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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
See:
http://www.theregister.com/content/54/30165.html


Isn't this the same as jailing anyone that makes add-ons/ tools for cars that make it go much faster than the speed limit? Or defeat emission controls?


What about jailing those that make hand tools that modify your computer!?


Between the DMCA and the Patriot Act, the future that's unfolding now is more insidious than the Fahrenheit 451 / Brave New World we feared in the 70's and 80's.
 

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Quote:
However, one thing is certain; the sentence will send an extremely powerful message to anyone else involved in the production or sale of Xbox mod chips in the USA (so far, the attempts of the US Department of Justice to extend the reach of the DMCA beyond its borders have - thankfully - been a failure)
The parenthesized comment is going to be increasingly typical of how the rest of the world treats US intellectual property claims. American lawyers and lobbyists can buy all the legal fine print they want but the world and even the American public at large may increasingly ridicule those efforts.


I think it undermines our legal system to have too much special interest legislation staking out claims to all the worlds ideas and demanding silly (even when successful) enforcement attempts.


If they wanted to send a message then I think they sent the wrong one.


- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
re: "The parenthesized comment is going to be increasingly typical of how the rest of the world treats US intellectual property claims. American lawyers and lobbyists can buy all the legal fine print they want but the world and even the American public at large may increasingly ridicule those efforts. "


I believed this, too, until the Microsoft/ China agreements.


The point is that US special interests (and software monopolists) can easily buy foreign fine print (and authorities), too.
 

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I'm a bit ambivalent on this issue - I can recognize that Microsoft is protecting their profits by trying to have mod-chips not be sold.


I know that some people use the mod-chips to try to hack XBOX to do different stuff. However, for the most part, the mod chips are used to allow pirated games to be played on the XBOX.


In all probability, the person is jailed because of DMCA violation - because it's just one of the easiest way MS can put the person out of selling these mod chips. As such, it seems to bring the DMCA stuff up to light - even though Microsoft's purpose is to try having mod chips not being sold (so people can't pirate games).


Game pirating sometimes help console maker however - Dreamcast and N64 failed to some extent because you can't pirate their games - as such fewer people actually buy the console. It's a rather weird cycle - since then developers won't produce for those console, and eventually it dies.


OTOH, the PS/PS2, since they can be pirated, results in sales of the consoles - developers produce games, and even though some gets pirated, a lot is actually sold too - producing money.


All is IMHO, of course.
 

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Originally posted by budiman
Game pirating sometimes help console maker however - Dreamcast and N64 failed to some extent because you can't pirate their games - as such fewer people actually buy the console.
This statement is a bit odd. Both the N64 and Dreamcast were wildly pirated. N64 emulators sprang up for the PC - and the relatively small size of the games made internet trading/downloading easy.


The Dreamcast is an even worse example. Since Sega scr*wed up the copy protection scheme, you don't even need a mod-chip to play pirate games. If anything - the case is stronger that piracy - not the lack of - contributed the the DC's decline. At the time the plug was pulled, you could simply download every game for it and play away.
 

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I'm afraid you are misinformed about the Rocci case if all you have read is that single article. Rocci was a high profile member of the PC piracy community along with running a real-time warez news site. His Enigma sales were just a side business. I had first heard about him a few years ago, long before the DOJ got involved.


I really do feel no pity for Mr Rocci.
 

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Well, with all that other badness in his closet he should have been convicted for a real crime. I don't feel sorry for him either, I do feel sorry for the effect that bought & paid for laws and successful persecutions under those laws have on the American public's constitutional rights.
 

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Eric: So he wasn't only busted for the mod chips? Or he was?


Was this like getting Capone for tax evasion?


I do agree the DMCA is out of control. I am less sure that defending Xbox mod chips as having substantial non-infringing uses is the way to battle it.


Mark
 

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He was busted for the mod chips but I guess it was pretty hard for him to argue that the chips had any use other than pirating since his whole site he sold them off of was all about pirating SW. I agree that the whole Al Capone thing is probably the tack they used here. It would be much more interesting to see someone just selling mod chips and how that would go.


The DMCA is a crappy law and I wonder if the feds will stick to going after people with a laundry list of wrongdoing for a while to give it a little more legitamacy in the general public's minds.
 

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I think alot of the piracy stats that companies throw around is crap. I admit, I have cracked/hacked/illegal copies of Starcraft, Warcraft III, Neverwinter Nights and Dungeon Siege. I even have downloaded copies of Gran Turismo 3, Twisted Metal Black, and several other PS2 games.

They have stripped out alot of the cinema scenes, some music, some voices and things like that. But I can play them. I can see if I like the game. I also own real copies of almost every one of the games. (Didn't care for Enclave though). I don't see it as stealing, I see it as "Try before I buy." I spent $50 on Asheron's Call 2 only to bring it home and find out it's a Pay to Play game (which Best Buy conveniently covered up on the front), and they refuse to let me return it. Since the software stores won't let me return a game if I don't like it, I have to resort to other methods to make sure *I* don't get ripped off. I can't even count the number of CDs I bought because of a song I heard on the radio only to find the rest of the CD SUCKED! Huge waste of money, and companies say we steal from them. If I could send my games/CDs back that I hate to them for a full refund, I would be more inclined to buy games outright instead of downloading them first.
 

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Salmoneus:

You're right that the DC screwed up their copy protection - however it is not until later in the console life that someone found that hole. Even then, not everyone have the hardware to read a GD-ROM from the DC. Whereas with the PS, everyone can copy the game and play it on a modded PS.


On the N64 - I tried the emulator, and as much as I like the PC, it doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. You can play GT/GT2 on the PC using Bleem, but it lost so much in the emulation, it's not even fun. I guess some people can still do it, but it's no contest compared to pirating the actual game and playing it on the actual console. Again, IMHO.


In retrospect, the thing that killed the N64 is actually the cartridge, more so than the pirating :).


One thing that enforces my theory/opinion that pirating actually helps is in the case of the GameCube. It has great games (albeit still small in quantity), but more so than XBox. However, you cannot copy GameCube games - and XBox is winning the console battle.


Dizzy:

For the 'try before I buy' method for video games, there's always Blockbuster :). Of course you have to pay $5/game...
 

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I'm going to spread some light on this case...


The problem with the dude in question, wasn't that he was selling modchips, per say. It was because he was selling modchips with the BIOS already flashed on them, which is so much against the DMCA it's not even funny.


If he had been selling the version without preflashed BIOS, or even the Matrix mod, he wouldn't have had this problem. The general idea is, if you're running a site like ISOnews.com, you should make sure to study EXACTLY what you can get in trouble for, and then you don't do it, since you're bound to be under scrutiny.


As for the piracy debate, piracy has never helped out a console. Since console manufacturers lose money on console sales, they use games to make up the money. What good is it if someone buys the system, then pirates every game from then on? Unless they buy a whopping load of accessories, Sony/Sega/Nintendo/MS/whomever, lost money on that console same, and won't make it back. This isn't debating my views on piracy, just giving a purely financial point of view.


Oh, and N64 sold around 30-40 million consoles. It didn't do bad by any means, it simply didn't do as good as PSX(70-80 million consoles sold).


Edit : Oh, and Xbox is winning the battle because Nintendo advertising sucks ass. I love Nintendo, and the Cube is my favourite system of this generation...but honestly, Nintendo needs to learn quick to pump out more quality advertisements, on the double.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by trbarry
The parenthesized comment is going to be increasingly typical of how the rest of the world treats US intellectual property claims. American lawyers and lobbyists can buy all the legal fine print they want but the world and even the American public at large may increasingly ridicule those efforts.
Truer words have never been spoken. With the current insane business practices in the tech/software industries, ethics and morals are extinct.


Hey: it's all just business, right? I'm sure that's how AutoDESK sees it when they come out with a new version of AutoCAD every year, that I don't need in the least, but I'm forced to buy (@ $1000 USD just for an upgrade) so I can exchange drawings with other consultants, etc.


AutoDESK (I keep using them as an example, but many companies are the same) goes so far as to refuse to upgrade older copies of software if you don't upgrade within a year of a new version coming.


Well, that leaves me in the very satisfying position of picking and choosing which laws I feel are valid. I satisfy myself morally, and throw the DMCA where it belongs: in the garbage.


Actaully, in my country (Canada) they make it easy: we have a 60 cent surtax on all recordable media. The money supposedly goes to counter piracy. So I'm paying for being a pirate every time I back up data at work. I say this gives me a blank cheque on pirating: I'm already being punished for it, so I might as well fire up Kazaa and start downloading.


These fools have no idea how much they hurt their own cause.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bandit64
I'm going to spread some light on this case...


The problem with the dude in question, wasn't that he was selling modchips, per say. It was because he was selling modchips with the BIOS already flashed on them, which is so much against the DMCA it's not even funny.


If he had been selling the version without preflashed BIOS, or even the Matrix mod, he wouldn't have had this problem. The general idea is, if you're running a site like ISOnews.com, you should make sure to study EXACTLY what you can get in trouble for, and then you don't do it, since you're bound to be under scrutiny.


As for the piracy debate, piracy has never helped out a console. Since console manufacturers lose money on console sales, they use games to make up the money. What good is it if someone buys the system, then pirates every game from then on? Unless they buy a whopping load of accessories, Sony/Sega/Nintendo/MS/whomever, lost money on that console same, and won't make it back. This isn't debating my views on piracy, just giving a purely financial point of view.
two aspects of this. The enigma chips he was selling don't actually contain microsoft code. As I recall, the engma chips only patched the needed code, unlike other modchips that contained the MS bios. Therefore, there was no infringement based on the contents of the chip, merely their 'intended use'.


As for the debate of piracy sales and such, one question would relate to the life of a console being related to hardware sales. Its pretty clear that once a console is hacked, the sales jump significantly. It then becomes a quesiton of long term market share versus short term hardware losses. Companies who make games for consoles choose the platform based on a number of factors. Security is important, but installed base is another. A company making games would probably choose a slightly less secure console if it had a much larger installed base, especially if the hack took substantial effort (pulling console appart, many wires, multiple modification options, etc). In general, the people who choose to mod consoles and such are a very small number, but the increased installed base and free publicity is a big benefit.
 
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