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UK man convicted for chipping Xbox consoles

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Jul 2005 11:41 User comments (69)

UK man convicted for chipping Xbox consoles A man in the UK has been convicted of chipping and selling Xbox consoles through his website. The 22 year old is the first man in the UK to be convicted for modifying games consoles. He also fitted the new consoles with a 200GB HDD containing 80 games. He was sentenced to 140 hours community service in Caerphilly Magistrates Court in Wales. "This case sets a major precedent which marks a milestone in the fight against piracy," said games industry spokesman Michael Rawlinson.
Since October 2003, modifying your gaming consoles with chips that can be used to bypass copy protection mechanisms has been illegal. Modchips can be soldered (usually - but "no solder" options can also be available) to the main board of the gaming consoles and not only allow you to play copied games, but also allow you to play import games. The man was tracked down by an investigator working with the UK games industry trade body, the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (Elspa).

He was selling his chipped consoles with the new hard drives containing 80 games for £380 (€561 - US$668). As well as his community service he must also pay £750 in costs. Thirty eight hard disk drives, three computers, two printers and his three Xbox consoles were seized by Police also. "It sends a clear message to anyone tempted to become involved in chipping consoles that this is a criminal offence and will be dealt with accordingly," said Mr Rawlinson, deputy director general of Elspa. "The modification of consoles is an activity that Elspa's anti-piracy team is prioritising. It is encouraging to see the UK courts do the same."

Source:
BBC News

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69 user comments

14.7.2005 12:38

Wow...the british arrested someone for that??? Don't they have better things to do? Like getting the EU fixed?

24.7.2005 13:56

Man this has been goin on since PS1 soo wat else is new and now they realise it. :) they have a long way to goo to even make a dent in the industry :)

34.7.2005 13:57

The funny thing is that is it an industry...hacking xbox and playstation lol

44.7.2005 14:38

He was procesuted not for chipping, I'm guessing, but for selling the hard drives with GAMES installed. I doubt they could make a good enough case against chipping, since allowing you to play backups isn't the same as bypassing copy protection, plus it has the additional use of allowing you to play imports - which ISN'T protected by copyright law.

54.7.2005 14:58

Yeah i'd have to agree.. If he didn't put the games on the HD he would've gotten away with it.... You can Mod a PS2 XBOX or anyother System as long as you put a disclaimer for BACKUP PURPOSES ONLY It's kind of like people who Sell Pot Pipes and put the disclaimer for Tobacco Use only, when they sell them.... The only way the could make it a crime would be if they made it a criminal offense to open a XBOX PS2 ETC without authority or liscence to do so.... But like that would stop anyone from doing it anyways.. But that would be the only way legally they could stop someone from Chipping or moding a unit....

64.7.2005 15:02

yeah got to agree that it was for copying and backing up the games onto the HDD and then selling for profit, with no mentions of the originals he prob made a tidy profit from it and thats why he got busted

74.7.2005 15:11

Wouldn't surprise me when the XBOX 360 and PS3 and anyother console for that matter comes out.. That there will be not only harder to crack copy protection (someone will sooner or later crack it though) and a law against opening a unit without permission or being liscenced... Now that would SUCK! But I wouldn't be surprised if that's the next step.... But would it stop chips or fliptops from being sold? tough ? because a fliptop by itself does no harm and so does a Chip. When it's installed then the companies can complain.. but it's not like everyone on this forum is going to run around and say HEY I HAVE A MODDED XBOX 360 and PS3 Just won't be people selling Already Modded systems I'm guessing...

84.7.2005 15:13

I think there is going to be a lot of bad laws coming down the pike my friends....thanks President Bush lol

94.7.2005 17:14

This court case is a good thing...I think this sends a clear message to all those modders out there.... Charge more for your work... What about his poor customers... they lost there consoles... bummer. Three of them.. I hope they get some kind of compensation. Quote "The modification of consoles is an activity that Elspa's anti-piracy team is prioritising." Maybe they will be the first ones to modify the PS3 & Xbox 360.. since its now a priority of Elspa.

104.7.2005 17:34

yeah but a weeks worth of community service is a good trade for all the money he made chipping x-boxes, not to mention all the bootleg games he sold and whatever else. if he didnt get a huge fine to go with it then he got off good.

114.7.2005 18:27

Im glad they didnt try and jail him. Jail is for someone who is a physical threat, hackers, modders, and thieves dont need to be going to jail (at least on their first offense) community service is understandable.

124.7.2005 19:08

The United states influence reaching accross the pond. The Bush Admin. is turning the USA into the USSR. Pressuring the EU to comply with it's rules. When Bill Gates makes some large contributions to the Bush Re-election, what else would you expect.

134.7.2005 19:55

I think it's stupid... So you can sell mod xbox with hard drive but not with games.... I bet you can put all that game with gamefly. $22 dollers a month.

144.7.2005 20:11

I'm guessing that the reason they actually charged this bloke was not because he was selling modded xbox's but because he was selling em' with 80 games on em'. The reason I say this is that nobody can tell you what to do with your hardware. If you want to chuck a turbo in your car. can you..... Yes, It's the same with pc's(Xbox's Included). So in short, don't be stupid and sell pirated games.

154.7.2005 20:31

Quote:
tmfloria (Junior Member) 4 July 2005 19:11 Wouldn't surprise me when the XBOX 360 and PS3 and anyother console for that matter comes out.. That there will be not only harder to crack copy protection (someone will sooner or later crack it though) and a law against opening a unit without permission or being liscenced...
a) dont give them ideas!! b) once you buy an item like that, you are allowed to do as you please. i.e you can open it if u want c) harder to crack copyright, i think not, because they'v already run out of ideas lol

164.7.2005 20:37

by the way its stupid how this man openly rips off the industry of thousands of pounds, (or dollars to all you americans) and gets off with community service and a £750 fine. and yet file sharers have to pay so much more if they get clocked sharing copyrighted material. is it just in america you have to pay huge fines? i dont know. but, even though britain is a soft touch when it comes to the law (taxes piss us all off etc) i wouldnt mind if they were soft on piracy aswll so we are all free to share(Sorry bit off the topic ppl!) Peace, -Benjers

174.7.2005 21:48

Dang... That guy was selling 200gb xbox for $668. I can get one for $340 dollers. Xbox $150 Good mod chip $55 300g hard drive $135 Games, will you can put it on yourself. With gamefly. customers= stupid to buy it for $668 dollers. SO why haven't you switch to GEICO. LOL

184.7.2005 23:56

Yeah that was part of the problem he was charging for the games too

195.7.2005 1:32

Wow! The UK sounds like a great place to live. They have obviously eliminated all serious crime like murder, rape, drug dealing and got rid of all the paedophiles. Now the law enforcement agencies over there can concentrate all of their efforts and the taxpayer’s money on crimes such as computer game piracy. What a place :-)

205.7.2005 2:03

im in the UK, you just think we have loads of problems because of the awful media we have in this country i dont sit there saying USA has problems, and lets face it i could quite easily :P so less of the mickey taking about where people live

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2005 @ 2:03


215.7.2005 2:50

Quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- im in the UK, you just think we have loads of problems because of the awful media we have in this country i dont sit there saying USA has problems, and lets face it i could quite easily :P so less of the mickey taking about where people live -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OK, first of all I am not from the USA. And secondly the case in question is referring to a person that was convicted in the UK. That is the only reason that I mentioned the UK. If it happened in Germany or Russia or Brazil my comment would remain the same. The fact of the matter is that in any country in the world today has far more serious issues to address before they try to use their resources to tackle computer game piracy.

225.7.2005 3:51

--------------------------------- The fact of the matter is that in any country in the world today has far more serious issues to address before they try to use their resources to tackle computer game piracy. --------------------------------- Ah... but there's no counterpart to drug dealers who are going to throw HUGE wads of cash at the politicians to make them get off their lazy asses and catch drug dealers. Same with terrorism - if they catch a terrorist, no one's going to treat them to a week at some expensive resort. Same with padeophiles... there's not cash pay off. The entertainment companies (music, movie, gaming) on the other hand will give them all sorts of perks I'm sure and they've got their lobby groups so well funded I'm sure every senator is getting a BJ from them every night.

235.7.2005 4:44
chesty
Inactive

Great britain is just as retarded as the united states when it comes to making an absurdly measly little arrest and making such a BIG DEAL out of it . Just the tip of the iceberg. This is just as futile as the RIAA and the MPAA suing people for illegal file sharing and downloading. People are going to do what they want to do any ole' way. There is so many things both The United States And Great britain ought to paying more attention to such as organized crime big time drug trafficing and terrorism. Your tax dollars at work .............

245.7.2005 4:57

The entire tax paying British public is a counterpart to drug dealers and terrorists etc. And they pump more money into the government in taxes each week than all of the entertainment companies combined. You ask any member of the public if they would feel safer with dealers or video game pirates off their streets and I know what they will tell you. As for Bj's and weeks at some expensive resorts. I have no evidence that this happens, so im not gonna comment....interesting thought all the same lol :-)

255.7.2005 7:00
Reasons?
Inactive

I think he got what he deserved. It takes a some serious stupidity to load up 80 games onto the HDD. Come on, leave that to the buyer, what a mistake. If I was MS I would be ticked too. 80 games...

265.7.2005 7:07

yeah he should have just moded the box

275.7.2005 8:03
Crystatic
Inactive

Maybe he couldve bundled 80 backups on discs that came with the Xbox.......

285.7.2005 8:09
Reasons?
Inactive

He could have somehow eluded to the games, but not advertised them. This would have kept it going until someone in the CP business bought one.

295.7.2005 8:09

Moding an xbox in the uk??? is that illegal??

305.7.2005 8:31
Reasons?
Inactive

Modding isn't, I am pretty sure evn though I don't live there. The argument for modding is that it enables you to play back ups of DVDs you owned but lost damaged etc.

315.7.2005 8:49

Modding IS actually illegal in the UK. It was only recently past (by recently, i mean last year or so). Dan x

325.7.2005 9:10
Reasons?
Inactive

That explains it. I missed that. Wow, I can't believe they passed it.

335.7.2005 9:19

How Stupid..and i use to respect Tony Blair lol

345.7.2005 9:59

[QUOTE]Dang... That guy was selling 200gb xbox for $668. I can get one for $340 dollers. Xbox $150 Good mod chip $55 300g hard drive $135 Games, will you can put it on yourself. With gamefly. customers= stupid to buy it for $668 dollers. SO why haven't you switch to GEICO. LOL [/QUOTE] It's all relative though. He is selling it for quite a bit on tope though.. The XBOX is £99 over here which is roughly $180 at the present exchange rate. Chip is about £28 or $41 depending on what one you get. I managed to get mine a lot cheaper..

355.7.2005 10:08

wow man the pound is still mad pricey...they need to get on the over to the EU currency...although its still worth more then the dollar. Oh well...US and those budget deficits... i wish I could spend like that on the taxpayers money

365.7.2005 11:25
Reasons?
Inactive

He was making alot of money, dang. He was probally sitting all high and mighty making a serious buck, them bam, screwed over by the man.

375.7.2005 11:29

He just let the wrong person know... in the us i don't think he would have such a high chance of getting caught...wow don't the brits have better things to do then arrest people for something like that...they should arrest bill gates for his silly product activation

385.7.2005 11:34

So now that 'modding' your hardware is illegal in the UK and the US, which allows you to perform legal activities, such as watching DVD's, using homebrew software, or just converting your system to a Linux computer... Someone needs to bring an antitrust complaint to the courts, stating that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have a market exclusive right to the use of software for the X-box (or Ps2, or Gamecube) on their company made system. This forces consumers to purchase their brand only if they want to use software made for that console. The desired result would force these companies to allow 'cloned' console makers to exist in the market. This would also be nessisary for the upcoming consoles of the future, xbox 360, PS3... Exactly like the fight to de-throne IBM's antitrust market in the 70's and 80's. Now we have 100's of brands to choose from to run "microsoft" products on, as well as the ability to make our own computers from scratch. Thats the direction the console scene needs to head in now.

395.7.2005 11:38
Reasons?
Inactive

Good point, too bad those corporations are too powerful to stop. Face it, Microsoft, Sony, and Car manufacturers own the world.

405.7.2005 11:46

they do...we don't even need a government...lol just sony and microsoft lol

415.7.2005 14:20

maybe all you gamers should move to Spain...Sony took several people to court there about 18 months ago for modding and the judge declared they could do what they wanted to the box once they had bought it: modding/chipping whatever you call it is legal in Spain (at the moment)

425.7.2005 15:13
guinnyss
Inactive

Go Spain..

435.7.2005 15:16

GO Spain...that is the way it should be...next it will be i can't paint my house a certain way

445.7.2005 15:40

Nothing in the documentation for any of the consoles you buy today says you can't modify the hardware or software of the unit... Don't be surprised in the future consoles if you see such a clause and then you can't get away with it.. unless you are licensed to do so... Hopefully it won't come down to that but if it does I see Microsoft doing it first.. for Bill Gates is a GREEDY BASTARD!

455.7.2005 17:03
noshow
Inactive

you know its weird HAHAHA i can get a console that lets me WATCH any satilite TV all channlels included for las the 350 us hwhahahahah what a choke

465.7.2005 17:13

Quote:
It sends a clear message to anyone tempted to become involved in chipping consoles...
Isn't the 'pre-loaded with 80 games' thing a bit more serious

476.7.2005 2:29
joe7558
Inactive

This cuntry is so crappy the mothers agenst games bitch about a game were you kill a man with your hand but a game were you run around having sex their ok about what is going on im 16 and look like an 18 year old but each time i go into a shop to but a 16+ game thay always ask for ID but then there are 10 year olds buying fags this wourld is so scruwed up i say there sould be a law about shop keepers they sould atleast have the IQ of a squil

486.7.2005 3:13

I don't think this guy stupid at all, they entrapped him, plain and simple. For you who say "I can get one for cheaper" are stupid, anyone who mods an Xbox is gonna take what they can get for it, the guy who set him up probably asked him to load the games for him and busted him for it. This could happen to anyone being set up by cops. I mean come on your modding Xbox and theres drug dealers in the street, who would you think to get busted first, sure enough the Xbox....besides regardless if you load games or not, they're still illegal. ONE question that always remains, Why in the F@#K did Microsoft build the F@#cking thing to be modded in the first place, Answer is: BIG MONEY......Microsoft is responsible, plain and simple and they have no right to F@#K someones life up over a piece of shit Xbox. Go to HELL MICROSOFT!!!

496.7.2005 3:16

it all comes down to dollars ms is no different from any other greedy company. they all want to make huge profits and stuff our mouths with s*%#. and we have to obey them. what we really need is a goverment that has balls to throw it back @ them. all about our own freedom. sure if sony can make a dvd burner. than why can't we be allowed to make a backup copy of anything the person owns if they don't want it copied than don't make the hardware. just my 2cents

506.7.2005 6:32
Valor7
Inactive

lol I dont think it's ever been said better jlo_jlo!

516.7.2005 9:04
runner121
Inactive

I agree with gambiel7,in that they should'nt ruin someones life over a game console.Its ridculous, and because of it I will make sure myself and no one I know keep an un-modded system again.

526.7.2005 9:16
Reasons?
Inactive

How about a little balance. Modding should not be illegal anywhere, I agree. But, preloading 80 $50 copyrighted video games is very deserving of punishment. That I can see. MS already loses money on the hardware, so they definitely need to sell the games. Modding is good, and you should make your own back-ups. Pre-loading copyrighted material is punishable mostly because it takes one serious idiot.

536.7.2005 11:03

First of all copying games is definatly a crime. There is not any kind of discussion on this item. Second not permitted to change the configuration (modifying a device) is a crime also from the opposite side. When I'm buying an object and alter the configuration I break the guarranty and warranty policies as well, but the choose is mine. That's why I'm in favor of rejecting software patents in EU. Think that you cannot add a progress bar in your own application, since a major firm has already included this feature in her products! Soon we will going to starve... Third the people are so bored to check for alternative solutions and pay money for overpriced services. Fourth the guy was so dummy, publishing ilegal material. Fifth I'm thinking to leave my job on the field and return to my hometown in the high mountains to raise some goats in order to have my meat, my milk, my cheese and also collect herbs in order to minimize the possibility of dying from famine, since some guys are more equal than me in front the eyes of the law. Sixth can anyone tell me why Microsoft didn't sued Oracle yet for using progress bars un their installation programs?

546.7.2005 11:59

Does anyone know the policy for selling chipped XBOXs on eBay? You can find them if you look hard enough. I don't think it's illegal to sell chipped ones, just as long as it doesn't come with any games. There was this place in Iowa i think, that sell back-up copies of PS2 and XBOX games. I wonder why it's legal to do that and not to sell the console and games bundled.

556.7.2005 15:31
Reasons?
Inactive

They must not have been caught yet is all.

567.7.2005 4:48

There even places locally that sell backed up games like right in a video game store. The way they claim to get around it is say you can only buy them if you already own the game. I don't think the local authorities are smart enough to figure it out lol

577.7.2005 10:10
Reasons?
Inactive

Are you kidding? That's sick, which store?

5810.7.2005 7:18

It's illegal to sell pirate games. It's not illegal to use your own backups, or to chip X-box consoles. I suggest the establishment start questioning the extortion taking place, between British high street stores and the close relationship they have with not only each other but also the games producers themselves..

5910.7.2005 7:28

Ya know what I find real funny.. i went to checkout isohunt.com they are a huge torrent site...they have an add for verizon dsl right on there! So come on now...lets stop the bs and stop suing people

6010.7.2005 14:24

He would've been alright if he wasn't sticking the games on the hard drive already, and just selling modded xboxes

6111.7.2005 13:24

Just goes to show, ALWAYS pay CASH for something you don't want traced back to your door! And, if you are required to leave a name, leave the name of that annoying neighbour who's always calling the cops if you do something egregious like wash your car right on the street or some other (cop) time wasting thing.

6212.7.2005 6:09
runner121
Inactive

I know half of you are probably Micro$oft goons anyways,but I believe I would have bought one of those systems without hesitation had I knew him.

635.8.2005 9:07

You guys have brought up some good points, but have also missed some. There have also been some mindless things brought up. Here's my 2 cents worth... Modding is good. Illegal or not, it is good. There are many pros and cons to modding your console, but the choice is ultimately yours. Linux, DVD movies, homebrew software, and voided warranties are all examples of these. Software piracy is wrong. Software piracy is wrong. Software piracy is wrong. Software piracy is wrong. Everyone that we have heard about getting arrested for modding a console has been running a shop selling modded boxes with a hdd chock full of games. It is when you start getting into the piracy side of things that you draw attention to yourself and get arrested. The guy was convicted and all he got was 140 hours of community service!!?? That is awesome!! They just slapped him on both hands and pantsed him in front of the court. There is no jail time here, no fines, just community service. AWESOME I tell you, AWESOME!

645.8.2005 9:19

Ok 140 hours of community service is alot. But selling modxbox overprice to people that community service seems small.

655.8.2005 10:11

Hey gambiel7 I sent you a PM, Check it out & get back with me Thanks

6629.8.2005 10:41

Is it illegal to sell a softmodded console? hmmmm? I see a billion of em on ebay!

6727.1.2006 2:00
ashap
Inactive

fuk it, mod ur xbox's load them with thousands of games and flog em around the world

6827.1.2006 2:02
ashap
Inactive

fuk it, mod ur xbox's load them with thousands of games and flog em around the world! peace

6927.1.2006 4:26

Said it before and I'll say it again (for newcomers & the highly perceptive), "If your going to have any "questionable" work done on anything you own, pay cash and leave your annoying neighbour's name if you must leave a name"! This applies to "mods" to your X Box or having your semi-auto AR 15 converted to a full-auto M 16!

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