Xbox modder gets case dismissed by prosecution

Andre Yoskowitz
2 Dec 2010 22:39

Yesterday we reported that the jury trial for the case of Matthew Crippen had been delayed, after the presiding judge took 30 minutes to lecture the prosecution.
Today, the prosecution has dismissed the case, after just hours, "based on fairness and justice."

Prosecutor Allen Chiu says: "The government has decided to dismiss the indictment."
Crippen was on trial for allegedly modding Xbox 360 consoles to be able to play pirated games and homebrew.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez started the trial off yesterday with a 30-minute rant complaining about the prosecution and the government's case, with his main concerns being the prosecution's "star" witnesses.

The two witnesses in the case had both potentially broken the law, making them less credible. The first,Entertainment Software Association investigator Tony Rosario, had video of Crippen modding consoles in his home in L.A. Those videos, however, were taped secretly, in violation of California's strict privacy laws.

Microsoft security employee Ken McGrail was the second witness, the man who analyzed the consoles that were seized from Crippen's home. McGrail, however, had admitted under oath to modifying the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 back when he was in college.

Crippen was charged with two counts of breaking the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA and faced up to 10 years in prison.

The 28-year-old says he will finally be able to go back to school, needing just one more year to get his degree from Cal State Fullerton.

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