Student faces three years in prison for modifying Xbox 360

bowlofspiders

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In the first case of its kind, a man from Southern California is set to go on trial Tuesday on criminal charges of circumventing digital rights management (DRM) by modifying Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. Twenty-eight-year old Matthew Crippen faces two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could face a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.
The Cal State Fullerton liberal arts student is accused of installing chips on Xbox 360 consoles that allowed people to run pirated DVDs and other unofficial content.
In a potentially devastating decision, a federal judge ruled last week that Crippen could not claim "fair use" as a defense for modifying a gaming console.
Crippen's attorneys had hoped to claim that installing a mod chip in a gaming console was no different than "jailbreaking" an iPhone, since both devices share many of the same basic functions.

In July, the US Copyright Office announced that jailbreaking an iPhone, a process that allows non-Apple approved software to be added to the device, including pirated software, was not a DMCA violation.

"While a copyright owner might try to restrict the programs that can be run on a particular operating system, copyright law is not the vehicle for imposition of such restrictions," the office said. "The activity of an iPhone owner who modifies his or her iPhone’s firmware/operating system in order to make it interoperable with an application that Apple has not approved, but that the iPhone owner wishes to run on the iPhone, fits comfortably within the four corners of fair use."
But US District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez said "fair use" laws were irrelevant to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, under which Crippen is charged, because the Copyright Office's iPhone jailbreaking exemption didn't extend to gaming consoles.
"The DMCA only requires a showing that the technological measure was related to a valid copyright interest, not that any infringement actually occurred," Gutierrez said. "Moreover, although the government will have to establish that the technological measure that Mr. Crippen allegedly circumvented was used to control access to copyrighted work, the government need not show that the modified Xbox's were actually used for infringing purposes."
Crippen reportedly made a business out of modifying Xbox 360 consoles. Last year, he was indicted for circumventing "a technological measure that effectively controlled access to a copyrighted work" after modifying a console for an undercover security investigator and then an undercover federal agent.
He told Wired that the purpose of modifying the Xbox consoles was to allow people to use decrypted backup copies of their own gaming software, noting that "it's a given that any game will be scratched in that system."
Customers have complained that the Xbox 360 console scratches their discs, eventually making them unusable.
When Microsoft's Kinect gaming device was released, the company threatened legal action against those modifying its product, but later backed off and embraced "product tampering."
"Anytime there is engagement and excitement around our technology, we see that as a good thing," Craig Davidson, senior director for Xbox Live at Microsoft told the New York Times. "It's naive to think that any new technology that comes out won’t have a group that tinkers with it."
"It’s a trend that is undeniable, using public resources to improve on products, whether it be the Kinect or anything else," he added.

This is one unlucky dude.
 

Crass

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The judge in this case is a real fucking badass and seems to have a great understanding of whats going on. I mean the fact that the Dept of Homeland Security was involved with the prosecution, a deptartment that was set up to catch Terrorists, is involved with stopping a kid from modding xboxs, shows how fucking bought-out our government really is. Some fun reading: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/12/xbox-judge-riled/
 

DeadLocked

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Makes you sick.
The laws are wrong; you should be allowed to do whatever the fuck you want to the hardware, but only by running pirated retail software (i.e not homebrew) is it breaking the law. Stupid fricking laws.
 

bowlofspiders

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_Chaz_ said:
So...

Microsoft runs the country.
No thats Steve Jobs'
smileipb2.png
 

_Chaz_

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heartgold said:
oook, sorry dude, your bad luck. We can't alter an item what we payed for, so does that even make it our property?
closedeyes.gif
Apparently, you're only paying to hold the system.

It's like a really expensive petting zoo.
 

Zetta_x

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What's next? If you break your system, you can be fined up to 2x the cost of replacement for damaging their property. Oh wait... that's already in place.
 

notmeanymore

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People, people, calm down. The case isn't about modding the consoles. It's about getting paid to do it. If he modded all those consoles for free, he'd never be in this situation.
 

.Chris

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TehSkull said:
People, people, calm down. The case isn't about modding the consoles. It's about getting paid to do it. If he modded all those consoles for free, he'd never be in this situation.
oh thank god! if that was the case, i would format my wii (idk if it is the same situation.)....
 

Crass

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TehSkull said:
People, people, calm down. The case isn't about modding the consoles. It's about getting paid to do it. If he modded all those consoles for free, he'd never be in this situation.
Lol Derp? Did you even read the article I posted above? He isn't being charged with getting paid for modding the xbox, hes getting charged directly with 2 DMCA violations for altering the code on the Xbox. The fact that he was advertising his service made him an easier target for the investigators, that is all.
 

heartgold

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TehSkull said:
People, people, calm down. The case isn't about modding the consoles. It's about getting paid to do it. If he modded all those consoles for free, he'd never be in this situation.
Doubt it, regardless of him doing it for free would have gotten him in trouble too, look below...

QUOTEa man from Southern California is set to go on trial Tuesday on criminal charges of circumventing digital rights management (DRM) by modifying Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. Twenty-eight-year old Matthew Crippen faces two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could face a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.
The Cal State Fullerton liberal arts student is accused of installing chips on Xbox 360 consoles that allowed people to run pirated DVDs and other unofficial content.
Nothing about money
 

dib

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..which is why he was caught and they're actively pursuing it. This isn't the first time it's happened--they go after bootleggers all the time. You should learn to pay better attention.

That's why I love these topics. It's not "unlucky" when you're a profiteering asshat who decided he could make cash off other people's work. Then everybody starts flipping the fuck out because the government is gonna take away their pirated games.
 

DarkSpace

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dib said:
..which is why he was caught and they're actively pursuing it. This isn't the first time it's happened--they go after bootleggers all the time. You should learn to pay better attention.

That's why I love these topics. It's not "unlucky" when you're a profiteering asshat who decided he could make cash off other people's work. Then everybody starts flipping the fuck out because the government is gonna take away their pirated games.

There was no money involved. At least it wasn't stated explicitly. He's in trouble for modding other people's xbox. He's in trouble for modding... at least that's how I read it.
He wasn't providing pirated software or illegal materials, all he did was attach the chip and probably modified the code.

and it goes on to say that

"The DMCA only requires a showing that the technological measure was related to a valid copyright interest, not that any infringement actually occurred," Gutierrez said. "Moreover, although the government will have to establish that the technological measure that Mr. Crippen allegedly circumvented was used to control access to copyrighted work, the government need not show that the modified Xbox's were actually used for infringing purposes."

which means he messed with the xbox and they don't need proof that he was in anyway providing or using illegal software.
 

heartgold

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They can't possibly charge people for modding their our console but if you are advertisng to do other people's that's another story, like what this guy is doing. But still I don't think it's right, they don't owe the flipping hardware once they sold it to us, as company's are playing games like this which means we basically are renting the hardware and they still have full control.
 

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