Englewood, Colo. -
celebrated a Florida federal court ruling Monday that awarded them a $51 million judgment against a hacker who posted software on the Internet enabling the free reception of Dish Network programming.
The court ruled against Robert Ward for posting the software that enabled the reception of pirated Dish Network programming from free-to-air receivers.
In a statement the companies pointed out that the ruling also offered two significant holdings that will strengthen the companies' ability to pursue pirates in the future.
The court held that the posting of pirate software constitutes a violation of the Federal Communications Act, and that statutory damages should be calculated based on how many individuals downloaded the pirate software.
"This is a significant victory in our effort to eradicate piracy of the Dish Network system. We thank the court for its well-reasoned analysis," stated Pascal Lenoir, CEO of NagraStar, which produces the content protection system for Dish Network.