El Segundo, Calif. -- DirecTv Inc. said that a U.S.
District Court in Seattle has ordered 15 defendants to pay $31 million in damages to
DirecTv and NDS America for trafficking in counterfeit satellite cards.
The judgment brings to a close a video piracy suit filed in
June 1996. DirecTv and NDS charged the defendants with creating an international
conspiracy to develop, manufacture, distribute and sell unauthorized Digital Satellite
System access cards. The counterfeit cards enabled illegal reception of DirecTv and U.S.
Satellite Broadcasting programming.