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Case Involving Unauthorized Use of DirecTV's System, Plus a Defendant's Sentence Upheld

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By FindLaw Staff on May 13, 2010 3:43 PM

DirecTV, Inc. v. Barczewski, No. 06-2219, concerned a DirecTV's suit against two defendants for intercepting encrypted signals from DirecTV's satellite system without authorization and for furnishing devices to assist others to steal the signals.  Judgment of district court against the defendants is affirmed for the most part.  However, the award of damages against the defendant charged with intercepting DirecTV's signal, is vacated as, the portion of Rodgers v. Wood, 910 F.2d 444 (7th Cir. 1990), holding that award of the maximum damages specified in section 2520(c)(2) is mandatory is overruled as the district court has discretion not to award statutory damages under the statutory formula.     

In US v. Anderson, No. 09-1612, the court faced a challenge to the district court's imposition of a maximum sentence of 120 months upon a defendant convicted of possessing an unregistered sawed-off shotgun pursuant to a plea agreement.  Although the government concedes breach in failing to move for a reduction to defendant's offense level pursuant to sentencing guidelines section 3E1.1(b), the sentence is affirmed as defendant has not demonstrated that he was prejudiced by the violation and the court finds no miscarriage of justice in this case.  Furthermore, any procedural flaws in the sentencing hearing are harmless. 

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