I really don't have a dog in this fight, I just find it interesting. I hope people don't think I care about this topic.
If someone hires me to defend them against Cox, I will argue "waiver", "laches" "unclean hands" "gift" "entrapment" etc. I just think Cox and/or the government has the much stronger position.
With respect to the "sub sub sub paragraph", it is from the penalty provision of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984. It is THE federal law that covers "Unauthorized reception of cable service". It seems that all of the cable companies cite this on their web pages under cable theft:http://www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/...lstatutes.htmlhttp://www.cabletheft.com/
There is a federal case that has interpreted this section fairly strictly.
INTERNATIONAL CABLEVISION, INC. v. SYKES 997 F.2d 998 (1993) (this involved a "black box"), but the court found that:
Third, § 553 does not and was not intended to provide a good-faith defense against liability. Section 553(a)(1) provides that "[n]o person" shall assist in the unauthorized interception of cable signals. Though the damages portion of § 553 allows the court to "reduce the award of damages" if it finds that the violator "was not aware and had no reason to believe that his acts constituted a violation," 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3)(C),
Based on my very limited research, I believe that it is a violation of federal law (and perhaps state law) to receive a cable signal that you are not paying for.
Now, you are certainly in a much better position to determine whether the cable companies actively seek to enforce or police this type of activity. Most of the case law I found involves cable companies seeking to prevent bars from showing PPV fights on residential account to patrons, etc. It probably isn't worth their effort to go after folks that receive these signals.
In fact, when you look at the "Criminal Resource Manual" (it's a manual DA's look at to determine when/how to enforce federal statutes), it says with respect to Sec. 553:
Unauthorized Reception of Cable Service47 U.S.C. § 553
The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 added a new section, 47 U.S.C. § 553. This section prohibits receiving cable communications service without permission of the operator, thereby prohibiting the theft of commercial cable communications. The sale or distribution of equipment that would enable a person to receive, without authority, the reception of communications services offered over a cable system also falls within the proscription of this provision.
The Act provides for both criminal and civil penalties for violations of this section. The victim of an interception may bring a civil action in federal court for an injunction, damages, and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees. Since there is a civil remedy for violations of 47 U.S.C. § 553, United States Attorneys should consider whether this civil remedy is an adequate alternative to prosecution.
I have highlighted the last paragraph to show that it doesn't seem to be a hot button item.
Sorry, if this is VERY off-topic. I am trying to to be belligerent, it just merely caught my interest. If it makes anyone feel better, I do admit to doing the old 3x5" card trick in the old black cable boxes (the ones with the dials) in the 80's.
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ
All of these arguments are apples and oranges. We all know how difficult it is to manuever the communications landscape. You can make all the claims you want, but unless you've fought it in court and won, you're no more an authority than the rest of us who disagree with your interpretation. I'm basing my interpretation on personal experience with cableco's on this specific matter, not some subjective interpretation of excerpts from regulations. You simply can't pull out a sub-sub-sub paragraph and say it applies just to support your argument. Any lawyer knows that's subject to challenge and the court will decide if it applies to the specific situation or not.