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OC man charged with modifying video game consoles

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 05:44 AM
I never knew that the modification of hardware as done by so many people, could be thought of as illegal. In this story there is no talk of the sale or reproduction of copywrited material.

How is the law being broken? All he did was modify equipment. Just because the equipment could be used to play pirated games doesn't mean that it will be. Just because a person has a gun does not mean that they will be killing with it.

If reverse engineering a console and modifying it is illegal then how man corporations are guilty of the same? Most major electronics companies are guilty of the same. They will buy the competitors system, reverse engineer the system and find out what they can do to circumvent the copywrite and patent laws so as to make a competitive product that performes equal to or better.

So in my research I looked up the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. These are some bullet points found on a .EDU site.

· Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

· Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software.

· Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.

· Provides exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain circumstances.

· In general, limits Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.

· Service providers, however, are expected to remove material from users' web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement.

· Limits liability of nonprofit institutions of higher education -- when they serve as online service providers and under certain circumstances -- for copyright infringement by faculty members or graduate students.

· Requires that "webcasters" pay licensing fees to record companies.

· Requires that the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with relevant parties, submit to Congress recommendations regarding how to promote distance education through digital technologies while "maintaining an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners and the needs of users."

· States explicitly that "[n]othing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use..."

This "ACT" screams of corporate lobbyists bullying the consumer once again. What is most interesting about this law is that it almost coincides with the progression of technology. It is almost as if they saw that this was going to be a problem years in advance and acted to preemptively protect corporations.

Now back to the main story. Could some one please explain to me what in the hell Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to do with a citizen of the USA reverse engineering consoles. This is not their area of law enforcement.

The use of "ICE" seems to be a way to circumvent the court warrant system. "ICE" operates outside of the warrant laws. They do not have to have a court order in order to search a house. This to me is an abuse of our system. I may be reading a little more into the story but to me it seems as if they did not have the proof they needed to get a warrant so they just used a branch of law enforcement that did not need one.

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(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 05:48 AM
This is rediculous. They are going to start busting people for everything nowadays. For years many technology hobbyists have taken apart things and messed around with them. I for instance have a friend who takes stuff a part and modifies it just for fun.

Also I believe you could freely buy mod chips on the net for playstations and stuff and I never heard about any of those people getting busted. This is pretty much the same thing, right?

Plus they are never going to stop software pirates and stuff, ever since the late 70s or so people have pirated software, its just always going to happen.


[edit on 4-8-2009 by jeasahtheseer]

[edit on 4-8-2009 by jeasahtheseer]

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 05:59 AM
reply to post by jeasahtheseer

Just like the war on terror, the war on drugs, wars over seas, they are never meant to be won. You would be sorely mistaken if you think the people implementing these agendas truly believed they could end any of those things permanently.

By nature these wars are in place to never be won, so that extreme measures can always be taken with little, to no resistance.

What people fail to see here, is the fact that situations like this are no different than the aforementioned, other than the fact that they are not publicly declared wars. Freedoms and rights are always taken under the guise of a noble cause, unfortunately it's always the common man who falls victim.

At first people ignore it when someone gets their entire life shattered because they broke an illogical, fringe law. But then as the erroneous and unjust laws become more sweeping, more people are effected. Until one day, everyone is breaking a law just by waking up that day and everyone can have their life shattered over practically nothing, especially things that do no harm to any person or their property. Which ultimately, are the only two laws which humans must abide by.

Every other law we have been fooled into fearing has nothing to do with bringing harm to any person or their property, but are rather a way to extort money to benefit the few, at the hands of many.

[edit on 4-8-2009 by king9072]

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 06:09 AM
reply to post by LeaderOfProgress

This "ACT" screams of corporate lobbyists bullying the consumer once again.

Welcome to America. Thou shalt not encroach on a corporations bottom line.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:27 AM
If he modified the consoles I dont think thats illegal, but if he loaded games and software on those consoles for profit then I am pretty sure he has a problem on his hands.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:31 AM
Is the console itself considered propriety hardware in it's sold form?

I dont know how all this works, but Im sure they have a patent on the device and retain rights to it even after sale.

That is the only way I can see them making this legal.

It's sill 100% cow crap and will never stop people - much like apple claim that you can only install their OS on their hardware and nothing else; and vice versa, no porting a copy of their os to other hardware LEGALLY.

I wanna slap the face of legislators who make these absurd laws.

Ugh, Im off to watch my torrented movie on my modded xbox thats using a hacked divx codec while using a stolen remote and cracked ir-receiver software, while drinking illegally distilled spirits, with a legally purchased bottle of coke.

^^ sarcasm. It's not legally purchased coke at all.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:39 AM
This explains why he is being arrested. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

He broke the law that has been around for about 13 years now and many big corporations have sued each other for breaking the same law.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:42 AM
People have been hacking consoles and game cartridges since the days of Atari. My father in law had a buddy that was able to copy the games from those cartridges all those years ago. You just had to watch out for the static charge by grounding yourself before handling them.

As long as this guy is doing it for personal use whats the bfd. If was selling them for profit that is another ballgame entirely. The digital age has certainly complicated things for those who like to make copies and hack machines.

Growing up we dubbed audio and video cassettes all the time but the audio and video clarity and quality degraded with each copy. Not much of a threat to the real product back then.

[edit on 4-8-2009 by jibeho]

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by LeaderOfProgress

Why have a pirated console then? I mean lets be honest here if you have the system your going to play the games. Otherwise why else have it? For show? I doubt that.

Also where else are we going to get our debt money from, other then tax paying citizens. I heard on the radio they were charging a student with music download fraud on kazaa for $695,000 and also another lday for 2 mil. Although I agree if you buy it it's yours, why have it unless your going to play burnt games.

[edit on 4-8-2009 by NoJoker13]

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:04 AM
reply to post by NoJoker13

Maybe to play backups of games he had? i know its unlikely...but discs are easy to scratch and games are quite expensive.It's like me with pc games,i always rip them to iso's and mount them because im a messy sod

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:10 AM
reply to post by Solomons

Quite possible but if thats the only thing he did he'll be found innocent. I'm guessing there was alot more then that for them to raid his home... or dorm room.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:21 AM
I doubt the FBI or any other law enforcement agency would waste their time on some college kid playing pirated video games. Tons of them do. Therefore, he must have been modifying a large amount of these consoles (like say, for a business) and was drawing in a ton of cash. Anybody with a computer and an internet connection can do it. I just don't understand why they would waste their time stopping some college kid from playing video games.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by Solomons

Probably easier to just put the game back into the case then it is to modify multiple consoles to play back ups.

Thats a good excuse, but not very likely.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:37 AM
reply to post by jd140

Yes,but things are never that simple.When you spend £50 on a game better safe than sorry.Practically everyone i know backs up their games in one way or another.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:40 AM

Originally posted by NoJoker13
reply to post by Solomons

Quite possible but if thats the only thing he did he'll be found innocent. I'm guessing there was alot more then that for them to raid his home... or dorm room.

Nope he is guilty regardless of why he modified his consoles. He could have modified it just to see if he could do it and be guilty.

This is coverd under The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Here is what gets him fined or jail time.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by Solomons

I think making back-ups of your games goes back to when games came on floppies, damn things would always get erased when you stuck them to the fridge with magnets, so you wouldn’t loose them.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:42 AM
reply to post by NoJoker13

I don't think it's necessarily because you might burn a game a friend has or rents and burns it. In this case the game was still purchased whether it be by a friend or the local rent shop.

It's more along the lines that a few people buy the game and then upload it to file sharing sites, news groups, intranets, torrents, etc.

Then one game is now accessible to millions of people over a few hours time period which is where it cuts into their profits big time.

I would be interested in hearing more specific info. on exactly what they found on this guy.

Also most mods done are chips sold from over sea's to foreign countries to avoid prosecution in the country of their customer base.

So if he was actually charging to mod box's then he would get hammered as that has been happening for decades. This usually comes from competitors who rat out their competition because they are taking all their customers.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:44 AM
I still say it's like getting arrested for owning worker call's them..we have a perp that just bought 200 blank cd's.
He must be burning music or something...

I just can't grasp any of these law's.
i honestly can't.

Why sell high speed internet to home's?
Because webpage's are over 30mb's a sec to load?

They enable them to burn game's movie's music.
Sell you the internet ..that is so fast you can download a discography in 10 second's on some torrent's.
They even sell you the burner and cd-r dvd-r for the burner.

It's like selling crack in the store but if ya buy it it's illegal.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by jeasahtheseer

when are they gonna start busting the people who covertly inject rfid chips under people's skin? o wait thats right, they take care of their own.

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