July 19, 2003

I've just read an article on the Internet (found here) regarding how DirecTV has thrown out a large dragnet to catch satellite pirates. Unfortunately, their legal dragnet is catching innocent victims as well. There is one thing that I did not understand in the article. Rod Sosa, an entrepreneur from Texas was one of the innocent people that DirecTV managed to convince to settle out of court for $3,500, merely for owning a piece of equipment that could be used to pirate their signal. In the article, it mentions that Rod had no such intentions, and had not, in fact, stolen any of DirecTV's programming. Yet, he willingly paid their blackmail? In this country, there is a legal system. That legal system is supposed to be designed to protect us from prosecution for crimes of which we are innocent. Granted that it does not always work. However, given that the evidence of proof of theft of service is on the accuser in this instance, what did Rod have to lose except some time off from work? Even at $300/day (a good six-digit salary), Rod could apparently afford to spend as much as 11 full days in court arguing his case. Why do people buckle so easily under the threat of legal action when they are innocent? What ever happened to standing up for what is right? It is very difficult for me to understand why someone would allow themselves to be pushed around and bullied by big business just because they wield some mysterious power called a 'lawsuit'. It's time we stood up for our rights as citizens and stopped being scared little mice. If we continue to allow big business to push us around, they won't stop doing it. 'nuf said....just had to get that off my chest.

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