Australian Supreme Court Wants To Mod-Chip Their Consoles

from the you-bought-it,-you-can-mod-it dept

In an Australian Supreme Court case that has received a fair bit of attention, the justices decided that using mod-chips on a gaming console do not violate anti-circumvention laws. As Michael Geist explains, this is a big deal, because it shows how a country can agree to the stringent WIPO treaty that more or less exports strict intellectual property laws from the US, but still carve out reasonable rulings in the courts. The court specifically discusses how this ruling doesn’t violate the treaty. Also, the court points out the important rights that an individual has over any product he or she buys — which seems to be a right that is disappearing in other parts of the world.

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Comments on “Australian Supreme Court Wants To Mod-Chip Their Consoles”

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James Quintana Pearce (user link) says:

Re: Laws only refer to region hacks

The anti-circumvention laws are to stop people from bypassing copyright protection measures.

The whole point with the mod-chips is that they didn’t violate the law because the measures they circumvented weren’t copyright protection but regional encoding. Australia has “parallel importatation” laws which ensure that Australians can import legal goods from anywhere in the world without worrying about actions from the copyright holders. Obviously, regional encoding attempts to prevent that, which runs counter to the spirit of the law…

Here’s a suggestion: If the companies stop regional encoding there’ll be no excuse for mod-chips…and they’ll be participating in the “global economy” they keep touting.

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