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DIRECTV Awarded $21.7 million in Case Against Company that Sold Signal Theft Devices

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment Against California-based SD Logic Technologies

El Segundo, CA Mar 29, 2005DIRECTV, Inc., announced today that U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner for the Central District of California, awarded the company $21.7 million in damages in a lawsuit it filed against SD Logic Technologies, Inc., and other defendants.

DIRECTV alleged in its complaint that SD Logic and its proprietors Scott and Ken Booth, based in Big Bear, Calif., designed, manufactured and sold via a Web site, pirate access devices that enabled users to steal DIRECTV’s satellite signals.

Among the devices sold by SD Logic was the “Universal Smart Card Terminal,” which SD Logic claimed was a legitimate, general purpose smart card device. Based on a substantial amount of evidence that the Universal Smart Card Terminal and other devices were primarily designed and marketed for DIRECTV piracy, DIRECTV moved for summary judgment on its claim against SD Logic.

Judge Klausner granted DIRECTV’s motion, finding that DIRECTV had provided “overwhelming evidence” to support its claim that SD Logic’s products were primarily of assistance in the unauthorized decryption of DIRECTV’s satellite television broadcasts and awarded DIRECTV $10,000 per device sold by SD Logic.

“Despite their persistent claims to the contrary, the Booths and SD Logic were selling pirate devices, and now a federal court, after reviewing the evidence in the case, has come to the same conclusion,” said Dan Fawcett, executive vice president, Business and Legal Affairs, DIRECTV, Inc. “Booth and his company picked up the misguided endorsements of digital civil liberties advocacy groups, who cited SD Logic as a source for legitimate smart card technology, giving the company’s Web site a patina of respectability that it didn’t deserve. This is a significant victory against signal thieves who often masqueraded as respectable businessmen.”

The case against proprietors Ken and Scott Booth has been stayed since they filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The devices, like the Universal Smart Card Terminal, were used to operate illegally modified P3 access cards. Last year, all P3 cards were replaced with cards using new conditional access technology, and to date those cards have not been compromised.

DIRECTV, Inc. is the nation’s leading and fastest-growing digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13.9 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV (NYSE: DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment. DIRECTV is 34 percent owned by News Corporation.

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