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Penalties if you Hack Cable TV

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There are thousands of people across America every year that are caught attempting to hack cable TV services in order to receive free cable transmissions. Sometimes their neighbors don’t even know they’re doing it, and sometimes the act is committed between neighbors in order to have two households receiving cable transmissions while each person only pays half of the price. In any case, people who hack cable TV systems in order to receive free cable service cost the cable TV industry as a whole billions yearly, while at the same time preventing the cable companies from being able to give their paying customers the most value for their money by offering more services.

Penalties if you Hack Cable TV

Because of that fact, there are federal laws in place, as well as statutes in every state across the U.S. that officially condemn those who either attempt to or successfully hack cable TV signal from either their neighbors or directly from the cable company by tampering with the system closest to their residence. These laws make it easier for people to be caught by giving the cable companies more authority in investigating claims of piracy, while at the same time allowing the companies to file lawsuits against both the person hacking the cable and the person allowing his signal to be hacked. The federal laws also provide serious penalties for individuals who are caught receiving any form of transmission without paying for the service.

Possible Penalties for Attempting to Hack Cable TV

  • Anyone caught receiving a cable signal by “tapping” their neighbor’s or another person’s cable box or by breaking into the any disconnected cable box attached to their residence and uncapping the signal to their house, or anyone who is caught assisting another person in the act of committing piracy against a cable company, may face a misdemeanor charge. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by a term of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Also, the cable company may file a lawsuit against any party involved in the piracy.
  • For any person who is caught manufacturing equipment or tampering with any equipment designed to allow the illegal transmission of any cable signal that is derived directly from a cable company’s system, the court may impose a felony sentence. This crime is punishable by 2 to 4 years in prison, with a fine of up to $50,000. The cable company always has the right to file a lawsuit in these cases as well.

Considering the fact that these punishments are both enforced upon an individual’s first offense, and considering that the cable companies often catch the offenders, anyone thinking about trying to hack cable TV equipment to receive transmissions from a neighbor or cable company should always opt against the act.

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