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News Corp. prevails in suit by Dish

May 16, 2008|From Reuters

A federal jury broadly cleared News Corp.'s NDS unit Thursday of allegations that it pirated satellite television signals.

The allegations came in a lawsuit brought by Dish Network that could have been worth more than $1 billion.

The jury awarded only $1,500 in damages from NDS for a single test incident involving a satellite television smart card.

Dish had alleged that NDS employed a rogue software engineer, or hacker, who systematically broke into its network, stole software codes and posted information on the Internet to let users unscramble Dish's signals and receive satellite television for free.

Jurors deliberated for a single day after a monthlong trial before ruling in favor of NDS on the majority of allegations in the suit.

"We've been completely vindicated on this whole lawsuit," NDS attorney Richard Stone said after the jury's decision was read in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

He said that the claims by Dish were a "pack of lies."

Shares of News Corp. rose 18 cents Thursday to $19.86. Dish gained 24 cents to $33.56.

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