NDS seeks dismissal of Canal+ suit

Rupert Murdoch's television security unit NDS on Monday asked a federal judge to dismiss the $ 1 billion hacking lawsuit filed against it last month by rival Canal+ Group and its subsidiaries.


The move comes close on the heels of the San Francisco district court judge who is hearing the dispute agreeing to an accelerated discovery period in the case. The lawyers from both sides were to begin working out a schedule for each to review the other's documents and other relevant materials.

Canal+, the television security arm of troubled French media giant Vivendi Universal, said yesterday it would oppose the dismissal motion.


In what was essentially a string of technical arguments, NDS, while urging that the case be thrown out, said if any portion of the lawsuit is permitted to proceed, it should be transferred to the federal district court in Santa Ana, California where it belongs.


NDS' motion claims that Canal+'s complaint does "not belong in the Northern District of California" because Canal+'s allegations have "no connection whatsoever to this District." The motion asked the court to transfer the lawsuit to the Southern Division of the United States District Court for the Central District of California because defendant NDS Americas Inc. is located there, according to an official release.


Canal Plus, which operates a pay-TV service and whose technology arm designs security measures to keep the signal from being pirated, claimed in the suit that NDS engineers had hacked its security system and then made the relevant codes available for hackers on the Internet. NDS makes similar TV security systems, and NDS has claimed that Canal Plus is using the suit to deflect attention from alleged shortcomings in its own technology.


Both motions are scheduled to be heard on 30 May.

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