into a store and steal things you think are priced too high? It's wrong.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:42:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:45:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:46:36 AM EDT by JohnGalt]
I like a different moral - don't be a thief.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:46:44 AM EDT
I am surprised at the number of people on this thread who are acting as if Direct TV is the bad guy for going after those who *STEAL* their services. Feel how you may about the cable/satellite co., it is *THEFT* to do other than pay for it, and I do not understand the indignance being displayed regarding this. Not on a moral crusade here, just pointing out the painfully obvious.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:49:59 AM EDT
Just for fun, let's not assume anything.

NOW what do we have?
1. I bought a piece of hardware
2. I'm being sued by a corporation without evidence.

Sounds slightly nazi to me.

It is wrong for DTV to sue thousands upon thousands of people for MAYBE doing something wrong. It causes people like me to spend untold hundreds of dollars for our defense.

Without proof, I cant see how they got this far with it.

Ever heard of "Innocent until proven guilty"?



Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:50:38 AM EDT
if asked, tell them you only had the device to figure out how it works.

you wanted to build a device the blocks the "unlooper" or whatever.

you only wanted to help people like DTV, and you never used it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:53:03 AM EDT
I thought you told me it never arrived in the mail.....or it was broken when it finally di arrive?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:54:04 AM EDT
...or came with absoultely no instructions
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:55:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:56:39 AM EDT by MAP]
My advise is to obtain counsel from an attorney who is familiar with this type of case.

Several years ago I defended a friend who received a similar letter from the cable company. I researched the Federal statutes and found that possessing a cable box is not improper. Using it is. At least with the cable, the plaintiff has the burden of proof in showing that you illegally obtained the cable signal.

My clients wanted to settle. I rejected the Cable Co. settlement agreement and sent my own. That was three (3) years ago. Never heard from them again.

You should seek your own legal advise

Good luck,

Mike
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:56:27 AM EDT
If Direct TV does not want their programming intercepted, then they should not broadcast it over public airways. If you physically connect to a cable TV coax that is wrong. Having the ability to receive a broadcast signal is their tough luck! Screw them! Planerench out.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:56:45 AM EDT
If you **really** bought the device for kicks and never used it for anything illegal/immoral, fight like hell. If you did wrong, make it right.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:57:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gilfrd:

Ever heard of "Innocent until proven guilty"?







Sure have, but which are you?

Have you ever received the signal illegally??

yes/no??

SGtar15
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:57:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 6:59:17 AM EDT by The_Camp_Ninja]

Originally Posted By gilfrd:
Just for fun, let's not assume anything.

NOW what do we have?
1. I bought a piece of hardware
2. I'm being sued by a corporation without evidence.

Sounds slightly nazi to me.

It is wrong for DTV to sue thousands upon thousands of people for MAYBE doing something wrong. It causes people like me to spend untold hundreds of dollars for our defense.

Without proof, I cant see how they got this far with it.

Ever heard of "Innocent until proven guilty"?







Yes, in fact I have heard of this thing.

*Travelling with large amounts of cash will see that cash seized, with you having the onus of proof that your money was legal, not illegal.

*If a drug guy is caught with over "x" amount of drugs of a certain kind, it is intent to distribute, whether they were gonna distribute or not.

*Landlords are liable for the actions of their tenants, with or without foreknowledge in many cases.

*Posession of F/A trigger group is legal. Posession of F/A trigger group, and an AR15 is a machinegun.

*Go astray of the IRS, then tell me about innocent until proven guilty.

I agree with NONE of the examples above, just pointing oput that "IUPG" is a long, LONG gone concept, in my opinion. Plus, you never expressly told us you did *not* use the device, you are simply expressing angst at having been singled out, and wondering what they can "prove". Wanna sleep easy again? Be a little more cogent of the environment in which we are now currently operating in.

*
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:59:18 AM EDT
http://www.legal-rights.org/DTV/unlooper.html

w00t!

it's perfectly legal!

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:01:40 AM EDT
Final rant ... I can't believe the number of people here who think it's OK to do something just because you can, and screw right or wrong. I hope that's not the message you're giving your children. And we bitch about government?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:02:00 AM EDT
You better watch whom the fuck you’re calling a thief there bud! Just because I claim to not have paid for something doesn’t mean I’ve stolen it!

You got proof? Come rolling – otherwise, all of yous can point your holier-than-thou stink fingers somewheres else!



"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. ... Create a nation of law-breakers, and then you cash in on the guilt."

-Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged", Chapter III, "White Blackmail"

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:03:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnGalt:
Dolomite, that's taking the high road. I bet you'd scream bloody murder if anyone stole from you. The point is that we're talking about someone else's property.





So, John, how's it "feel", to be a voice in the wilderness????
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:05:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sgtar15:

Originally Posted By gilfrd:

Ever heard of "Innocent until proven guilty"?







Sure have, but which are you?

Have you ever received the signal illegally??

yes/no??

SGtar15




I decline to answer that question due to my legal right against self incrimination, I plead the 5th!!
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:05:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
You better watch whom the fuck you’re calling a thief there bud! Just because I claim to not have paid for something doesn’t mean I’ve stolen it!

You got proof? Come rolling – otherwise, all of yous can point your holier-than-thou stink fingers somewheres else!



"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. ... Create a nation of law-breakers, and then you cash in on the guilt."

-Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged", Chapter III, "White Blackmail"




Rationalization is a powerful thing.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:08:33 AM EDT
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