Banned!! Ebay (EBAY) prohibits DirecTV's (DTV) P4 program card

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Includes: NNDS, T
by: David Strahlberg

Effective yesterday, February 21, 2005, Ebay (NASDAQ:EBAY) has banned the sale of DirecTV's P4 program cards, which are made by NDS Corp. (NNDS).

In a Listing Policy update dated 2/18/05, Ebay issued the following statement:

Because DirecTV will no longer activate re-sold P4 program cards, and because there are no other lawful uses for such cards in the secondary market, eBay will no longer allow the sale of P4 program cards.

EBay does not permit the sale of items that have the sole purpose of facilitating access to cable or satellite television programming without authorization or payment. Stating that the item is for educational or test purposes will not legitimize a product that is otherwise inappropriate. This ban on P4 cards will go into effect on February 21, 2005. Listing these items will result in listing cancellation, and repeat listings may result in account suspension.

The change in policy regarding the P4 card is part of Ebay's general ban on items that facilitate the theft of cable and satellite broadcasts.

Quick comments: Ebay's ban of the P4 card is commendable since the only aftermarket use for these cards is stealing cable/satellite broadcasts.  Despite its policies, Ebay still serves as a platform for buying and selling illicit and counterfeit items, such as this analog cable descrambler.  In fact, many of the cable descrambler sold on Ebay come with laughable disclaimers similar to this one:

THIS UNIT IS FOR TESTING PURPOSES ONLY, YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR CABLE PROVIDER BEFORE USING.

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