For years DISH has gone after pirates who use boxes to access DISH signals without paying. Now it looks like through DISH’s NagraStar’s SatScams.com joint venture DISH is also going after people who stream DISH-owned content through IPTV services.
Here is how SatScams.com describes what they do:
“Welcome to SatScams.com. This site is provided by NagraStar to help educate and inform people about the civil and criminal actions taken by NagraStar and their partners, DISH Network and Bell TV. These actions are taken against those who try to obtain DISH Network or Bell programming in a fraudulent manner including, but not limited to, receiving programming without authorization by and payment to DISH Network and Bell TV; or illegally designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, or using devices that could allow access to DISH Network or Bell TV satellite signals without authorization and payment.”
From the looks of it, NagraStar seeks to educate people on the dangers of piracy and also acts as an enforcement group for DISH and Bell targeting both streaming pirates and people who use devices to access DISH and Bell signals without paying for them.
In the past they mostly focused on people who pirated their satellite signal. Now they are also targeting subscribers who use IPTV services to stream content online.
In the past most lawsuits targeting IPTV services have gone after the owners and people who sold the services. Now DISH is targeting people who paid for these services but didn’t run them.
Here is one example of a story of an IPTV subscriber that was posted on NagraStar’s website recently:
I heard about rocket IPTV and set about subscribing to it. I wasn’t positive it was illegal but I figured it probably was. I went ahead anyway as I had just been disabled and figured I’d have a lot of TV time ahead plus I was pretty broke. It was a bad, wrong idea and if I can pay my way out of this I’ll be glad again. Sadderbutwiser (and poorer!)
Here is one more example of a subscriber who received a letter from DISH’s NagraStar:
I made a mistake. Four years ago, I made a payment to a subscription [service] to watch TV channels. I thought I was not committing any crime. I was wrong. I was watching Dish Network channels including premium channels. I received a certified letter from NagraStar telling me to communicate with them. The staff explained to me very professionally the process to follow to solve the situation. I agreed to a payment plan with them to fulfill my responsibility for the mistake I made. What I have come up with is a lesson in life. I learned to be more cautious with the services they offer online. I recommend not subscribing to any illegal service online. If you have doubt about a service do not subscribe. The consequences are terrible. My recommendation for all the people who have received the letter is that they communicate with NagraStar and assume responsibility in good faith. It is not worth getting into legal lawsuits if an agreement can be reached.
According to the NagraStar website they are willing to accept $3,500 from those who have purchased illegal content and $7,500 from those who sold it. The website does say they are open to lowering that settlement. “NagraStar also is open to negotiating the settlement amount. Piracy equipment such as set-top boxes and streaming devices can be sent in to lower the settlement amount. We also accept piracy forum credentials in the form of a username and password. If you are experiencing financial difficulties or hardships, our team will work with you to create a personalized monthly payment plan. Please don’t ignore the letter.”
NagraStar does say if they do not hear back from a suspected pirate that they may refer them to their law firm for “litigation.”
This is a massive shift in the world of piracy. Gone are the days of just worrying if your streaming piracy services will be shut down. Now you may face a legal notice with a demand for money or a potential lawsuit.
In recent months several IPTV services have shut down. One of the larger ones was Vader, which promised hundreds of channels streamed online for a low monthly fee. NagraStar talks about Vader on their website and Vader’s claims that they will protect customer data. This raises the question about if NagraStar may have targeted Vader causing it to shut down.
Have you received a letter from NagraStar? Send us a message. We would love to talk to you and will keep your comment anonymous.
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