United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
DISH NETWORK L.L.C., ECHOSTAR TECHNOLOGIES L.L.C., and NAGRASTAR LLC, Plaintiffs,
JOHN LADD, SR. Defendant.
ENTRY ON DISH NETWORK'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT
RICHARD L. YOUNG, CHIEF JUDGE United States District Court
Dish Network L.L.C., EchoStar Technologies L.L.C., and
NagraStar LLC (collectively “DISH Network”),
allege that Defendant, John Ladd, Sr., circumvented their
security technology and intercepted satellite broadcasts of
copyrighted television programming without paying the
required subscription fee. According to the Complaint, Ladd
subscribed to a pirate television service known as NFusion
Private Server that allowed him to decrypt DISH Network's
satellite signal. Ladd was able to enjoy unlimited access to
DISH Network programming, including premium and pay-per-view
channels, thereby causing lost revenues and harm to DISH
Network's reputation and goodwill.
record reflects that Ladd was personally served with the
Complaint on June 16, 2016, but has failed to plead or
otherwise defend himself. The Clerk entered default on August
18, 2016, and DISH Network now moves for default judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2).
Network's Complaint contains three counts: (1)
circumventing an access control measure in violation of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), 17
U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1); (2) receiving satellite signals
without authorization in violation of the Federal
Communications Act (“FCA”), 47 U.S.C. §
605(a); and (3) intercepting satellite signals in violation
of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
(“ECPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(a). DISH
Network requests recovery only on Count III.
ECPA makes it unlawful for a person to “intentionally
intercept” any “electronic communication.”
18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(a). The Seventh Circuit has made
clear that encrypted broadcasts of satellite television
programming, such as those transmitted by DISH Network,
constitute “electronic communication” for
purposes of the ECPA. United States v. Shriver, 989
F.2d 898, 902 (7th Cir. 1992). The court finds that DISH
Network's Complaint pleads sufficient facts to show a
plausible claim for relief under Section 2511(1)(a). Because
Ladd has been defaulted under Rule 55(a), liability under the
ECPA is established. See VLM Food Trading Int'l, Inc.
v. Ill. Trading Co., 811 F.3d 247, 255 (7th Cir. 2016)
(“The basic effect of an entry of default (step one) is
that upon default, the well-pleaded allegations of a
complaint relating to liability are taken as true.”)
(citations, quotation marks, and brackets omitted).
court may award equitable relief, actual or statutory
damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees, and costs to
“any person whose . . . electronic communication is
intercepted.” 18 U.S.C. § 2520(a-b). DISH Network
seeks two forms of relief, the first of which is $10, 000.00
in statutory damages. See 18 U.S.C. §
2520(c)(2)(B) (authorizing the court to assess
“statutory damages of whichever is the greater of $100
a day for each day of violation or $10, 000”). DISH
Network supports its request with citations to case law,
affidavits, and other evidence. See Domanus v.
Lewicki, 742 F.3d 290, 303 (7th Cir. 2014)
(“[W]hile a default judgment conclusively establishes
liability, the victor must still prove up damages.”).
The court therefore finds that DISH Network is entitled to
the amount requested, and that a damages hearing is
unnecessary. See Dundee Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe &
Concrete Products, Inc., 722 F.2d 1319, 1323 (7th Cir.
1983) (“A judgment by default may not be entered
without a hearing on damages unless . . . the amount claimed
is liquidated or capable of ascertainment from definite
figures contained in the documentary evidence or in detailed
Network also seeks a permanent injunction that bars Ladd from
intercepting its broadcasts. A party seeking permanent
injunctive relief bears the burden of showing: (1) that it
has suffered irreparable harm; (2) that remedies available at
law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to remedy the
injury; (3) that the balance of hardships between the
plaintiff and defendant favor a remedy in equity; and (4)
that an injunction is in the public interest. eBay Inc.
v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388, 391 (2006). Each
element is satisfied here. This court has previously entered
a permanent injunction in favor of DISH Network as part of a
default judgment against an individual who violated the ECPA.
See Dish Network L.L.C. v. Abner, No.
4-15-cv-00068-RLY-TAB, Filing No. 11 (S.D. Ind. June 24,
2016); Dish Network L.L.C. v. Farooqui, No.
1:13-cv-00118-LJM-MJD, Filing No. 15 (S.D. Ind. June 4,
2013); Dish Network L.L.C. v. Keown, No.
4:13-cv-00013-SEB-WGH, Filing No. 14 (S.D. Ind. May 8, 2013).
DISH Network's Motion for Default Judgment (Filing No. 9)
is GRANTED. Ladd is ORDERED to remit $10, 000.00 in statutory
damages to DISH Network within sixty days of the date of this
Entry. Furthermore, Ladd is PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from:
intercepting, or assisting others in intercepting, DISH
Network's satellite television transmissions without its
authorization through any means, including Internet Key
Sharing (also known as Control Word Sharing); and
testing, analyzing, reverse engineering, manipulating or
otherwise extracting codes or other technological information
or data from DISH Network's satellite television
receivers, access cards, data stream or any other part or
component of its security system or other technology used to
gain access to DISH Network programming, including through
the use of Internet Key Sharing.
Network stipulated to dismissal with prejudice of its two
alternative claims, violations of the DMCA and FCA, if the
court granted the relief it requested. The court has done so.