Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware Is A Federal Crime?

from the just-wondering dept

For years there have been questions about modifying video game boxes and whether or not it should really be a crime. After all, if you bought something, historically, that meant you owned it -- and you could modify it however you wanted. Thanks to lovely laws like the DMCA, however, that's no longer true. Federal prosecutors have now charged three men with copyright infringement for selling modified Xboxes. In some cases, it appears they were also selling copied games stored on these modified Xboxes -- which is copyright infringement. However, the charges should be for that, alone, and not for modifying the boxes. Unfortunately, because of the copied games, many people won't break out the two issues, but there are important distinctions, and it's an important legal issue if you believe that you should actually own what you bought.

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  1.  
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    BJC (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 3:57pm

    No Subject Given

    I modded my Xbox so I could run Xbox Media Centre, a free, open-source program developed to allow people to use their Xboxes as a home media player.

    Modding for me added features that Microsoft either should have included or should have embraced as something that added value (and sales!) to their systems.

     

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    Steve, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:12pm

    No Problem

    The modifying itself isn't the problem it's the legality of the end product.

    If I own a shotgun, I can put any type of grips and sights I want on it and no one cares. If I shorten the barrel below 16" I now have an illegal firearm. But it's the possession of the illegal firearm thats the problem, not the act of modifying the item.

    The real question should be is a modified x-box legal to own.

     

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    Brian, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:25pm

    It's not so much the mod chip...

    as the 77 pirated games they included in the deal. That's blatant copyright infringement. This is, for once, correct use of the DMCA.

     

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    DittoBox, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:27pm

    Re: No Problem

    If I own a shotgun, I can put any type of grips and sights I want on it and no one cares.

    I do! I was under the impression that with a shotgun one doesn't need sights!

    To me, owning a modified item isn't wrong. It's what you do with that modified item that matters. Say I own a hammer, it's a simple tool, deadly in and of itself, it's even more deadly when I sharpen the head to a point. But what if all I'm doing is using the hammer to fix things that are my own and smashing in people's faces with it?

    A modified hammer isn't illegal but if a few people get killed by it their family's would lobby for a law against it.

    The entire issue is how much society and/or the individual can be trusted over the corporation or the government.

    Frankly I trust the individual and society more than I trust an large corporation or government.

     

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    Michael, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:33pm

    It's not the mod...

    I don't think the issue is even in owning the modified xbox.

    Here, the case was against someone who is selling an xbox that has been modified specifically to play pirated games.

    The referenced article says they were charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

    I don't see this article implying that it's illegal to have a modified xbox. I see saying that it's illegal to sell a product that's been modified to do something that's illegal.

    There is actually only a small part of the article that talks about the pirated games they would pre-load...

     

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    John Harman, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:41pm

    No Subject Given

    Blatant violations. They modified the XBOX's prior to selling not to mention the copied games.

     

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    Justin, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:42pm

    Re: No Problem

    You're a moron. This is a gaming system!!! NOT A SHOTGUN!! Nobody's gonna die...

     

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    Sv, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:44pm

    Re: No Problem

    "But it's the possession of the illegal firearm thats the problem, not the act of modifying the item. The real question should be is a modified x-box legal to own."

    Well let's see... what are the odds of killing someone with your modded XBox?

     

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    Bruce Cheshire, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:48pm

    Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware Is

    By that logic, should I be able to modify software I bought and rightfully own and turn around sell the modified software without it being a crime?

    Couldn't the hardware scenario fall within the realm of patent infringement perhaps?

    The title of the paragraph would be better served if it was something like: "Please Explain Why Modifying Hardware You Bought and Selling It Is A Federal Crime?"

     

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    Jonathan, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 4:56pm

    Re: No Problem

    Just so you know... a shotgun can shoot slugs (a bullet that is more traditional as opposed to the scatter shot) and I could see someone using a sight with a slug.

     

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    John, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:00pm

    XBox Mod

    If you bought an Xbox and then mod it and only use it for your own pleasure I feel thats ok. To mod a console and then sell it for profit....then pass go and off to jail....

     

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    Mike (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:04pm

    Re: XBox Mod

    If you bought an Xbox and then mod it and only use it for your own pleasure I feel thats ok. To mod a console and then sell it for profit....then pass go and off to jail....

    Hmm. Why?

    If I buy a chair and paint it... and then sell it for profit, should I go to jail?

    What if I buy a computer, and add in a TV tuner and WiFi and more memory and sell it for profit?

    Go to jail?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:05pm

    No Subject Given

    Selling an X-Box with a load of copied games installed on the hard-drive is, and always has been, both illegal and stupid. Pre and post DMCA. Just like selling a Commodore 64 in the '80s with a box full of copied 5 1/4" game disks would have been illegal.
    It's the reason that the DMCA is a ridiculous law. The actual crimes it was intended to stop were already illegal... and it makes a bunch of competely reasonable behaviors a crime.

     

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    Mike (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    By that logic, should I be able to modify software I bought and rightfully own and turn around sell the modified software without it being a crime?


    Software does go by different rules, for a variety of reasons. The issue here is modifying hardware, which has always been allowed.

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, any other tangible good I buy and modify I'm allowed to sell for a profit (furniture, computers, etc.). Why not an Xbox?

     

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    Mark Shanson, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:07pm

    No Subject Given

    I really could care less about the DCMA. If I want an xbox thats modded, then I'm going to have one. (And I DO)

    Reasons I own a modded XboX
    1. Media Center
    2. Bigger hard drive so I can add MY (bought for legally) to it so I dont have to shuffle through the 45+ games I own. The same for MY movies which I also bought legally.
    3. My grandmother who lives in Europe buys me games for presents which I couldnt play using an un-moddified XboX.
    4.Browsing the net. (so I dont have to power on my computer to check my email.)

    Theres many more reasons to own a modded xbox which all are legal.

    So if the DCMA wants to shit themselves and take completely off on me for this then BE MY GUEST.

    I for one can show that everything done with my XboX is PERFECTLY legal.

    Other then that, I have to aggree with the DCMA on the Cali guys who sold a modded XboX WITH 77 DAMN GAMES! You dont sell pirated software. Those guys are tottaly n00bz, and should be arrested for both the illegal activity AND their n00bness.

    That done and said, I'd support the guys if it wasnt for that 77 pirated games B.S!

     

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    Monkey Joe, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:11pm

    Re: No Problem

    So if i modify my Xbox to send a 240v charge into the users hand when he or she gets shot playing halo. Or modify it so it can send a huge voltage down the wire when playing online. This would be OK?

    The joys of a political correct world where the government has to protect stupid americans from winning darwin awards.

    If you don't like something create something better that does what you want it to.

     

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    Sam, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:11pm

    Ur missing the point

    The point isn't that they are modding xbox's.

    The whole "Using them to copy rented games" can be covered by just saying that they wanted it so they can put games they already own on the HDD to save load times.

    The legality of it is that they are using Microsoft's technology, modding it a smidge, and then reselling it to make money. You can't use somebody else's technology and hard work and then make money off it for urself.

     

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    plateau, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:18pm

    Re: No Problem

    Cell phone providers block certain features on the phones they provide so they can just flip various bits to change the functionality available. This allows them to use the same hardware and provide various trim levels, at different costs.

    I can see the legal issues with performing mods on a cell phone to take advantage of features of a mobile that hasn't been paid for.

    If there are similar situations on the XBOX, performing those mods should be illegal, IMHO.

    The hardware is sold as a platform for software and services, allowing unrestricted modding takes away from Microsofts ability to sell those services. Without the ability to restrict mods, I would imagine Microsoft would have to sell the hardware for much more. It might help the legal issues if the hardware was sold outright as part of a service ... similar to a cable box.

     

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  19.  
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    ehrichweiss, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:19pm

    The ONLY thing that was illegal was..

    them pre-loading the 77 games onto the boxes. Really, that's it. There's no law against modding the hardware no matter how hard they try to make you think that could be a violation of the DMCA there are still PS2 mod chips being sold every day and I haven't heard of the first "bust" regarding them.

    It SOLELY has to do with the preloaded games. Nothing more. It has nothing to do with the modding other than as an incidental thing.

     

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  20.  
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    dAVe, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:21pm

    there IS a crime here!

    the problem is the repackaging and reselling of hardware, which is an infringement. it's the same as selling modified cable boxes designed to unscramble unsubscribed channels.

    if the guys wanted to remain within the bounds of the law, they would have sold mod chips only, maybe (maybe!) with install instructions.

    afaik, no mod chip makers have ever been successfully sued in court...

     

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  21.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Ur missing the point

    The legality of it is that they are using Microsoft's technology, modding it a smidge, and then reselling it to make money. You can't use somebody else's technology and hard work and then make money off it for urself.

    Again, that's not true at all. I can buy a computer, modify it, and resell it. What's illegal about that? They legally bought the Xbox before modifying it, so they don't owe Microsoft any more money for reselling it.

     

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  22.  
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    haggie, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:23pm

    No Subject Given

    If the sole purpose of the mod was to enable copyright infringement, I would say that it is correct application of the DMCA. If there are non-infringing reasons for the mod (but also including possible infringement) it probably is a violation of the DMCA (although it shouldn't be in my opinion) and if the mod does not enable any infringing activity, the DMCA should NOT apply even if manufcturer or reseller doesn't like what you are doing with the modified box.

    That's in a perfect world where judges understand copyright law and fair use and where individuals have as much influence as the largest corporations.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:25pm

    Re: there IS a crime here!



    Again... (I'm repeating myself here....) why? Why is that infringement. Anything else I buy I can modify and resell. Modifying and reselling it doesn't break copyright law. Using the device to infringe copyrights does. These guys shouldn't be arrested for modding the box, but just for offering the unauthorized copies of games.

     

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  24.  
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    Chris, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:29pm

    Re: No Problem

    You're a moron. This is a gaming system!!! NOT A SHOTGUN!! Nobody's gonna die... It's an analogy...you moron. "But it's the possession of the illegal firearm thats the problem, not the act of modifying the item. The real question should be is a modified x-box legal to own." Well let's see... what are the odds of killing someone with your modded XBox? Who said anything about killing? When companies first made shotguns did they have the intent to go around and kill everyone/thing that got it their way? No, I think not. But I dont know man, you have to watch out for those kill XBoxes. I was so scared of buying an XBox at first but you know, the sarcasm in your comment really gave me peace of mind. Thanks Back to the subject, the only thing illegal here is that he sold the XBox with 77 pirated games, not that it was modded.

     

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  25.  
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    Alan, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:38pm

    Re: No Problem

    Because they believe that since you are buying something that can be intended for playing copied games that is the sole purpose of buying a modified product...they dont understand that a modded product adds functionality that should have been there in the first place...having the games preloaded is the only crime here...should of sold it on ebay and should have taken the games off of the system

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 5:47pm

    Re: It's not so much the mod chip...

    as the 77 pirated games they included in the deal. That's blatant copyright infringement. This is, for once, correct use of the DMCA.
    No, copyright infringment was illegal before the DMCA.

     

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  27.  
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    Daniel DeZago, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:00pm

    modded xbox

    I totally agree. No one would think of throwing me in jail because I put a turbocharger in my car. The general contractor or developer would not come after me because I upgraded the roof on my house. I should not be liable because I put a different hard drive or different processor into a video game console that I purchased. I did not have to sign a liscence agreement for the console. At the same time of course you should get busted for preloading that hard drive with games copied off of discs that those kids do not own. On a parallel note to that though I do not think that I should get in trouble for loading games that I legally have purchased onto my own hard drive if I had the technical know-how neither should someone that I pay to do that for me get in trouble.

     

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  28.  
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    Ackphlat, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:16pm

    Re: No Problem

    Not quite. Youe are required to have a gunsmith license in most states to modify the barrel of any weapon. Technically you cannot cut a 30" barrel down to 24". The feds have a problem with this also but I believe enforcement is left to the state.

     

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  29.  
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    Don Gray, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:48pm

    Re: No Problem

    I call bullshit.
    Which state do you need a license to cut a rifle barrel down from 30" to 24"?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:50pm

    Re: No Problem

    "Well let's see... what are the odds of killing someone with your modded XBox?"
    Actually, it's quite possible

     

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  31.  
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    Scott, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:54pm

    Modifying your hardware - xbox

    Mike, I think a distinction needs to be made between modifying hardware for personal use and modifying for resale. I concur that the former should be considered an inherent right as long as the innovation is not illegal in and of itself, as in some firearm mods., etc. The latter has dangerous business implications and should thus be regulated.

     

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  32.  
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    Paul, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Ur missing the point

    You can though, think of all the people who mod or restore cars and then sell them for tons more than they were originally worth
    houses even, what if you buy a house, remodle it then sell it for more

     

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    Paul, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:02pm

    Re: No Problem

    I'm not sure about requiring a license to shorten the barrel, but you're required to register and pay a hefty tax for owning a shortened shotgun

     

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  34.  
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    Thomas, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:03pm

    Case to strengthen DMCA

    These guys shouldn't be arrested for modding the box, but just for offering the unauthorized copies of games.
    The reason they are able to invoke DMCA here is that the mod chip they sold **made it possible** to infringe on copyright. That portion of the DMCA is really shaky legally. I think the DMCA is being invoked here because these guys are clearly guilty of copyright infringement with the 77 pirate games. Microsoft is hoping to strengthen the weak provisions of DMCA by winning a case it is associated with, regardless of conviction/aquittal on the DMCA charges.
    Don't get me wrong, I hate the DMCA as much anyone. I just see this as a strategy move to make the DMCA look better to the public, regardless of outcome. If they somehow manage to get convictions on the DMCA counts, well then they've strengthened its legal standing.

     

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  35.  
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    Shane, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    By that logic, should I be able to modify software I bought and rightfully own and turn around sell the modified software without it being a crime?

    Yes you should be able to modify software and resell it if you purchase a license for the original software for each distributed copy of the modified software. Same with the Xbox.The hardware is the license.

    I believe this DMCA law to be an infringement on free enterprise.

     

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  36.  
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    JP, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    So when I decide I've had enough of my Xbox and toss it out the window and destroy it, thus modifying its original purpose from gaming system to projectile, I can be sued? Like many before me have said, if I want to modify a piece of hardware I paid for, I should be able to do it. I can do so to almost anything else I buy, so why should there be a special set of rules for M$? I can modify my vehicles, my computers, my watches, my jewelry, my guns (to an extent, but that's a different ballgame), and countless other possessions of mine. Why should any product or company or group of people get their own special set of rules? Are they too good for everyone else?

    It should matter what the government thinks the intent is for. They can bust the modder when, and only when, he actually uses it for illegal activity, such as copyright infringement.

     

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  37.  
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    JP, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    So when I decide I've had enough of my Xbox and toss it out the window and destroy it, thus modifying its original purpose from gaming system to projectile, I can be sued? Like many before me have said, if I want to modify a piece of hardware I paid for, I should be able to do it. I can do so to almost anything else I buy, so why should there be a special set of rules for M$? I can modify my vehicles, my computers, my watches, my jewelry, my guns (to an extent, but that's a different ballgame), and countless other possessions of mine. Why should any product or company or group of people get their own special set of rules? Are they too good for everyone else?

    It shouldn't matter what the government thinks the intent is for. They can bust the modder when, and only when, he actually uses it for illegal activity, such as copyright infringement.

     

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  38.  
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    Todd, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:41pm

    Guess that means every auto with a mod is subject

    So every automobile that is modified and resold to someone other than the original owner is now subject to indictment. This sets a bad precedent and I can't see that holding up in court. I can see it voiding the warranty, but a crime? This is over the top and proving more and more that freedom is dying.

     

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  39.  
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    JP, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    Sorry, typo. In the second paragraph, it should read "It shouldn't matter..."

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:52pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    We all know the story about XBOX modders being arrested, don't we? It'll be old news in a week.

     

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  41.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 20th, 2005 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    Mike, I think a distinction needs to be made between modifying hardware for personal use and modifying for resale.

    Why? As plenty of others have pointed out, modifying a car or a house or a computer and reselling it seems perfectly reasonable.

    I concur that the former should be considered an inherent right as long as the innovation is not illegal in and of itself, as in some firearm mods., etc. The latter has dangerous business implications and should thus be regulated.

    Again, I don't buy it. It has business model implications, sure... but since when is it the government's job to protect someone's business model? That's the job of the company alone. If their business model can't withstand what the market wants, then they need to change. Not have people arrested.

     

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  42.  
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    Charlie, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    All I have to say is children... get a couple and then you see why people want to have mod'd consoles and copied DVD's... grime and slime all over any disc they can find. I wish politicians had to worry about buying the same disc twice because you have your Halo 2 crushed in the VCR player.

     

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    x_xbox_modder, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    I used to mod boxes professionally. It's actually legal to mod a box with extra hardware (a mod chip). As soon as you change the bios to make the device BOOT to that mod chip though, it's illegal. Also if you change the software on the hard drive of the xbox at all (adding a different dashboard), it's illegal. I'm not saying it's right, but that is how all the stores that sell modded xboxes get around it...they do the hard part...the solderring and the actual openning and placing of the extra hardware in the box...but it's up to the user that recieves the box as to what they do with it when they get it. I never sent a modded xbox to anyone I knew with a bios other than the M$ bios and you had to find your own dashboard as well as how to install it properly.

     

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    Landon, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    Can someone please tell me or at least direct me on something that tells you how to mod an x-box in detail. I dont know what to buy, or what chip does what, blah blah blah.... Thanks.

     

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    x_xbox_modder, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

     

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    fredfrumppy, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    Patent infringement would be if you modified the product and sold it claiming that you had designed it without crediting the original designer, or without their permission. Also, to have a reasonable copyrights suet, you would have to actually be marketing the product on a large enough scale to hurt the original designer, not a few items on an underground market.

     

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    Mawkus, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Ur missing the point

    1. The manufacturer of a tangable item sells the item at a profit.
    2. You modify thier product and resell it for a profit
    3. You do this over and over and over
    4. This means more revenue and more profit for both the manufacturer and you.
    5. Any manufacturer would be stupid to discourage this kind of activity.
    And besides...
    If microsoft didn't want me moding my X-Box they would use some of their $40,000,000,000 to make the x-box how I want it.
    The only reason they haven't is because it doesn't hit the demographic they are wanting to sell to. Also, the market is not large enough.
    So instead, they make the XP Media Center software, and make my PC talk to my X-Box across the network. This hits more of thier demographic and makes more sense for them as a company.
    The only thing that needs to be watched is the unlicensed distribution of copyrighted material - The Games

     

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  48.  
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    Landon, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    Thank you so much for that valuable link, you would think that if I know how to use this site I would have already tried that? Now, can someone please recommend me a site that doesnt require me to........ Hahaha. That was what I originally typed, and then so I was sure I didnt sound like a jackass I double checked that google search. Out of all the google searches I tried, I must have missed that one. Thanks for the help. lol

     

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  49.  
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    Jon, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 11:31pm

    No Subject Given

    But what some of you are straying away from is the fact that there WERE illegal copies of games on the Xbox. That alone is where the problem lies. The fact that the people in question had to modify the Xbox to get the illegal copies on there is irrelevant. It's the illegal games that are the real issue.

     

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    A Funny Guy, Dec 20th, 2005 @ 11:54pm

    No Subject Given

    Ok that does it. I'm gonna mod my rear-end so that government will have easier access to kiss my A$$.
    Again I say people. Passive rebellion is the key here. Ignore the law and to not comply. You folks with money...spend it and keep these freedom killers in court till they go broke.
    The free people of a society will always have more resources than the MAN.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    McMerg, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 12:02am

    Re: Ur missing the point

    Somewhat irrelevant but to be pedantic, many console systems - especially early in their life - are sold at a loss, with the intention of making the profit off the games sales. The Xbox, PSP, PS2, Xbox360, are all examples of this, and the PS3 will follow this path too.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Mark, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 1:41am

    The point bein

    How many people have actually looked at the EULA for an Xbox?

    I do believe it says something about not modifying it for any purpose. In fact, they hide the screws and use a particular type of nut to *prevent* people from "MOD"ing the box.

    Its no different than if you cracked open the case to a Dell computer, you would invalidate your waranty, which is what the whole issue about modding is about. Modded Xbox's (and computers in general that are sold "as a package") aren't covered by a waranty. If you mod the xbox and use it for personal use, there is no legality.

    The lawsuit was about the 77 games, not the modded xbox.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Mike, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 5:20am

    Re: No Problem

    I modded my Shotgun to play Xbox games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    FireMonkey, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 6:51am

    Another analogy

    Last year I bought a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Once it was mine (I paid cash), I heavily modified the engine, and now it runs on high octane racing fuel and has a Nitrous kit installed. I also gutted the interior and added a lightweight racing seat with a 5 point harness. I changed the hood and some body panels to carbon fiber to even further cut down on the weight. Now it's a race-read machine... This thing can do over 200MPH, which is obviously not legal. Just owning the car and driving it to the grocery store at 25MPH (like I do *wink*) is perfectly legal, though...

    Now I have the car up for sale. And you're telling me that I can go to jail for selling a car that MIGHT be used to brek the law?!?

    note: I agree that selling pirated games was wrong, and I hope he gets convicted for that crime - but ONLY that crime, and not for selling modified hardware.)

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Ben, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 7:12am

    Re: The point bein

    Thank you Mark. Someone finaly got the point.

    Its illegal because the EULA of the XBOX says you can't mod it FOR ANY REASON. Your not supposed to even open the Xbox, thats why they hide the screws. Game consoles aren't like computers because you Aren't aloud to mod them. its not like a PC, game consoles have different laws than PCs. the only place your aloud to mod a system is Australia, and thats only the PS2.

    To some it may not seem like a far way to do things, its how the game market has always been. and it will probably always be that way. i know some people mod the system and use it legally, but mod'ing a system is like mod'ing software becuase your changing how the system and software function. with a mod'ed system you can rent or borrow games and own them forever.

    if you want to compare it to a gun, adding a scope is like buying an accessery (memory card, light gun, etc.). but mod'ing the system would be like mod'ing your gun to fire at full auto which is illegal. your changing how the item functions.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Ben, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 7:17am

    Re: Another analogy

    Mod'ing the hardware is illegal too. not just pirating the software. its not like a car, its a console. different laws apply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Mark Shanson, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 7:52am

    Just take a look at my Harddrive.

    If the DMCA wants to have a peek in my hard-drive, they sure as hell can be my guest. Theres NO pirate copies, and there NEVER has been. I earn enough money to actually buy the games when I want. So I really dont need pirated games. (To me its just so much stress with the downloading, burning. Why not spend the 50-60 bucks and have it done for you LEGALLY???)

    The bottom line is, my XboX (modified) is a perfect example of a LEGAL modded system. (In terms of software usage.) Now if M$ has a prob with me modifying their hardware... thats another thing. But either way, I'm NEVER not going to own an unmoddified XboX, the same for my new 360. Just havent found any good mods for it yet.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    mike, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 8:08am

    XDK use.

    Running Xbox software that was compiled with the XDK does not necc. make it free software.

    Also if you are running a softmod, thats one thing. But running a chipped xbox with anything other than the cromwell is likely illegal also.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    nunya bidness, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 8:16am

    Re: Modifying your hardware - xbox

    Most people know that you can NOT modify a motor vehicle any way you want, and sell it, even if you just race it on a track, it must meet certain inspections to be race legal, and even tighter laws govern street use. Houses are even more tightly controlled regarding modification, and must meet certain criteria prior to sale. Personal use of the aforementioned items is hard to control and ill consequences due to modifications usually sort them self out. That is a weak argument, are you even old enough to drive?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Mark Shanson, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 8:30am

    No Subject Given

    I'm 23. So I've been driving for a while. I have a grandmother who lives overseas. She knows I'm a game freak and she likes to buy the "new" games that come out every once in a while for me. And as we all know, PAL wont run on an NTSC console. So therefore it is modded. At first, thats the only thing which was modded. Then I saw another modded Xbox with Home Media Center and a bigger hard-drive. So I thought, great, now I can get a Media Center for my home theatre.

    Thats how my modded xbox came to pass.

    If M$ had made the XboX region free in the first place, I'd probably never had modded the damn thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 8:30am

    Re: The point bein

    Its illegal because the EULA of the XBOX says you can't mod it FOR ANY REASON. Your not supposed to even open the Xbox, thats why they hide the screws. Game consoles aren't like computers because you Aren't aloud to mod them. its not like a PC, game consoles have different laws than PCs. the only place your aloud to mod a system is Australia, and thats only the PS2.

    ------

    My X-Box was given to me by the previous owner. I've never seen, read, signed, or clicked any sort of EULA. Do I get infected by the EULA by being in the same room as an X-Box?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    nunya bidness, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 8:58am

    Re: No Subject Given

    My reply was not to you, your comments make perfect sense, it was to that kid Mike who said I can do anything to a car or a house, or something stupid like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Ben, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 9:09am

    Re: The point bein

    You are subject to the EULA by owning the xbox. sorry dude, i don't write, or even agree with EULAs. I'm just saying where M$ is coming from. I hate EULAs but that doesn't mean that i don't have to follow them. granted I'm not going to delete music off of my computer if i go bankrupt so i guess i'd be breaking the law according to sony.

    EULAs are the downside to owning a console/software. but if you want to use them thats part of the price you pay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Jon, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 9:15am

    Re: It's not the mod...

    True its not the mod but how is it illegal to sell something modded? Take a Hot Rod for instance. Some people mod their car themselves, others prefer to pay someone else to do it but just because a car has a large engine that is capable of doing 140mph does that make owning the car or purchasing one illegal. Saying a xbox is specifically modded to play pirated games may be true but your correct in that it was the inclusion of pirated games that was against the law. As far as I'm aware there is no law making posession of a modded xbox illegal, only posession of pirated/copyright violating material.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Mark Shanson, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 9:22am

    Re: No Subject Given

    My bad.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 21st, 2005 @ 9:48am

    Re: The point bein

    Its illegal because the EULA of the XBOX says you can't mod it FOR ANY REASON.

    Ah, no. First of all, if it was just a violation of the EULA, it would be a *civil* suit between Microsoft and the modder. However, this is a federal crime. That means it's not about the EULA... which has questionable legal validity anyway.

    Your not supposed to even open the Xbox, thats why they hide the screws. Game consoles aren't like computers because you Aren't aloud to mod them. its not like a PC, game consoles have different laws than PCs.

    Again, no one has explained "why" it's different other than that the companies that sell the devices keep telling you it is. Why do you accept that?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Chris J, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 10:18am

    Seriously...

    There will always be a group who breaks the boundries, bends the rules, and the vast majority will never get caught. Modding the Xbox for your own personal use isn't a bad thing. It is convenient to store all your games on a bigger Hard Drive; no fumbling with CDs. It is convenient to have an entire Multimedia Suite all in one spot. It was just plain stupid of those people to SELL pirated games. That is really the only issue here. How many of us go 5-10 mph over the speed limit? That is obviously Illegal. There are clearly stated road signs every few 10ths of a mile reminding you that what you're doing is illegal. How many people have actually read the EULA on their Xbox?; How many people actually sit down and read ANY fine print? Sucks that they got caught, but they got what they deserved for being stupid.:. Modding your Xbox: $25, New 120GB Hard Drive: $85, The look on an amateur modder's face when he's arrested and convicted for a Federal Crime: Priceless

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Landon, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 10:40am

    Re: The point bein

    I think your on drugs. No, just because the EULA says you cant do it, does not make it illegal. If this were true then every single company would be puting some crazy stuff in their UA's and trying to make them the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 10:42am

    Re: The point bein

    You are subject to the EULA by owning the xbox. sorry dude, i don't write, or even agree with EULAs. I'm just saying where M$ is coming from.

    ---

    Dude, no I'm not. I am in no way bound by some quasi-legal contract between two other people. My accepting a gift from a friend in no way binds me to arbitrary conditions Microsoft imposed on the buyer.

    If I use it for copying copyrighted stuff, I'm in the wrong, because that's a crime. But it has nothing to do with the EULA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Mike Mixer, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 11:22am

    Re: there IS a crime here!

    Your example of the cable boxes is flawed in that they are all originally owned by the provider and to have one without paying them for it is theft to begin with. Secondly, getting a larger number of channels than you paid for is also theft. Just modifying anything that you buy
    for your own use should be completely legal,as long as the mods are to be used for legal purposes. Where these yahoos get owned is that they obviously intended for an illegal act to take place,always a one way ticket to jail. The danger of this incident is that it will encourage
    lawmakers to curb historically sacrosanct rights
    of an individual to do what he wants with what he owns. It all started with land use laws and is slowly creeping it's way into consumer purchases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    DittoBox, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 11:44am

    Re: No Problem

    That would me one badbad club if someone attatched a large handle...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    DittoBox, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 11:46am

    Re: Please Explain Why Modifying Your Own Hardware

    With software you own a license to use it, with hardware you generally aren't agreeing to any licenses, you buy the product, the plastic etc., not the "use" of the software.

    No one can really "own" software, it's just an idea. It's not really a tangible "thing" like an xbox, a shot gun, or a hammer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    FireMonkey, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 11:59am

    Re: The point being

    Just because something has an EULA does not necessarily make it a legally binding contract. You simply can't enforce an unlawful contract, no matter who agreed to it or signed it.
    People try silly agreements all the time. My favorite example involves the liability waivers I had to sign the first time I went skydiving. Some of the highlights:
    1) You're jumping out of an airplane, so there's a chance that you will die or get hurt.
    2) If you die or get hurt, you cannot sue us.
    3) If you die or get hurt, your estate or your survivor(s) cannot sue us.
    4) If you DO sue us and win, you have to give all of your proceeds to us.
    I happened to be there with my girlfriend (who is a lawyer), and we both had a good chuckle while we signed our names about 200 times. NONE of it was legally enforceable, but they still wouldn't let us jump without fillig it out.
    It's the same with the XBox EULA; it's not necessarily enforceable, but you still have to take some sort of measure that passively states that you agree to the terms (like break the seal on the box).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Landon, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 3:58pm

    Re: The point being

    How can you agree to a EULA when you could not even read it. And once you open the box to actually read the EULA you can no longer take it back. I dont remember seeing a EULA on the box, or anything on the seal that said "If you break this seal, you agree to the EULA." Just imagine going into Best Buy and trying to return an X-box because you did not want to agree to the EULA. Also, even if they did let you return the X-Box because you didnt want to agree, would they still charge you the 20% opened item fee?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Fuck you, Jan 9th, 2006 @ 8:47pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    IF I BUY IT, IT'S MINE and I cand do whatever the FUCK I WANT WITH IT. Enough with the monopolistic mofos!

    SUCK ME MICROSOFT!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    ME AGAIN, Jan 9th, 2006 @ 9:06pm

    up yours cruel corporate fucking world

    A while ago, I bought a game from Sony. My kids ruined the game by scratching it. I called Sony and requested another game (which was more than 30 days old at that time) and they told me to buy another one. Question: IS a DVD woth 60$????? - NO. Is game worth 60$????- NO much more.. Then why am I paying those 60$ for? - The RIGHT to do whatever the fuck I want with it. I told that to SONY, and I also said that I'll send them 3 bucks to cover their new DVD and the case + SH, because I've already paid once for the right to use the software. Micro$hit replaces free of charge any CD with software if one can prove that was legaly bought form them. You draw the conclusions!

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Justin, Mar 19th, 2006 @ 1:44pm

    Think of a race car

    I can buy a brand new Mustang, put a supercharger on it, dual exhaust, nitrous, new wheels, tires, and a body kit. Sell it for twice what I paid for, thats not illegal. But the gas i drove off with twenty minutes earlier thats still in the tank...... thats illegal.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2006 @ 6:51am

    Re: The point bein

    Its no different than if you cracked open the case to a Dell computer, you would invalidate your waranty, /

    Actually, Dell doesnt care if you change your hardware - but it wont be covered under warranty. End users are actually expected to open their PC and troubleshoot if there are any issues.

    Please - Think before you speak!

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    nathan, May 21st, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    what about burning services

    if the reason they were being sued is because of the preloaded games, then tell me what the difference is between buying every game for almost every console from burning services and recieving them in the mail on dvd's and selling an xbox with the same stuff just instead of on dvd's is on a hard drive (which most of the burning services i have seen will charge you 25 bucks to put whatever you want on your hard if you send it in. the only difference is your using that hard drive in your xbox. same (delete whatever roms you dont legaly own within 24 hours)rule still applies.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Dec 7th, 2007 @ 1:33am

    Here's what i think

    The Reality is that there are rules put out that explain copyright infringement.

    But here is what i feel on the matter.
    Yes it is wrong to make a profit for software that you didnt create.

    I do agree with everyone when others agree that if you bought it you should be able to with as you please.

    I still own a Xbox and feel i would like the benefit of modding it.
    there are many Reasons why people would wanna do it. i think it would be cool to upgrade it.
    Advanced computer users buy cheap CPUs so that they can overclock them and make it faster and its ok in fact motherboard manufactuers make it easier for users to do it.

    yea they say its a risk and people have to accept that risk.

    so why cant they say the same thing.
    to overclock a CPU it takes a jumper on the board to be moved or change settings in a bios. to mod a Xbox you have to solder a chip/board and change certain things so wouldnt it be safe to say that there is a larger risk there.

    but when it comes to games why can't microsoft make more money by offering games made by them to be sold to those Xbox users with a modded Xbox that can download by them to their hard drive. To avoid infringment I know for a fact that certain websites can get any/all information bout your hardware so i know microsoft can make it where they would check the system before allowing downloads and make mod chips specifically for those to download software from them including software to amp the xbox. This can also make more money for them because there are alot of people that cant even afford a next gen XBOX 360 so this would give gamers the ability to afford the upgrade to give them the feeling of something close to a nxt gen system this would also give help to law enforcement to know where the illegal infringement is coming from.

    But yes i will say again i know that people would like to get an easy deal especially that there alot of stores that dont even sell origanal XBox games anymore. give the game to the gamers and allow people to feel free with the property they own.

    and that is why i think

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Mar 4th, 2009 @ 12:10am

    moddifed xbox

    its not hte modd that matters here or the coppying of the games its about the copyrights on the games they did it becasue the three men sold the modd and the burned games and the law says you can not resell or repreduse copys they dont say anything about making backups for yourselfs so therefore it about the copy rights that they have about selling them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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