JWZ reports some of the sleazy things that DirecTV does to squeeze money out of its customers, of which he is one. In addition to the predictable stuff, like market-obscuring channel bundles and below-the-radar billing extras, there are weird cramming strategies designed to make customer service as inconvenient as possible.
I receive 626 channels, and watch shows from about 14 of them ever.
So here's how evil DirecTV is: The DirecTV web site lets you add programming packages online, but never, ever lets you delete one. If you click the "X" box next to any of them, it just tells you to call the 800 number and waste time in voice jail before talking to a human.
Making content available only as part of a contractual screwing doesn't legitimize piracy, but it does make it a problem largely of the industry's own creation. Everyone understands this: it's why politicians only care about piracy when they're paid to. The naked fact is now so obvious that Hollywood has no qualms about ripping up the checks in public.