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Old 12-02-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
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Judge berates prosecution in Xbox modding trial

Not strictly ebook related, but related to issues of copyright control and DRM.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...x-judge-riled/

One does wonder why it's illegal to modify a piece of electronics that you own, but not illegal to modify your car or your kitchen, say. Or anything else you bought legally.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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The man was allegedly running a business modifying X-Box consoles to allow them to run pirated games. If true, that's a pretty flagrant violation of the DMCA.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Wow. Not sure how this will play out, but more power to the defendant. If he was customizing computers there wouldn't be a problem, but because it is a 'game console' he is in deep doggie doo?


What happened next? Didn't this happen yesterday? Did they just continue the trial at 1:30?

Last edited by mrscoach; 12-02-2010 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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I'm of the opinion that once you purchase a product, it's yours to do with as you please. But laws being what they are, I'm not surprised by the absurdity of this trial.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:38 PM   #5
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Wow. Not sure how this will play out, but more power to the defendant. If he was customizing computers there wouldn't be a problem, but because it is a 'game console' he is in deep doggie doo?
The law would apply equally to computers and games consoles. Selling or distributing DRM-circumvention devices is a criminal offence under the DMCA.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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But didn't the mod let the user also write their own software or run backups of their own games?
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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I find it interesting that the government has a manual about such things that says a defendant must be aware that action x is against the law and yet the prosecutor tried to argue that such understanding wasn't necessary.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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I also find it interesting that two of the witnesses performed illegal acts themselves, one one THIS case, evidently. And the other guy admits to modding while in college, but now works for 'the man' and thinks it is wrong and helping the prosecution.

I get that hackers switch over all the time, a friend of my son's did, but they usually work on protecting systems, not going after perps. If they do go to court I think it is only fair that it is disclosed that they did the very same actions the defendant is charged with.

clarification: my son's friend was a hacker, not my son. He didn't, and doesn't want to, know how to hack the Pentagon or any other computer.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Is there anyone here a geek old enough to remember the sainted Richard Nelson of eduCalc,and his Personal Pocket Computer club, and how far we pushed the Hewlett Packard HP-41? It went far beyond what its original programmers imagined. At some point we claimed that our PPC chip had the most man-years of development of any consumer product at that time. I still have my HP-41 and with new batteries it probably still works. I use my HP-48 every day.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mrscoach View Post
I also find it interesting that two of the witnesses performed illegal acts themselves, one one THIS case, evidently. And the other guy admits to modding while in college, but now works for 'the man' and thinks it is wrong and helping the prosecution.

I get that hackers switch over all the time, a friend of my son's did, but they usually work on protecting systems, not going after perps. If they do go to court I think it is only fair that it is disclosed that they did the very same actions the defendant is charged with.

clarification: my son's friend was a hacker, not my son. He didn't, and doesn't want to, know how to hack the Pentagon or any other computer.
hehehe... my son hacks the CIA, State Department, FBI and Pentagon every day. but then again, he's paid to do it!
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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The man was allegedly running a business modifying X-Box consoles to allow them to run pirated games. If true, that's a pretty flagrant violation of the DMCA.
Yes. The defense pretty much has to go for jury nullification, and they already seem to have partially nullified the judge. The argument against convicting him is that he modded X-boxes in his living room. Is it really worth the federal courts time to throw the book at him for this penny ante stuff?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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I'm of the opinion that once you purchase a product, it's yours to do with as you please.
I can also swing my arms as much as I like but my right to do that stop when my fist hit another person's face...

Same with free speech in the US. I can speak my mind all I want by my freedom of speech ends when I yell "FIRE!" at a theater.

You can modify what you own all you want until you use it to violate another law... in this case the copy protection of games...
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:18 PM   #13
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Yes. The defense pretty much has to go for jury nullification, and they already seem to have partially nullified the judge. The argument against convicting him is that he modded X-boxes in his living room. Is it really worth the federal courts time to throw the book at him for this penny ante stuff?
One person may be penny ante stuff but when you take into account everyone that is doing it you are talking pretty serious amount of money.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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You can modify what you own all you want until you use it to violate another law.
He isn't being prosecuted because he modded his own X-box, which is probably legal, but because he modded other people's X-boxes.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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He isn't being prosecuted because he modded his own X-box, which is probably legal, but because he modded other people's X-boxes.
Mainly for the purpose of playing hacked games...
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