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June 15, 2004
DirecTV Drops "Guilt-by-Purchase" Strategy
This just in: satellite television giant DirecTV has decided at last to stop suing or threatening to sue people for merely possessing smart card devices. Instead, it will pursue lawsuits against only those people it suspects of actually using the devices to illegally intercept the company's satellite signal.
This comes after months of negotiations with folks at EFF and Stanford's CIS Cyberlaw Clinic, who have been working together to help people defend themselves in the face of settlement demands that made it easier to give up than to fight.
"American innovators and hobbyists shouldn't have to fear legal action merely for possessing new technologies that have many legitimate uses," says Copyfight's own Jason Schultz in the official press release. "We're also pleased that DirecTV has agreed to stop targeting general purpose devices in its campaign and will investigate all substantive claims of innocence."
An extraordinary victory. Kudos to the entire DirecTVDefense team. It is moments like this that keep us going.
Update: As Fred von Lohmann points out, there is more good news about DirecTV -- and, for that matter, future cases in which general-purpose technology is under attack.
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