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Jail possible for XBOX modder

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by bobukcat, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    I have some mixed feelings on this one:

    1) Is modifying the hardware really pirating s/w if you don't sell / provide the pirated software??

    2) The defense may have to present some other "benefit" that these mods provide to make a case.

    3) Do we really have Federal Agents chasing this kind of nickel-and-dime violation?? It's not like the guy is doing thousands of these or mass-marketing his service.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming...to-court-for-modifying-xbox-360/?src=Outbrain
     
  2. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Wouldn't it be the same as modifying a box to receive encrypted programming (either cable or satellite) that wasn't paid for?
     
  3. neomaine

    neomaine Legend

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    I thought the judge threw the whole thing out or at the very least the prosecution simply gave up because of all the crap the judge called them on.

    As far as I know, the guy is freed from all charges.
     
  4. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The federal prosecutor made a ginormous discovery blunder so the case was blown on a technicality.

    The prosecution probably won't make the same mistake next time.

    I think it very unlikely that the modders will get their DMCA exception as it doesn't bring anything tangible to the experience outside of the option of running pirated software.
     
  5. Marlin Guy

    Marlin Guy Hall Of Fame

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    What article are you reading? Because the one you linked states this right off the bat:

    "Crippen was arrested in August 2009 after he was paid to install chips in consoles in order for users to play pirated games."
     
  6. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Yeah, that's one of five (or four) mandatory points in judge's handbook when he is dealing with DMCA cases - financial gain !
     
  7. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, he was paid to mod the boxes but nowhere in that article does it say he sold and / or provided pirated software. If you mod the box but never play pirated software on it how is that breaking any law????
     
  8. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Doesnt matter when you live in the country of the worlds highest incarceration rate:

    More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to a new report by the Justice Department released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0818/p02s01-usju.html

    They will put you in jail for anything in America.
     
  9. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    From Wired:
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Say What ???

    This is a XBOX device !

    Then point to selling kitchen knife would be killing ppl.
     
  11. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Did you even read your own link??? :confused:
    The dude is a crook! :nono2:
     
  12. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    I assure you all that I read the article in detail before posting it.....:)

    I agree that what he is / was doing was not completely above-board but I think the nuances of it are worth discussing. People can sell chips for cars / trucks that completely alter their horsepower, emissions, etc. but the government never stops those businesses, it's the end user that installs those chips and then uses the vehicle(s) on public roadways that's breaking the law.

    As for the analogy to a hacked IRD for satellite or cable programming: in that case you are creating a device that illegally descrambles the exact same signal that is broadcast by the provider. The modded XBOX would NEVER violate a copyright unless it is fed specifically pirated s/w, not the same copy-protected s/w that you would have to pay for.

    Do I agree with someone running around helping people violate copy protection, of course not - but I question who is really committing what crime (as the law is written). I also think enforcement efforts could be more wisely spent than going after some small-potato like this guy.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure you're right...I'm just an ornery old cuss whose sole purpose in life is to take the romance out of illegal hacking and modding. I know there's worse crimes...I believe that movies should be viewed as the director intended and chips should function as the designer intended.

    Call me old fashioned but that's just me... :whatdidid
     
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Generally speaking, any act, including modifying something, to knowingly permit someone else to commit a crime is to conspire in the commission of the crime.
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    So, what the statue of DMCA we are talking ? We can't generally cover all of them.
     
  16. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    I think your comparison about modding vehicles is a little bit off. All of those modifications can legally be performed by the user or installed by a third party. The illegality occurs when the vehicle is used on a public roadway. If the user wants to drive that vehicle on private property all day long, there is no violation of law. Hence, the parts being sold to modify the vehicle have a legitimate purpose.

    In this case, the subject was modding the Xbox with the sole purpose of allowing someone to play pirated software. There was no legitimate purpose for what he was doing.

    Another example about illegal use of a legal item would be those little glass tubes you see for sell at gas stations that have the little rose in them. They are sold as a decorative item, yet in reality, they are generally bought by people to be used as crack pipes. Because of how the person uses the legal product, it becomes illegal.

    - Merg
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Is it mean gas station's clerk must be jailed ?
     
  18. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    No, which is my point. It's a legitimate item used for an illegitimate purpose. In the case of the Xbox, there is no legitimate purpose.

    - Merg
     
  19. redfiver

    redfiver DBSTalk Club Member

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    What about running 'unapproved applications' as stated in the article? Pirated software, that's another story as you're stealing something. But what about modding the device to run unsigned software, like jailbroken iPhones. That was recently ruled as being okay. Couldn't that defense be used for an xbox as well?
     
  20. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Anything is possible... :)

    I, myself, modded my Wii to enable use of an external harddrive. While Nintendo obviously doesn't like that, there are definitely uses of it that are not illegal. I do it to keep from having to swap out games everytime I want to play a different one. I also use it so that my original discs don't get scratched up from my kids putting them in and out of the Wii.

    - Merg
     

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