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.
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.
Today's problems don't worry me, I haven't solved yesterday's yet.
SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom
HR24-100 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom