I neither condone nor condem the interception of satellite tv signals
that are for sale.
I don't know about the established case law. It would be interesting
What has been discussed here has been about how people FEEL about the
morality of decoding sat tv signals.
I suggest that you look at CFR (code of federal regulations) part 96
or 97 I believe, which governs the use of public airways.
People have been intercepting and decoding radio signals for years
(our own government does it). It is a common practice for reporters
to monitor police and fire frequencies and to profit from what they
hear there. People intercept and decode cell and wireless phone and
wireless computer communications. You can legally monitor and decrypt
(if necessary) military and law enforcement signals. Try marine
channels 21 and 23 which the Coast Guard uses (in some cases) for law
The FCC says the airwaves and signals transmitted therein are part of
the public domain.
Now lets look at how those signals are gotten in the first place.
Your cable company gets them via a 3rd party satellite. You can
legally get those same signals yourself. Where do you think NBC gets
them? From a satellite. Several years ago I watched Wimbledon from a
satellite of the originating signal. It was broadcast without sound
and many companies got it and added their own commentary in any number
of languages and then redestributed to cable networks and satellite
TV. Are the local police going to break my door down and arrest me?
No, because I broke no law. I did not retransmit or sell the
picture. That would be a violation of copyright law. So where along
this whole (and large) path from origin to final destination(s), did
it become illegal to intercept the signal?
An interesting case, one of the cable networks audio channels is in
the 2 meter ham band. Is it illegal to listen to? No, and quite the
opposite, the cable companies have been sued for malicious
If you have a LEGAL (and not a moral or logical) basis for a rebuttal,
I would like to hear it.