Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.
Tan Nguyen is found guilty
A federal judge in Orange County has granted summary judgment to Dish Network and imposed a massive fine on a Little Saigon man who operated a satellite piracy business.
U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ruled this week that Tan Nguyen, the owner of several websites including ftafoall.net and ftaforall.biz, knowingly distributed 36 software files that allowed people to circumvent Dish Network's security and decryption systems.
Nguyen, who failed to show up at the hearing, had maintained in interviews with OC Weekly that he was innocent, had no knowledge of piracy operations and was "a little guy" being picked on by a corporate giant.
But concluding that Nguyen's conduct violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Federal Communications Act a whopping 31,883 times, Selna imposed the statutory minimum fine of $200 per violation, or $6,376,600.
The judge is also issuing a permanent injunction against the Westminster man for ever again attempting to violate Dish Network's security systems.
Nguyen's websites were originally registered out of the same Hanoi building that houses the Communist Party of Vietnam, but he denied any connection with Vietnamese government officials.
Records show that Nguyen received more than $160,000 in Google ad revenue from his websites.
Claiming their client had been robbed of entitled broadcasting fees by piracy, lawyers for Dish Network filed their federal lawsuit against Nguyen in early 2012.