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Aren't access cards the property of the DBS provider? (non-hack)

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Mark Holtz, Aug 16, 2003.

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  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't all of the of DirecTV's and Dish Network's cards marked as being the property of the respective DBS provider? According to DirecTV:

    When you purchase a DIRECTV System, you are provided an access card, which is similar in size and shape to a credit card. The Access Card is nontransferable and remains the property of DIRECTV at all times. The Access Card will work only with the DIRECTV Receiver it comes with, and is necessary to receive our service.

    Hmmmm.... what about Dish Network?

    Section 4-A. The Smart Card remains the property of EchoStar Communications Corporation, the corporate parent of DISH Network and any tampering or other unauthorized modification to the Smart Card is strictly prohibited and may result in, and subject you to, legal action. You agree to return the Smart Card to us upon request.

    If so, then how come I am seeing ads on E-bay for "P4 Virgin Cards" and "Hu Cards" for DirecTV? I don't know about DirecTV, but Dish Network says $50 for a replacement card. Some of these cards are selling for more. And if I'm seeing "Virgin Card", that can only mean one thing: Never been in the datastream, good for stealing TeeVee (with the right equipment).

    I just scanned e-bay just now, and here what I found:

    * NEW VIRGIN P4 ACCESS CARD DSS DIRECTV (Closed at $56)
    * Hu Card w/Broken Receiver. S&H will be $10 for just the card only, $75 for the receiver. Yeah, riiigggghhtttt.
    * Two seperate "Hu" cards for $65 each.
    * Here's something interesting. A "Dial Tone blocker" for $8.95 that allows calls in for Caller ID, but doesn't allow the receiver to dial out. Now, gee I wonder why someone would have a need for THAT???
    * Oh, here's something interesting. Someone is selling a P4 card in Canada, and will express mail it via XPRESSPOST.

    And, this was found with just the search term "DirecTV".

    I am a bit cynical here. Most of the receivers were older receivers. But, unless you are in NRTC territory, I don't see why you need to purchase a used receiver when brand new receivers from on-line dealers for existing customers ranges from $49-$129. New customer? Current promotion is a four-room system for NOTHING. The only restriction is that you have to subscribe to Total Choice or above for one year.

    And, a quick check of e-bay for "Dishplayer" brings up a lot of Dishplayers selling for over $200. If I recall correctly, most of the DishPlayer series had the older, hackable cards. Therefore, while the receiver has been troublesome, the older card is worth it to those who steal TeeVee.

    Look, it's not MY responsibility to play policeman and keep an eye on the auctions. It's the DBS providers responsibility. Why don't they just say "the cards must be returned within 30 days, or your account may be suspended. Here is the pre-paid manilla envelope." I'm sure the post office would mangle the cards along the way.
     
  2. rvd420

    rvd420 Legend

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    Mar 10, 2003

    I will not argue the morality of piracy.
    If you look at the access card itself it does say that is it the property of the provider.
    But when a customer goes to buy a system it does not say on the box that there is an access card that is the property of the provider.
    It could be argued that the provider should have it printed on the box that there is an access card that belongs to the provider.

    Without it being printed on the box that the provider owns the access card it could be argued that the customer bought the access card along with the receiver.

    It would be like buying a TV, or DVD player, and when you open the box there is something inside the box that says the remote control is the property of the manufacture.

    I know that if TV and DVD manufactures started to but something in the box that saied that the remote belongs to the manufacture that many people would be upset and saying that what was going on was B.S.

    Now I do not condone piracy. I believe that if you can legally subscribe to a provider you should do so.

    I just think that the "selling" of access cards should be looked at with an open point of view.
     
  3. DCXFORDGM

    DCXFORDGM Mentor

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    Jul 15, 2003
    All access cards/smart cards are the property of the provider, just like a visa/mastercard, if
    they ask for it back which is rare and you are a sub you are to give it back but usually it
    is due to a newer access card. One note, directv should take some lessons on security, on
    channel 222, they introduce the p4 but tell you to throw out your hu, this is wear the
    hackers and business dbs owners come in and are selling there hu cards to people who
    are 3m these cards. But this could be a money issue also, I am sure directv does not want
    to pay for shipping of hu's back to them. All this hacking is going to have one affect, a fee
    that directv and dish will put on everyone's bill and call it whatever. Expressvu put a $2.00
    fee on all 1.4 million subs and called it a future money fund to ensure that expressu has
    best tech for future and ot away with it and it is really to cover cost of signal theft!!!!!
     
  4. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    If E/D* were smart they would pay a bounty on cards. If they had a "deposit" of lets say $25/card, that you got back when you turned them in, they would end the ebay glut. They should have a policy of they cost you $25, but you get it back when you return it. If your smartcard goes out it does not cost you anything, you pay the $25 for the new one but get the $25 back for the old one.
     
  5. rocco

    rocco Mentor

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    Jun 6, 2003
    E* is very aggressive about this. I tried to sell a used ROM10 card on ebay after my 501 was fried by lightning. I tried twice and both times echostar cancelled my ebay auction. After the second time, I emailed the address provided by ebay and the explanantion that I received was that the card was owned by echostar.
     
  6. Claude Greiner

    Claude Greiner Banned User

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    A simple refundable deposit for returning old access cards, along with giving dealers the option to re-activate used equipment which owes a past due ballence would put an end to the Piracy problem
     
  7. rvd420

    rvd420 Legend

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    Mar 10, 2003
    I myself think that the suppliers should not package cards with the receivers.

    Nowadays with a pro install being thrown in with an IRD for new subs I feel that the provider should have the installer bring out the access card, and the provider could charge a small deposit (25 bux or so) that would be refunded when the service is canceled and the access card returned.

    As far as being able to use balance owed IRDS for customers I don't see why the providers don't just take the returned equipment, run it through the remna process, and allow dealers to sell the equipment as a reman.
     
  8. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    rvd420 - your idea is fine - except for human nature being what it is. I'd bet dollars to donuts that some dealer somewhere would decide to make a little off the side and sell some of his allocation of smartcards off the market.
     
  9. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    Wal-Mart was selling receivers without the smart cards and requiring them to be shipped by DirecTv next day shipping after you paid them by credit card over the phone activating the account. I bet that helped a bit making it harder to just go and buy an access card. That also causes a loss of customers that do not want to have to go through that hassle and do not have credit cards.

    Also I had someone call and say that they were going to sue DirecTv for not putting a statement on the outside of the box of a new DirecTv system that the card did not belong to the customer but to the program provider. He was particularly mad that he had the system for a while and the card would no longer be able to be activated and they wanted to charge for a new card or wanted that card back to replace it. He said that when he bought the system that the card that came with it should work and if he had to sell it to someone or wanted to pick up the channels that are FTA that he couldnt because of this unless he got the card swapped (maybe even requiring an activation) or selling the system at a discount since the new subscriber would have to pay for a new card. He said that it is not his fault that they cannot keep piracy down that they should at least not charge for the card whether he has they system active or not.
     
  10. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    I just thought of someting else. With these new Dish receivers such as the 111 and 311 going to have the smart card chip built in what are they going to do then? Say that the receiver belongs to them too since there is no smart card that can be removed? They would do something to the chip internally. Since the receiver would have the chip built in then they could not deny the sale of a receiver on the internet such as that could they as they can do now when the smart card is sold seperate without a receiver?
     
  11. Cyclone

    Cyclone Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I guess they have confidence the new Chip to keep piracy at bay.
     
  12. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    It is only a matter of time before it happens again. They know that themselves, thats why there will be a card slot for a card in the future to overide the onboard chip if that is what is needed to combat the piracy.
     
  13. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    IMHO: The only way a on-board chip solution would be pirate-proof would be to seal the chip in epoxy so that it can't be unsoldered.
     
  14. n0qcu

    n0qcu Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    They tried that with BUD, hackers just removed the epoxy.
     
  15. Zach2

    Zach2 Legend

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    I think it's wrong to have illegal free tv however, personally I have no problems w/ somone selling there access card on ebay. That sounds a little contradictory I know but maybe I just like anyway to make money from these DBS providers since I live in Alaska and get half the service at 10 times the price.
     
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