Posts - USA: Jail sentence and fine for mod chip retailer [I]t's hard not to see this as a massively harsh and disproportionate punishment for a man whose crime is selling devices that allow people to modify their own equipment.

See also: - We'll pull Xbox out of Australia - Ballmer...

Sales of the Xbox may be discontinued in Australia unless demands from Microsoft for changes to the country's laws concerning mod chips are met, according to MS chief executive Steve Ballmer, speaking late last week at the launch of a new mobile computing device. The threat came as a result of the acquittal earlier this year of a man who had been brought up on charges of selling mod chips for the PS2. The acquittal was based on the fact that the chip could be legitimately used to play imported games on the hardware - an area which the Australian government is currently scrutinising closely, concerned that region lock-outs on consoles may be illegally denying Australian consumers access to fairly priced products from abroad.

You see, it's supposed to be legal to modify equipment you own. There's no crime in that. It is only a crime if you pirate a game. Think of it this way: owning a gun is not a crime, shooting someone is a crime. Besides that, there are legitimate reasons to modify game consoles; region coding, wanting to use them as Linux machines, wanting to develop your own software/games for the console.

Then if all that's got you down, go read BBspot - Aliens Use DMCA to Sue Air Force Over UFOs. Teehee.


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