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16th April 2007, 10:20
Card share prosecutions in OZ
A while ago I quoted the case of "mod Shop" [in perth] V foxtel
This is further evedence to that.
What the difference is between the Australian CS and the Thailand CS, is that here [in oz] we have a pay service broadcasting in Oz for Aussie's. In Thailand, no pay service exists in that country, therefore no money is lost by the service providers, by way of lost subscriptions.
But it is only a matter of time, before they become of intrest, and the case below sets the precedent for such cases.
Foxtel's investigators offered a deal to a pirate: co-operate with us and we won't take action, reports Susannah Moran
WHEN a former Australian Army communications expert was hired by the Mod Shop in Perth in 2003, he was given a brief: to figure out a way to hack into Foxtel's latest technology.
Vittorio Lalli-Cafini, described in recent court proceedings as a "serial pirate" of satellite television broadcasts who could not be trusted, managed to fulfil his brief in less than a month.
Lalli-Cafini set up a program that used the internet to allow card-sharing of legitimate Foxtel card-holders.
It was a substantial step from the previous method of accessing pay TV for free, which consisted of copying legitimate cards.
The methods involved in pirating Foxtel and other TV subscription services are of significant concern to the industry and are detailed in a recent court judgment relating to the Mod Shop. The industry body, the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association, believes piracy costs about $50million a year.
So it may not be surprising that Foxtel's head of internal and external fraud, Mark Mulready, hires private investigators across the country to find out what is happening in suburbia.
And if the Mod Shop case is anything to go by, people selling free Foxtel in shopping centre car parks for $50 a pop is par for the course.
Mulready, a lawyer and former detective, joined Foxtel in 2002 and has referred about 50 people to various law enforcement agencies. But the Australian Federal Police did not have the resources to continue its investigation of the Mod Shop, so Mulready stepped up his investigation and launched a civil case in the Federal Court.
Foxtel was ultimately successful in the case, which resulted in $1 million in fines last month. Court costs have yet to be worked out, but it's thought that the costs will be in excess of the fine.
The case was significant on several fronts.
For a start, it was the first civil case in the world that dealt with the issue of card-sharing. Also, most cases are pursued as criminal cases brought by the director of public prosecutions.
Foxtel director of legal and business affairs Lynette Ireland says Foxtel is happy about the decision, which sets an important precedent for the sector.
But it is also interesting because one of Foxtel's key witnesses was the "serial pirater" himself, Lalli-Cafini.
Lalli-Cafini was approached by Mulready and was offered a deal: give honest evidence in court and we won't take action against you.
Mulready says the information Lalli-Cafini has provided to Foxtel is helpful not just in the Mod Shop case but will also be useful in other investigations.
"He gave us information we would never have had and certainly made proving the case a lot easier," Mulready says. "He gave us critical information about the scope of the activity."
Mulready says the Mod Shop was blatant in the way it promoted free Foxtel; it even advertised it on its website.
According to the court documents, a customer would be given the mobile phone number of someone who would sell them a duplicated card after they had bought expensive satellite information. During some periods, between 2002 and 2004 the Mod Shop was selling $18,000 worth of satellite equipment a day. But when Foxtel increased its security in 2004 as a result of piracy concerns, the Mod Shop brought in Lalli-Cafini.
"We hired you because of your engineering knowledge so we should use it. We need you to work out how to keep providing access to our customers to Foxtel for free," Lalli-Cafini recalled Mod Shop owner Fouad Haddad saying to him. As far as getting access, it was pretty easy according to Lalli-Cafini. He experimented with a few software programs and bought a new server to boost performance.
When customers asked: "How do I get free Foxtel?", they were given the number of "Mike", a fictitious person, Lalli-Cafini said, and staff members would take it in turn to be Mike and tell customers how the new card-sharing software worked.
Lalli-Cafini also attended staff meetings to show the staff, over beer and pizza, how to use the software.
Lalli-Cafini told the court about what happened the day after a court ordered search warrants; the shredding machine was used so much that he had to repair it and computer hard drives were smashed.
Although the technology still exists to view free Foxtel, Mulready says the Mod Shop court case, as well as new, stronger legislation, should be a deterrent to pirates and those who pay them. Fines of up to $60,000 and jail sentences apply for card-sharing.
16th April 2007, 16:00
It is actually the truth, when the providers mean to get those pirating, and prosecute, they will do it at anytime.
They would actually pose as the buyers of the services rendered.
Only at times prosecuting a case ends up more expensive with lawyers involved and investigations.
Like spending even $6000, just for the culprit to end up being fined $1000 is actually a real waste of time and resources.
But occasionally they have to crucify a sacred cow as an example to the would be offenders. this brings the level of piracy down, also they at times change systems or software rendering the hackers or duplicators wondering, what next in their trade.
Anyway its a means of life which cannot be put to zero. and also private and non commercial card sharing - i don't think is an offense, since this occurs between two or three family members with maybe one or two genuine paid for cards.
16th April 2007, 16:10
Pay tv does indeed exisis in Thailand the main player by far being True Visions formerly UBC . Its a moot point whether CS is even illegal in Thailand under current laws as CS is rife and openly advertised.
Breach of copyright a different matter but in such cases the company whose copyright has been breached has to initiate any action as happened some years ago with Mad Max Deubel when ******'s owners Mindport took action against CARD DUPLICATION .
17th April 2007, 06:13
I,m told tht M.M. now works for an encryption company
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