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Echostar v Freetech

From lawbrain.com

Echostar v. Freetech was a case heard in the US District Court for Northern California, in which the Court ruled that a company may not be compelled to produce their customer lists.

In December 2007, Echostar, the company behind DishTV, sued Freetech, alleging that the Freetech CoolSat receiver was specifically designed to allow modifications to enable unauthorized reception of DISH programming. According to Echostar, Freetech "sold thousands of these FTA (free-to-air) receivers to consumer pirates for the sole purpose of circumventing Echostar's Security System."

In the course of discovery, Echo star sent subpoenas to the distributors of CoolSat receivers, demanding that they hand over their customer lists, including the name, address, email address, and purchase details for every person to have purchased a CoolSat receiver over the past 5 years.

On Sept. 29, 2008, Magistrate Judge Seeborg refused to allow Echostar to obtain the identity and contact information of every individual who purchased a Freetech CoolSat receiver. The court concluded that "the requests for customer lists ... could lead to the perceived harassment of legitimate users and a cocomitant chilling effect on the purchase and lawful use of Freetech's FTA receivers."


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