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Satellite piracy

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

People who enjoy satellite television courtesy of stolen signals may be in for a surprise more unpleasant than bad reception. Reports out of Ottawa indicate that the federal government is ready to attempt to increase the fines for stealing satellite signals. According to The Globe and Mail, a bill to amend the Radiocommunication Act will call for the maximum fine for satellite signal theft (for individuals) to be raised to $25,000, from the current $10,000. Companies that steal signals would face a fine of up to $200,000, up significantly from the current maximum of $25,000, according to the newspaper. The publication stated that new penalties for people caught selling decoder cards, which allow the theft of signals, would also be raised to $50,000 and two years in prison. Reports indicate the bill could be brought forward within days, but some Liberal MPs Ñ including the vice-chair of the industry committee Ñ believe there's little chance it will become law. Local problem Satellite TV piracy is a problem across Canada, and Flin Flon is no exception. Cst. Nolan Suss of the Flin Flon RCMP told The Reminder last year that police "know this is happening in town." The Supreme Court of Canada last year made it a crime to possess unauthorized satellites or access cards, sometimes called "smart cards." Police considered the matter a gray area until the ruling came down.