Is it illegal to sell a modded Wii in the US?

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by Zerxer, Feb 3, 2009.

Feb 3, 2009
  1. Zerxer
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    Member Zerxer GBAtemp Regular

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    So I decided I was bored of my Wii and was thinking about selling it. Is it illegal to sell a Wii that has a modchip installed in it on eBay or craigs list? I actually made a listing on craigs list to see if it would sell and this lady emailed me about it.

    Her emails were kinda weird, as she typed like English was not her native language. She even offered to pay $50 more than what I was asking (I posted it for $450 for the modded console + a couple games) for "any extras needed" or something like that. She told me she wishes she could stop by and take a look at it but that she's out of the country right now, in London, on an assignment, and that she has mailed me a check for it. She said once the check clears into my account, another person will come to my house to pick it up, and then that person will ship it to her.

    I'm a little suspicious about the whole ordeal and wondering if there's any reason for it. I assume she has already sent out the check and I'm not sure if I should just cancel the whole transaction or not. Could it be some kind of setup? It's craigs list, so the whole idea of it being a scam is there, but what about a type of sting operation?
     


  2. EmperorOfCanada

    Member EmperorOfCanada GBAtemp Maniac

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    Dude this is CLASSIC craiglist scam. Not a bust. this is someone trying to steal your money plain and simple.
     
  3. Zerxer
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    Member Zerxer GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, that was one of my concerns. Not sure how they could do it though if they don't come to get it until after I actually have the money. I suppose they could claim fraud on the check afterwards or something like that?
     
  4. Hehe Moo

    Member Hehe Moo Moo?

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    Some people just really really want a Wii.
     
  5. EmperorOfCanada

    Member EmperorOfCanada GBAtemp Maniac

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    Not even, you will get a forged/counterfeit cheque and once your bank realizes it the funds will be reversed and surprise! you will have no money and no wii.
     
  6. Zerxer
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    Member Zerxer GBAtemp Regular

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    Googled some more information about it all. I think I will go ahead and deny the transaction with 'her' unless she's able to pay cash. If she has someone coming to pick it up, she can mail them the check and they can cash it and pay me directly.

    http://www.fraudguides.com/internet-craigslist-scams.asp


    This thread is slightly embarrassing now. To make it worth it, we'll just modify the discussion here; do you think any law enforcement agencies would actually try to setup one individual like this? I know they went after manufacturers and resellers back in 2007 in the US.
     
  7. EmperorOfCanada

    Member EmperorOfCanada GBAtemp Maniac

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    Dont feel too bad, you were smart enough to be sceptical. These people exist only because there are SO MANY people who DO fall for these things. THAT is embarassing. Bottom line, its your money, why take chances on it?
     
  8. Zerxer
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    Member Zerxer GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I just emailed her back now explaining how she sadly hit every point of a typical scam and that I am going to rip the check up once it comes if she actually mailed one. If it's even a she.

    Even when she first emailed me asking if I still had it for sale, I was suspicious immediately. I mean, her email was "mrsmutonjane004@yahoo.com".

    Anyways, I guess I'll just hang on to my Wii for a bit and find a local friend/family member that happens to want a Wii and maybe sell to them. Or maybe I'll just hold off since there are some slightly interesting games coming out still. I just figured, if it actually did sell for $450, I could easily buy a used Wii and softmod it and have that extra profit.
     
  9. Jran Sakarra

    Member Jran Sakarra GBAtemp Regular

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    This is just another Epic win for those who will ask when something smells funny.
    The question was never answered if it was legal to sell.
     
  10. -Unknown-

    Newcomer -Unknown- Member

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    Short Answer:
    No (in your situation)
    Yes (possibly in other situations)

    Long Answer:
    Its not as black & white as you'll like but I'll try to explain to the best of my ability.

    Selling a used product is not illegal (you already knew this). The fact that its been "modified" outside of its specification is only against Nintendo's end-user agreement and not against any legislation/law, meaning that Nintendo can refuse to provide services to the new owner like online access (given the modification is detected) but not much else as its not illegal to modify a product (given that it doesn't go against any other law (ie includes a gun, pollutes, signal interferences, etc)).

    If you were selling multiple modified Wiis, used or not, the argument could be raised that you are reselling the hardware. If you have not been approved by Nintendo as an official reseller, then they would ask you to stop your unauthorized reselling and could potentially come after you for damages (stating things like consumer complaints due to the Wii's people bought from you breaking or not working properly due to the modification, reputational damages, etc). Chances are though, unless you were a big operation, they wouldn't really come after you for any money since it wouldn't be cost effective (nor seemingly in line with Nintendo's PR practices).

    To your second question, a 'sting' would fall along the same lines. When you think about how much it would cost to perform such an operation (the prorated salaries of the individuals involved, logging, recording information, and finally execution) it wouldn't be economically feasible nor sustainable to go after just 1 person selling 1 modified Wii. The exception would of course be if you were a big provider of said Wii's, in which case your wouldn't be just 1 person selling 1 modified Wii. As flattering as it would be, no company will bother with the small fishes. When you are going against the law (ie drugs), then those 'sting' operations are government funded which is a whole other ballgame but you have nothing to worry about.
     
  11. Link5084

    Member Link5084 Sword & Shield at your service

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    Craigslist is an easy way to scam people. DO NOT EVER, EVER take part in any suspicious activity like this. Cancel the whole transaction altogether. Do you really want to sell your modded Wii?
     
  12. geegee

    Member geegee GBAtemp Regular

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    Someone sent the same message to me on craigslist. The person clearly didn't speak english and asked me for my address to send me a check for over the amount. I gave him/her the address of my local FBI office...lol.
     
  13. shadowmanr6

    Newcomer shadowmanr6 Advanced Member

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    best way to stay safe is local cash only transactions
     
  14. DJPlace

    Member DJPlace P!ssed OFF Pyscho of GBA!!

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    one of these days we are all going be bubba's little bitchs!!
     
  15. jinxvorheeze

    Member jinxvorheeze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    It is illegal to sell a modded Wii in the United States as you have circumvented copyright protection. That goes for any modification of any kind that circumvents copyright. If it is modded with strictly the homebrew channel then no, it is not illegal. But if you give them the WAD manager, or a backup loader, or even a modchip then it is against US copyright law as any means to sell a product which purpose is to, or can be used to circumvent copyright law is strictly prohibited within the United States. It is also a federal offense. Thats orange-collar, pound you in the ass, prison time. But again the chances of you being caught are about as well as you winning the lottery. That's why there are no companies that sell modchips in the United States, and the ones that appear, disappear quickly.
     
  16. OzModChips

    Member OzModChips GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    good advice given so far [​IMG]

    Just remember that chequeand clear...but then be reversed!
    The general rule is you wait 6 weeks after the cheque"clears"

    the person, her friend, that wants to pick up the item is obviously the scammer.
    You should go ahead and waste their time and give them a vacant block to go and pick up the wii.
     
  17. digitydogs

    Member digitydogs 404 Error: Member Not Found

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    Sorry i have to disagree with you there.
    If that was the case care to explaing the following devices legality to me....
    VCR's
    CD/DVD burners
    MP3 players
    Computers
    Printers (books)
    the list really could go on but i think you get the point.
    Also modifying anything you have bought is legal, as you own the equipment.
     
  18. Jizmo

    Member Jizmo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I seriously don't think anybodys going to prison and getting pounded in the ass through his orange jump suit over selling a single Wii. If that happens, i'm leaving the coutry!

    Not because I sell Wii's, which I don't, but because that would mean there's some frighteningly inept lawyers out there.
     
  19. Jizmo

    Member Jizmo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I like your idea, would be even better to figure out a way to scam the scammer.
     
  20. -Unknown-

    Newcomer -Unknown- Member

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    +1

    'Unlocking' cellphones was a perfect example of modifying owned equipment (which was confirmed to be legal and widely accepted now... it wasn't when it was first done).

    The reality of the matter is that there are alot of gray areas in copyright law which is why so many people are confused about what is legal and what isn't. Copyright law began with the interest of protecting the creator's right to publication, distribution, and adaptation and was later further expanded in to other areas. There's still work to be done to protect consumers (and intellectual property owners) with copyright law.
     

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