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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this report today - game makers & the Feds no likely when you hack or mod your game machines........and now they might knock down your door!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NBC News - Los Angeles /forum/post/0


Cal State Student Faces 10 Year Prison Term for Playing with Video Games

College student is accused of modifying consoles for personal financial gain



Playing with video games can lead to hard time, just ask Matthew Lloyd Crippen. The Cal State Fullerton student was arrested Monday on federal charges that he illegally modified Xbox, Playstation, Wii and other video game consoles to enable the machines to play pirated video games.


Crippen, 27, of Anaheim, was taken into custody Monday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The arrest follows his indictment by a federal grand jury on two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


Specifically, the college student is accused of modifying for personal financial gain technology affecting control or access to a copyrighted work, according to an ICE statement.


Each criminal count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.


The charges against Crippen stem from an ICE investigation initiated late last year after the agency received a tip from the Entertainment Software Association.


Last May, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at Crippen's home, where they seized more than a dozen Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony video game consoles.


“Playing with games in this way is not a game -- it is criminal,” said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge of the ICE investigations office in Los Angeles.


“Piracy, counterfeiting and other intellectual property rights violations not only cost U.S. businesses jobs and billions of dollars a year in lost revenue, they can also pose significant health and safety risks to consumers,” he said.


Counterfeiting and piracy have grown in recent years in both magnitude and complexity, according to ICE. Industry and trade associations estimate that counterfeiting and piracy now cost the U.S. economy as much as $250 billion a year and a total of 750,000 American jobs.


Some estimates indicate that 5 percent to 8 percent of all the goods and merchandise sold worldwide are counterfeit.


Crippen was expected to make his initial federal court appearance late Monday in Los Angeles.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/lo...-52386872.html

While I can't imagine the negative health effects for hacking a Wii or Xbox, the time I have spent dabbling in some Homebrew showed me that for the most part, it's all about piracy at the end of the day.


My conspiracy theory area of the brain keeps telling me - and I have been listening - that maybe I should play by the rules from here on out. Although my biggest concern is actually bricking the Wii, not doing prison time. Closest thing to piracy I have done was the RB1 import into RB2, but even that requires you to either copy RB1 (illegal - even if the disc I am copying is one I paid for) or DL the individual track data to install via various torrent sites (even more illegal).


With talk now of Nintendo permanently banning WFC access via nuking your Wii's MAC address on their servers should any homebrew/cheating evidence appears.....well, I wonder what the HB community's response will be?
 

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Honestly, the Wii just isn't set up all that well for banning people from Wifi. A MAC ID is something that can pretty easily be spoofed. Unfortunately, it's another way that XBox Live and Playstation Network are way ahead of the Wii. I do know that they've been trying to ban cheaters and it's been working okay so far I think.


That's the first I've ever read of someone hacking their system and getting arrested for it though. As far as I know, it's not the hacking the system that's illegal, just the piracy, and in the past I've usually only seen them go after people who distribute pirated games.


I'm not going to lie, my Wii has a ton of hacks on it, but not a single one to cheat or steal games, even though they can be used to do that. (I've got a USB loader installed, so the actual discs go in a case in my closet, and then I can just select from a menu rather than swapping discs). That being said, I know that I'm a huge exception on that one and most people use it for much more nefarious purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 /forum/post/16941424


Honestly, the Wii just isn't set up all that well for banning people from Wifi. A MAC ID is something that can pretty easily be spoofed. Unfortunately, it's another way that XBox Live and Playstation Network are way ahead of the Wii. I do know that they've been trying to ban cheaters and it's been working okay so far I think.


That's the first I've ever read of someone hacking their system and getting arrested for it though. As far as I know, it's not the hacking the system that's illegal, just the piracy, and in the past I've usually only seen them go after people who distribute pirated games.


I'm not going to lie, my Wii has a ton of hacks on it, but not a single one to cheat or steal games, even though they can be used to do that. (I've got a USB loader installed, so the actual discs go in a case in my closet, and then I can just select from a menu rather than swapping discs). That being said, I know that I'm a huge exception on that one and most people use it for much more nefarious purposes.

My bro in law used to do something like this on his PS2 - in his case, he stored games on an installed HDD.


Of course, at least half of the titles on the HDD were copied from RENTED games, so there's your piracy right there.


In the end, pretty much ANY computerized system - certainly a game console - can & eventually will be hacked. And for every roadblock that pops up, an industrious & clever nerd will find pathways around, over, under or thru them. What is unlikely is that said nerd will have super human martial arts skills or the ability to fly & stop bullets.



I messed about w/ Homebrew really just to import RB1 Wii tracks in RB2. No desire to cheat online (Kart cheaters REALLY suck & I have ran into a few a couple of times on The Conduit) and not for piracy - albeit the RB1 importation hack does involve piracy-level activities. But I could also have my Wii tell the RB2 Music Store that EVERY available track has been "purchased" if I so desired - so safe to assume HMX/EA are looking at ways to kill or at least hinder hacking.


The various hoops I need to run thru, though - like "scrubbing" new games to avoid forced updates - as well as my inate fear that I end up w/ a nice white plastic brick (and suffer the wrath of both a Wii loving wife & 6 yr old daughter) - have sorta put an end to my HBC fun for now. Wii Sports Resort - upon first boot up last wknd - forced an update that nuked most of the HBC stuff I had. Didn't kill the Wii, though!!


As to my own reasons for such activity, I foresee some sort of potential importation solution come the eventual RB3. Considering the WiFi & SDHC boosts the new Guitar Hero title is looking to have on Wii, it's a safe bet HMX follows suit with it's inevitable 3rd iteration of the main RB franchise, thus killing at least one reason for Wii owners to "hack" their machines for RB purposes.
 

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I haven't got anything I didnt buy on the Wii. I bought two guitars and tried the rawksd but I have to say the sound fidelity really sucks. I'll be sticking with the 360's RB2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyHTPC /forum/post/16942180


I haven't got anything I didnt buy on the Wii. I bought two guitars and tried the rawksd but I have to say the sound fidelity really sucks. I'll be sticking with the 360's RB2.


When played legitimately on disc, the RB1 Wii sound quality pales compared to RB2's. But RawkSD forces RB2 to use audio schemes other than it's own (so I've heard).


Still crazy to imagine the Feds kicking in your door for this stuff. But perhaps the suspect here was involved in some major piracy. He'd been a subject of investigation for over a year.


"Good morning....the US Govt would like to make an example of you. Drop the Wiimote & come out with your hands up!! Sorry about the door...."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRT Dude /forum/post/16944986


Reminds me of South Park episode. Miyamoto can't afford a pool side bar because of these people.


Did you mentally swap Lars Ulrich for Miyamoto-san?



Would that make Iwata the James Hetfield in the story & homebrewers "Napster"?
 

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A quick sweep of Craigslist and you'll find tons of folks offering to mod Wiis for like $25... wonder how long those will last before getting an email from the feds?


On the other hand, what if you're selling a modded Wii? Technically speaking you're just reselling an item, it could still be used solely for legitimate purposes... if it's not over retail, what's the legality?


-vdz
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoozen /forum/post/16948099


A quick sweep of Craigslist and you'll find tons of folks offering to mod Wiis for like $25... wonder how long those will last before getting an email from the feds?


On the other hand, what if you're selling a modded Wii? Technically speaking you're just reselling an item, it could still be used solely for legitimate purposes... if it's not over retail, what's the legality?


-vdz

Perhaps the fact that said modded consoles ARE set up at purchase to do the things that cause smiling Customs agents to kindly bash in your door. But it seems like a gray area for sure.


However, the law that is allowing such arrests & sentences to even exist is what the feds are using to prop up their actions.


The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf


After looking @ it, perhaps it's what in Section 1201 that covers this crackdown:

Section 1201 divides technological measures into two categories: measures that

prevent unauthorized access to a copyrighted work and measures that preventunauthorized copying of a copyrighted work. Making or selling devices or services that

are used to circumvent either category of technological measure is prohibited in certain

circumstances, described below. As to the act of circumvention in itself, the provision

prohibits circumventing the first category of technological measures, but not the

second.


This distinction was employed to assure that the public will have the continued

ability to make fair use of copyrighted works. Since copying of a work may be a fair use

under appropriate circumstances, section 1201 does not prohibit the act of circumventing

a technological measure that prevents copying. By contrast, since the fair use

doctrine is not a defense to the act of gaining unauthorized access to a work, the act of

circumventing a technological measure in order to gain access is prohibited.


Section 1201 proscribes devices or services that fall within any one of the

following three categories:


* they are primarily designed or produced to circumvent;


*they have only limited commercially significant purpose or use other

than to circumvent; or


* they are marketed for use in circumventing.



"Circumventing" things like DRM or the sorts of hacks/apps/etc that allows homebrewers to all the things they do - intentional piracy or not, I assume. I am no lawyer.


If the guy arrested was in fact one of those on Craigslist or somehow otherwise pimping out modded consoles, the above section is what has landed him where he is today.
 

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Glad. And for all those who always say I don't know anything, recall I said in the RB thread that using these illegal things could get you cuaght later on. People are usually quick to recommend to others to use things illegally and now in the technology age you can get cuaght easily as Nintendo does various necessary updates.
 

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As long as you're not selling/distributing pirated software and/or ways to play/watch pirated software, you don't have to worry. With that said, it's still wrong and you shouldn't do it. But there's also a lot of good "legal" things that go on in the homebrew world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by dEEahn20 /forum/post/16950046


As long as you're not selling/distributing pirated software and/or ways to play/watch pirated software, you don't have to worry. With that said, it's still wrong and you shouldn't do it. But there's also a lot of good "legal" things that go on in the homebrew world.

True - one HB app - USB Loader allows you to load full games from a HDD. Granted, you cold be copying rented games to the drive, but others copy only the games they actually buy, load them to the HDD & play 'em from there - saves wear & tear on both discs & the Wii itself.


The Homebrew Browser will help you find all kinds of apps - and plenty of those are far from illegal.


But such tinkering is also the door thru which the pirates & cheaters travel. All should proceed w/ caution.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb1970 /forum/post/16950108


True - one HB app - USB Loader allows you to load full games from a HDD. Granted, you cold be copying rented games to the drive, but others copy only the games they actually buy, load them to the HDD & play 'em from there - saves wear & tear on both discs & the Wii itself.


The Homebrew Browser will help you find all kinds of apps - and plenty of those are far from illegal.


But such tinkering is also the door thru which the pirates & cheaters travel. All should proceed w/ caution.

It sucks when cheaters ruin things for everyone else.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb1970 /forum/post/16950108


True - one HB app - USB Loader allows you to load full games from a HDD. Granted, you cold be copying rented games to the drive, but others copy only the games they actually buy, load them to the HDD & play 'em from there - saves wear & tear on both discs & the Wii itself.

Yeah, my Wii makes loud clicking noises when seeking (has from the start) on the disc, so that's one of the main reasons I love having the USB loader... the others being that it's more convenient than switching discs, that I can hide away all the boxes that would otherwise take up a ton of space, and games load faster too.


It's worth the risk for those reasons for me.


I have to agree though with some of the above comments, I hate that all of these programs have also been used to create cheat applications. And it's too bad that something like this can also be used for piracy. It'd be much better as far as I'm concerned if you couldn't transfer images via the PC, but need the physical image in the disc drive to put it on the hard drive. Unfortunately, others would rather just not buy any games at all, so that ruins it slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 /forum/post/16950417


Yeah, my Wii makes loud clicking noises when seeking (has from the start) on the disc, so that's one of the main reasons I love having the USB loader... the others being that it's more convenient than switching discs, that I can hide away all the boxes that would otherwise take up a ton of space, and games load faster too.


It's worth the risk for those reasons for me.


I have to agree though with some of the above comments, I hate that all of these programs have also been used to create cheat applications. And it's too bad that something like this can also be used for piracy. It'd be much better as far as I'm concerned if you couldn't transfer images via the PC, but need the physical image in the disc drive to put it on the hard drive. Unfortunately, others would rather just not buy any games at all, so that ruins it slightly.

My Wii does make disc noise - but save for Brawl, it's pretty innocuous. That said, I have been around other Wiis that are damned noisy - like yours, apparently.


Pulling up a game via a menu & never loading a disc is pretty sexy.
 

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I got the wife a Wii for Christmas last year and had no idea it could be hacked until I stumbled upon this thread. The USB loader is the best thing ever!! We have no desire to pirate or steal anything. We just like the cool factor of not having to change discs. That, and being able to download apps through the Homebrew Channel that let you use your WiiMote as a level. Thanks, AVS!
 

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The disc drive on my Wii sounds like it grinding up the disc for COD:WAW when playing online. Of course, I've not had any problems save a disc read error a while back with Wii Fit. The USB Loader would be a nice solution, though.
 
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