Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services

Sec. 31.12.  THEFT OF OR TAMPERING WITH MULTICHANNEL VIDEO OR INFORMATION SERVICES.  (a)  A person commits an offense if, without the authorization of the multichannel video or information services provider, the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1)  makes or maintains a connection, whether physically, electrically, electronically, or inductively, to:

(A)  a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system;  or

(B)  a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information system;

(2)  attaches, causes to be attached, or maintains the attachment of a device to:

(A)  a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system;  or

(B)  a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information services system;

(3)  tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to a device installed by a multichannel video or information services provider;  or

(4)  tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to an access device or uses that access device or any unauthorized access device to obtain services from a multichannel video or information services provider.

(b)  In this section:

(1)  “Access device,” “connection,” and “device” mean an access device, connection, or device wholly or partly designed to make intelligible an encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal carried by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(2)  “Encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal” means any type of signal or transmission not intended to produce an intelligible program or service without the use of a device, signal, or information provided by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(3)  “Multichannel video or information services provider” means a licensed cable television system, video dialtone system, multichannel multipoint distribution services system, direct broadcast satellite system, or other system providing video or information services that are distributed by cable, wire, radio frequency, or other media.

(c)  This section does not prohibit the manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of satellite receiving antennas that are otherwise permitted by state or federal law.

(d)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor:

(1)  has been previously convicted one time of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, or convicted two or more times of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor;  or

(2)  committed the offense for remuneration, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, unless it is also shown on the trial of the offense that the actor has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $2,000 and a minimum term of confinement of 180 days.

(e)  For the purposes of this section, each connection, attachment, modification, or act of tampering is a separate offense.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 858, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.31.htm