Alleged Pirate Takes Stand in NDS/DISH Case

The federal trial pitting EchoStar and NagraStar against NDS Group, News Corp.'s TV technology unit, wrapped up another week of testimony in California. And the action saw a key individual taking the stand in the case.

According to press reports of the event, Christopher Tarnovsky, who has become notorious in the case for his alleged piracy efforts in the past, denied that he tried to hack the conditional access technology utilized by DISH and NagraStar.

Tarnovsky said he was paid on a regular basis by Harper Collins, News Corp's publishing business, stated reports of the trial. But he said only that he was asked to improve the security of DIRECTV, which at the time was controlled by News Corp.

EchoStar and NagraStar are seeking $1 billion in damages in the litigation, alleging that NDS compromised the conditional access technology utilized by the companies.

In their complaint, EchoStar and NagraStar allege NDS cracked their access card technology, and extracted proprietary codes from within the system. What's more, NDS personnel then designed and built a pirating device that was capable of reprogramming those access cards, stated the litigation. Those devices were then allegedly distributed to the pirating community, the lawsuit said.