– A federal court in Florida
has ordered a man who posted software online that helps users illegally receive
satellite TV programming from DISH Network (NASD: DISH) must pay $51 million in damages.
summary judgment was lodged against Robert Ward; other parties to the damages award
include DISH sister companies EchoStar (NASD: SATS) and NagraStar.
The companies said that
the decision was significant because "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."