Court awards $214 Million for DMCA Circumvention

The recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California in the Echostar Satellite LLC v. Viewtech case, Civil Case No. 07cv1273 BEN (WVG), 2011 WL 1522409 (S.D.Cal.), is interesting mainly for the amount of statutory damages awarded. The defendants had been manufacturing receivers that circumvented the copy protection in the Echostar / DISH Network service. Since the principal of the defendants is currently serving an 18 month prison term, let’s just say the matter of the infringement itself is rather settled. The defendants did not oppose the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment.

The bare minimum the judge could award for violation of the DMCA’s trafficking provision, §1201(a)(2), was $200 per infringement, and the plaintiffs were able to prove that there were 1,074,093 infringements. Accordingly, the court awarded $214,898,600. Further, the plaintiff can seek its attorneys fees as well.

For more on the case, and to download a copy of the decision, visit



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