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Developer of Signal Theft Software Settles with DIRECTV and NDS for $1 Million

Chicago man, who was accused of developing and distributing software designed to steal DIRECTV programming, has agreed to a $1 million settlement of a lawsuit filed against him in federal court by DIRECTV, Inc., and NDS Americas, Inc., the creator of security features used to protect DIRECTV’s broadcasts from unauthorized interception.

Robert K. Lazzara consented to the entry of a judgment against him in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and agreed to a permanent injunction barring him from further satellite piracy.

The lawsuit claimed that Lazzara, using the alias “rob13572468,” developed software designed and intended to facilitate the unauthorized reception of DIRECTV’s satellite television programming, and distributed the software through multiple Internet sites dedicated to satellite television piracy.

Lazzara’s software “scripts” were alleged to have enabled users to illegally “hack” DIRECTV’s older generation access cards (known as Period 3 access cards) and obtain DIRECTV’s programming without payment. Since the development of the new Period 4 access card technology nearly five years ago, DIRECTV’s signal security system has not been compromised.

“The Lazzara settlement underscores the serious consequences of engaging in satellite piracy,” said Dan Fawcett, DIRECTV’s executive vice president for Business and Legal Affairs. “Though our access cards have been secure for the past several years, we will continue to aggressively pursue – both through civil and criminal courts – any individual who has been involved in satellite piracy or fraud against DIRECTV.”

The lawsuit alleged that Lazzara’s conduct violated certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Federal Communications Act, and state law, which make it illegal to circumvent technological security measures, and to intercept or assist others in intercepting DIRECTV’s encrypted satellite signals without authorization or payment to DIRECTV.

About DIRECTV, Inc.
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 15.6 million customers through exclusive content, industry-leading customer service (which has surpassed cable for six years running) and superior technologies. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy over 250 channels of 100% digital picture and sound; exclusive programming and the most comprehensive collection of sports programming available anywhere including NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and MLB EXTRA INNINGS. DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV) also leads the digital television technology revolution with exclusives such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET SuperFan, US Open Interactive and YES Network Interactive and will soon have the capacity to offer over 150 channels in HD. DIRECTV is approximately 39 percent owned by News Corporation. For the most up-to-date information on the Company, please visit www.directv.com.

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