Kudelski Claims Piracy Victory in Europe

Kudelski, which through its NagraStar relationship with DISH Network provides signal security for the DBS service, said it scored a big victory in its fight against pay-TV piracy in Europe.

A German court has prohibited one of the main "free-to-air" TV decoder importers working in the country from importing, possessing or marketing TV decoders that have decoding capabilities. The decoders contain an electronic mechanism that makes its possible to circumvent conditional access systems and allow for the illegal reception of pay-TV programming, Kudelski said.

Although the banned "free-to-air" decoders also allow for reception of free (unencrypted) programming, the court found that the devices are illegal because they contain the electronic mechanism, the company said. The company, Heinrich Zehnder GmbH, risks a fine of up to 250,000 euros ($348,424 U.S.) or a prison sentence for executives if it does not comply with the verdict.

"This verdict is a clear message for manufacturers and importers of ‘de facto' pirate decoders. From now on, they will have to ensure that such decoders are not equipped with technical elements that - by themselves or through the downloading of pirate software - allow circumvention of content protection systems and the illegal reception of encrypted content," Kudelski said in a statement.