illegal cable box

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Latest post Sun, May 10 2009 8:40 AM by adjuster jack. 13 replies.
  • Sat, May 2 2009 3:55 PM

    illegal cable box

    My former partner has an illegal cable box in his room. I called the cable company and I was told there is nothing they can do about it, even if I let them in into tne apt. Should I go to the police or this is the endof this . Browsing the internet I found the following: What Does The Law Say? Unauthorized use of an illegal "pirate box" cable descrambler ordinarily provides a basis for both a civil and criminal litigation against the person who possesses the descrambler. The civil suit may be brought by the cable company which otherwise would have received revenue from the television programming decoded by the box. How Are Users of Illegal Descramblers Caught? Sometimes a cable technician will detect an illegal descrambler when performing service. Sometimes a person's name will appear on a customer list from a company which is sued or searched by the police in relation to the sale of illegal pirate boxes. There is also technology that can enable a cable company to detect the presence of a cable box within a home which does not subscribe to cable, or should not have a cable box of the variety detected. What Happens To Somebody Caught With An Illegal Cable Descrambler? The consequences for being caught with a pirate box descrambler depend upon the amount of evidence possessed by the police or cable company. Even where the cable company has records showing that a suspect cable descrambler was purchased by somebody at a particular address, or detects the presence of a box within a house, that may not be enough to act against the resident of that house. If the cable descrambler may be in use for a legal purpose, the mere presence of the box is probably not enough to interest the police. While the cable company can file a civil lawsuit for "signal theft", they will likely not file a lawsuit unless they are confident that they can demonstrate that the box was used illegally. If the cable box is detected in a residence where there was no cable subscription, or is found to be connected to the cable line where there is no lawful use for the box other than descrambling programming to which the resident does not subscribe, it is much more likely that a civil suit will result, and it is more likely that the police will take an interest in the case. If a cable company files a lawsuit, under U.S. federal law it will ask for damages in the amount of lost cable revenue (usually a high estimate based upon what could have been watched through use of the unauthorized descrambler, as opposed to what was actually watched), and if victorious may also receive statutory damages of up to $10,000.00 and an award of attorney fees and court costs. The attorney fee award may well be larger than the amount found owing for unpaid cable fees. Thanks Jorge
  • Sat, May 2 2009 5:20 PM In reply to

    Re: illegal cable box

    It's the cable company's choice to pursue the civil aspect or not. And if the cable company chooses not to there is nothing you or anybody else can do about it.

    You are free to report it to the police if you like. But I'm guessing that the police have better things to do.

    Oh. Here's an alternative. Mind your own business.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, May 2 2009 6:51 PM In reply to

    Re: illegal cable box

    I don't have the distain for reporting illegal activity that Jack displays with his "mind your own business" comment. However, there are only two things you can do. You did the first already: report it to the cable company. The second is report it to the police. It is up to the cable company and the police to decide if they'll do anything about it.

  • Sat, May 2 2009 9:07 PM In reply to

    • Cica
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Sep 23 2003
    • Posts 6,520

    Re: illegal cable box

    Unfortunately it is probably one of those "micro-laws" in existence whereby there simply isn't sufficient manpower to keep people from abusing it.

    You did your part by reporting it. It's great that there are people like you!

  • Sun, May 3 2009 1:06 PM In reply to

    Jack- The "mind your own business" comment is unnecessary.

    The editorial comments are not helpful.


  • Mon, May 4 2009 2:20 PM In reply to

    Re: illegal cable box

    I would love to mind my own business, but I am stock with the regular channels, I am not aloww to have 2 accounts on the same household.(the account is on his name). Keep this in mind, because people like him we pay more for every thing. :-)
  • Mon, May 4 2009 2:40 PM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: illegal cable box

    Well that is quite different--but I fail to see why two people sleeping is separate beds in two separate rooms cannot have two separate accounts and call it two separate households --cable firm should be only too happy to bill two people for two accounts?


    Now I don't see wisdom of cable firm ignoring somebody who turns in a cheater even if your motives may be self serving. They make a lot of noise about theft of services--so if you speak to Sam at cable firm  and Sam ignores you why not try his boss and approach it in context of you probably have an antitheft policy so why is Sam ignoring it, doesn't he like his job at XXX Cable firm?

  • Tue, May 5 2009 1:41 PM In reply to

    • DPH
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Oct 8 2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,875

    Re: illegal cable box

    "...the account is on his name..."

    If the account is in his name, what exactly is illegal about the cable box?   Are you trying to say that he is receiving more channels than he's paying for and if that's the case, why can you only see regular channels.  Confusing......

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain


  • Tue, May 5 2009 2:35 PM In reply to

    • Ford
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 16 2000
    • Posts 12,824

    Re: illegal cable box

    I doubt the police will get involved with this.

    If this is a former partner, I question your ability to let the police into the room.

    Moreover, I question why you even feel a need to bring this to light?  Two wrongs don't make anything Right.  The goal of breaking up with someone is to get them OUT of your life, not perpetuate conflict.

  • Fri, May 8 2009 1:03 PM In reply to

    Re: illegal cable box

    I sent an E-mail to Mr. Britt, CEO of Time Warner cable, and a senior vice president called , he explained that they would love to pursuit this matter but the problem is that they don't have a legal way to get into the apartment and get the box. If I am willing to give them the box at the door they will initiate an investigation, but I should make sure I have the legal right to do this. This is the situation: the apt is own by my former partner’s sister, we don't have a lease or any other document, we just pay the property tax and are responsible to make payments of common charges, Can a lawyer argue that there is not case because the box was illegal obtain.
  • Sun, May 10 2009 8:40 AM In reply to

    Re: illegal cable box

    Moreover, I question why you even feel a need to bring this to light? Two wrongs don't make anything Right. The goal of breaking up with someone is to get them OUT of your life, not perpetuate conflict.

    I agree. That this is your "former" partner would seem to indicate that you are ticked off at him/her enough to try to make trouble after the relationship is over.

    That can only bring bad karma.

    I suggest getting over it and moving on.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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