Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
freedom to tinker, mod chips, uk, xbox


UK Again Says That Mod Chipping Isn't Legal

from the you-bought-it,-but-you-don't-own-it dept

The war against actually being able to own the products you (thought you) bought continues. An appeal by a guy convicted for installing mod chips in video game consoles in the UK has been rejected. Even though the guy himself might not have been violating copyright law, apparently the fact that such mod chips could be used by others to potentially violate copyright law is enough to get him convicted. So, basically, modifying the hardware that you legally purchased? Not legal.

And... in somewhat related news, a bunch of folks have sent in the story of Microsoft cutting off what may be hundreds of thousands of players from Xbox Live for using modded consoles. Microsoft, obviously, is trying to stop players from cheating (one use of a modded console), which is understandable, and certainly within Microsoft's right. Still, the action does come across as a bit heavy handed. There are perfectly good reasons to mod a gaming console, such as to play unofficial games -- and as much as I understand the desire to stop people from cheating or playing pirated games, it still seems like you should be able to modify hardware that you legally purchased.

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  1. identicon
    DarkNemesis618, 11 Nov 2009 @ 8:39pm

    In All Honesty

    While I don't agree with the UK ruling, I do agree with Microsoft's take on giving the modders the boot. Cheating is a very valid reason to kick someone off and modding makes it all the easier to cheat.

    NOW, at the same time, Microsoft is not coming to your door demanding for you to give back the console, they are simply disconnecting and banning the console (not the user if I'm not mistaken) from the XBOX Live service. So if you want to mod your console to play unofficial games, go right ahead. Even if you do get banned, you're still able to play those games.

    Hell the 360 is getting cheap enough nowadays just buy an old one maybe off Craigslist, mod it and use it offline, keeping your normal one for online use.

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