It's no secret that DirecTV has been on the hunt for content thieves for what seems like ages, but it faced a serious setback recently when "the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a default judgment against a pair of alleged DirecTV television pirates, saying an unauthorized decryption device law the company invoked against them does not apply." Apparently, the duo of defendants were brought to trial after they allegedly purchased a smart card programmer and used it for less than legal purposes (like "repairing pirate access cards disabled by DirecTV countermeasures"). But reportedly, the satellite provider has been going after folks who purchase these things, assuming that their intentions must be ill. Still, the pair in question may face lesser chargers if they did indeed break other laws, but at least individuals who like to tinker with smart card programmers can (hopefully) go about their day without worrying over the carrier breathing down their neck. [Warning: PDF read link]

[Image courtesy of CBP]