legality of modchips in United States

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by modshroom128, Mar 13, 2007.

Mar 13, 2007
  1. modshroom128
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    Member modshroom128 GBAtemp Maniac

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    so i was on the phone with a little, not so known, computer repair shop.

    i simply asked the guy to solder a wii modchip onto my wii dvd drive (wiikey) in order to let me play my game backups in case of scratches. (which is why im buying the wiikey in the first place [​IMG] )

    and he tells me "you mean to play pirated games?"
    and i replied with "of coarse not!"

    shocked and appauld that he would accuse ME of being a video game pirate [​IMG]
    (lol)



    and then, he told me quickly and quitly, it will be 25 bucks...

    so i said "okay"



    and i hung up the phone...






    heres the big question

    was what i did illegal or something?
    what are the chances of me walking in there only to be arrested by an undercover ubber modchip cop?
     


  2. Renegade_R

    Member Renegade_R Audio/Video Expert

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    He's just asking...as long as he gave you the price it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  3. skullstatue

    Banned skullstatue Banned

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    There is nothing wrong with modding your Wii, it's not very likely that he would tell the FCCA about you or something. I've met super nerds that would squeal like pigs if they found out a person pirates. But you are most likely safe....
     
  4. modshroom128
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    Member modshroom128 GBAtemp Maniac

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    is it illegal in the us?

    i dont realy care i just want to no
     
  5. FuManChuu

    Member FuManChuu GBAtemp Regular

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    We talked about it in my International Business Law class today... and the answer is, there is no clear cut answer.

    For the vast majority of practical purposes, it is indeed legal to modify a console you own as you see fit. The problem lies in EULA and such that prohibit you from certain types of modification.

    The most of the legal battles that stem from modchips follow the "they are blatantly used for supporting piracy". The device itself breaks no laws, but with such a great correlation to an illegal activity, they can make cases

    And a big fat PS, where the hell do you guys live that you have "local game shops?"... nothing like that anywhere near any of the towns I've ever lived in. Closest I could get would be going into Gamestop and asking [​IMG]
     
  6. TheVirus

    Member TheVirus GBAtemp Fan

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    As long as the hardware you use doesn't contain copyrighted material (BIOS information, for example) it's fine. These chips don't contain any copyrighted material, at least not by Nintendo, so it's fine. You can tell him it's for homebrew and all that. $25 to install a chip seems expensive, especially since it takes all of 3 minutes.

    I'd call someone else or ask him to lower the price. You could do it yourself, it's really not that hard.
     
  7. modshroom128
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    Member modshroom128 GBAtemp Maniac

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    to thevirus: 25 bucks i see isint that expensive for a professional grade modchip installation...


    any way, back on topic... see the way he told me if i was going to pirate games, was almost like i was the undercover cop and he was the "dealer" making sure i would say no so he wouldint get lugged away for installing modchips on systems...

    hmmmm...



    personaly i think its legal since there is no copyrighted bios on the chip, i do recall a website used to sell xbox modchip with premodified bios on it... they got shut down big time.
     
  8. homer007

    Newcomer homer007 Newbie

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    From a purely practical matter, I wouldn't worry about it, they are looking for distributors not individual users so much. Though who knows that might change and become more like the RIAA.

    Doctrinally may I point you to 17 USC 1201 part of the DMCA which states "(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. "

    (b) Additional Violations.—
    (1) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that—
    (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;
    (B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof; or
    Â is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person’s knowledge for use in circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof.
    (2) As used in this subsection—
    (A) to “circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure” means avoiding, bypassing, removing, deactivating, or otherwise impairing a technological measure; and
    (B) a technological measure “effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, prevents, restricts, or otherwise limits the exercise of a right of a copyright owner under this title.

    This means that even though you are using it for "homebrew" you are circumventing Nintendo's right to limit you from using the Wii to play homebrew. You would therefore be inviolation of the DMCA even if you never used the modchip to play copyrighted games as you broke the copyright on the hardware use itself. Not using a modified BIOS has no relevance as the restriction is quite broad. Essentially Nintendo has the right to, and only grants the use of its hardware in a certain way, and the DMCA protects that right. "Fair Use" is not a viable solution, as you never had a right to use the hardware in that way, and further it is only an affirmative defense in a case, not actually a right you have. Of course arguments could be made the other way, but my feeling is that defense of a modchip becomes futile after the enactment of the DMCA.
     
  9. Dylanwhat

    Newcomer Dylanwhat Member

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    $25 is fair. The soldering part takes all of five minutes but opening the case, especially if this is the guys first Wii, can be $25 worth of work, lol.
     
  10. ssj4android

    Member ssj4android GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I thought modchips were technically illegal under the DMCA as well. Not like anyone would go after you though.
     
  11. alucard77

    Member alucard77 GBAtemp Fan

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    Before I decided to do the chip myself, I went to a shady videogame store near me. I know they use to chip systems in the past, so I decided to drop in to chat with them.

    They told me that if you are caught installing a modchip, it is a penalty up to $100,000 and a possible max sentence of 6 months. So basically, if you are a business and you install a modchip, your screwed.

    You as the owner of your own system can do whatever you like. After all Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft is not going to go after the 1 guy who did his home machine. They are going to go after the companies that made it possible for you to do your machine. Would be too much of a waiste of money to go after you.
     
  12. kristijan08

    Member kristijan08 GBAtemp Fan

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    Pretty sure modchips are illegal under the DMCA, but i think it'd be way too much of a hassle for them to organise someone to arresst you, especially without substantial proof that you were going to use the modchip in a greater plan of mass piracy....

    i'm sure you'll be safe, besides, its only for backups
     
  13. Takrin

    Member Takrin GBAtemp Fan

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  14. Monkey01

    Member Monkey01 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Lolz @ the Australian rules, Wiinja V1 and CycloWiz V1 are illegal, but WiiKey and the newer Wiinja aren't. [​IMG]

    But so in the USA rules the modchip itself is legal, but the software that is on it isn't...? hmmkay...
     
  15. iza

    Member iza gbatemp, the new crack

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    yea... we're screwy like that... we have all kinds of things that are legal in one place or aspect, then the next thing you know...your in handcuffs in the back of a cruiser for a FUCKING RADAR DETECTOR!!!! they are legal in texas, but appently, not so much in some states...
     
  16. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Dont mess with Texas [​IMG]

    I used to sell radar detectors inbound. We were only allowed to sell in 2 cities and we had to get a verbal agreement that they were not going to go out of the "specified areas"...stupid infomercials.... [​IMG]
     
  17. kdanarch

    Newcomer kdanarch Advanced Member

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    Shinji, your avatar frightens me [​IMG]
     
  18. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Thank you. Thats the female of the species...heres the male

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kdanarch

    Newcomer kdanarch Advanced Member

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    LOL! Are you going to incorporate this creature into Spore when it comes out? [​IMG]
     
  20. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    That would be just about as legal as modchips in the U.S. (aaaand we're back on topic...)

    I see no harm in the chips being legal but using it for illegal purposes being illegal...kinda like guns. [​IMG] j/k
     

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