Hacking and legality...

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by lolzed, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. lolzed
    OP

    lolzed The GBAtemp Pichu

    Member
    2,466
    13
    Sep 13, 2008
    There
    So me and my friend were talking(or debating...) about hacking and stuff, particularly video game consoles.

    So the main question is, is it legal or not to "hack" video game consoles, where does DMCA stand in, and what are our rights in terms of ownership to the console? Can we really modify the software?

    PS. This is out of curiosity, hope you don't go too off topic on morality and such :) . Hopefully I'll be able to get some answers here :P
     


  2. HaniKazmi

    HaniKazmi GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,657
    42
    Jan 30, 2008
    Manchester
    AFAIK its a very grey area
    Hacking your own console is alright, but if you start distributing you start getting into muddy waters.
     
  3. mechadylan

    mechadylan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    776
    141
    Aug 18, 2009
    United States
    Google> Wiki DMCA> Sentence 2. "It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works.

    In other words, it is illegal to hack a game console in such a way as to convert it into a DRM circumvention device. :(
     
  4. Narayan

    Narayan desu~

    Member
    2,921
    825
    Sep 29, 2010
    i haven't read any of the ToA when you buy a console so i can't really say.
    but i think it's because it's mostly you hack your system to play games you didn't buy. that legality comes into the discussion.
     
  5. trance

    trance GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    100
    10
    Sep 14, 2009
    Southern Hemisphere
    The DCMA, in general, does cover the ability to create a backup for personal use. However, it is in the context of repair: a 'backup' can only be used in conjuction with the original hardware that it was created from.

    Using it for another purpose (ie. different hardware, or virtually) constitutes a derived work, which requires authority from the data's original owner.
    Not to mention, backup rights normally remain exclusive to the original owner, unless it is justifiable that the data will be lost to obsolescence.
     
  6. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Precedent and such revolving around the "interoperability" is generally taken to mean that tweaking a system for your own private use is fine, and it looks like most companies accept they can't do anything about that core concept. I mean, the PRO CFW for the PSP is on google code, even.
    http://code.google.com/p/procfw/

    It's when you start using such things to interfere with services (such as some battle.net game hackers being sued) and pushing copywritten materials around that the companies can come after you from what I've seen.
     
  7. lolzed
    OP

    lolzed The GBAtemp Pichu

    Member
    2,466
    13
    Sep 13, 2008
    There
    So basically, homebrew and other stuff that aren't related to piracy fall into "interoperability" so it's legal?
     
  8. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Not that generally... since the methods that enable homebrew almost always end up enabling piracy as well.
     
  9. lolzed
    OP

    lolzed The GBAtemp Pichu

    Member
    2,466
    13
    Sep 13, 2008
    There
    But the methods of enabling "homebrew" (like HEN, bannerbomb/hackmii, and such) are legal right? The only time when the companies can actually sue you is when you use it for piracy purposes right?
     
  10. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Again, I would not be that general. If it could allow piracy, the companies might use that as an excuse to sue.
     
  11. mechadylan

    mechadylan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    776
    141
    Aug 18, 2009
    United States
    I'm confused. OP asked about the legality of modifying a game console and is adding parts b, c, & d to the original question with regards to "piracy."

    "So the main question is, is it legal or not to "hack" video game consoles (Yes, you can stick it in the microwave if you'd like. It's your property), where does DMCA stand in (The DMCA prohibits the creation of DRM circumvention devices; if you've 'hacked' your vg console to do so, you are in violation of said act.), and what are our rights in terms of ownership to the console? (See answer #1.) Can we really modify the software? (See answers 1 & 2)
     
  12. lolzed
    OP

    lolzed The GBAtemp Pichu

    Member
    2,466
    13
    Sep 13, 2008
    There
    The question was if the software itself can be "hacked" since technically it's not yours :S

    Read the rest to see why it went to piracy(a bit)

    Rydian pretty much answered it anyway, thanks man :)
     
  13. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Hacking it in general is not illegal, but that's like saying that using a knife is not illegal.

    If you're cutting steaks for dinner, it's fine.

    If you're cutting the governor's face off, it's not fine.
     
  14. mechadylan

    mechadylan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    776
    141
    Aug 18, 2009
    United States
    Sorry, Rydian but that's a bad analogy. A knife can be used for crimes whether it's modified (hacked) or not. And even if you were to engrave "Governor Face Slasher" on the handle, the crime would supercede the mod. A shotgun, on the other hand is legal to own and use for sport, recreation, etc. However, if you saw the barrel to half of it's original length and cut off part of the stock so as to create an easily concealed close range weapon it's illegal WAY before you ever decide to use it as such. We ALL possess "intent," but possessing "ability" is the real crime...unfortunately.
     
  15. jceggbert5

    jceggbert5 Check out my hack, New Retro Mario Bros.

    Member
    989
    1
    Dec 1, 2008
    United States
    USA, Earth, MilkyWay
    If you don't install cIOS or cIOSCORP or anything that allows piracy, you're fine. [/sumOfThread]
     
  16. s4mid4re

    s4mid4re  

    Member
    1,669
    430
    Apr 2, 2011
    United States
    I don't think that's his point; Rydian is saying that the knife can serve two broadly different purposes (which also applies to hacking): using it as a tool to cut meat (hacking for the tweaks, homebrew, etc) vs. using it for murder (hacking for piracy).

    Rydian is saying that if somebody says hacking (for both purposes) is considered illegal as a whole, using a knife, whether it be to cut food or to kill people, would be also considered illegal.
     
  17. mechadylan

    mechadylan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    776
    141
    Aug 18, 2009
    United States
    If that's what he meant then this analogy is getting worse. You cannot liken a "hacked" console to a knife. A knife can be purchased in any store worldwide; a "hacked" console cannot.
     
  18. s4mid4re

    s4mid4re  

    Member
    1,669
    430
    Apr 2, 2011
    United States
    You're just being stubborn. Also, this thread is about the legality of hacking and not how accessible you are to a hacked console.
     
  19. mechadylan

    mechadylan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    776
    141
    Aug 18, 2009
    United States
    Analogies are great tools for explaining complex situations. Bad analogies can oft times be misleading.
     
  20. Narayan

    Narayan desu~

    Member
    2,921
    825
    Sep 29, 2010
    it's you who fail to see the analogy.
    it was like this:
    knife=hack.
    not:
    knife=hacked console.

    and s4mid4re already explained it.