AfterDawn: Tech news

Three men face jail for selling modified Xbox consoles

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Dec 2005 13:22 User comments (30)

Three men face jail for selling modified Xbox consoles Three men have been charged with copyright infringement by U.S. Prosecutors for modifying Xbox consoles and selling them. ACME Game Store co-owners Jason Jones, 34, and Jonathan Bryant, 44, as well as Pei "Patrick" Cai, 32 have been charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The complaint claims that Bryant and Jones sold Xbox consoles that Cai had modified with modchips and HDD's pre-loaded with pirated copies of games.
They could face up to five years in prison when they appear in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in late January. They charged from $225 to more than $500 for the modifications, depending on the amount of requested pre-loaded games. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement undercover agents paid $265 for a chipped Xbox that included 77 pirated games, according to the criminal complaint.

It is unfortunate that publicized modchip-related cases usually also include details about individuals selling pirated copies of games. Modchips themselves offer many other uses besides the ability to play game copies, such as allowing homebrew to be run and bypassing region restrictions on imported games. They can unlock much more potential in a console.


Thanks to wonderboy and weazel200 for sending us News Submissions.

Previous Next  

30 user comments

121.12.2005 13:36

Selling pirated games along with the modded xbox... Burn!

221.12.2005 13:50

What about the buyer's? Does buyer have to face jail time?

321.12.2005 13:50


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Apr 2006 @ 22:00

421.12.2005 15:18

Wow, $265 for a chipped xbox with a hard drive big enough to hold 77 games! I wish I would have bought a modded xbox from them! How could they have made any money? Xbox $149.99, mod chip $50, HD $100, not to mention the time it would take to mod it, and install all those games. Someone doesn't have their figures right.

521.12.2005 17:31

I agree with llongtheD. It costs more than $265 to do all that. Maybe these guys were really big time though. I mean, like buying 100 hard drives at a time, 100 Xbox's, etc. Im sure they could save alot of money buying in bulk. Just a thought.

621.12.2005 18:04

Note to self : Go to ACME game store and point while laughing.

721.12.2005 18:17

maybe they were softmodded, all the features and saves $50

821.12.2005 18:19

They talked about it being "chipped". That kind of throws a monkey wrench into the softmod theory.

921.12.2005 19:10

They forgot to cut Uncle Bill in on the action.

1022.12.2005 9:27

It says they were charging for the mods, it doesn't say that they were charging that for the consoles. Just an observation . . . .

1122.12.2005 9:55

I think that they only charge for the chip and games.

1222.12.2005 10:01

Most interestingly, I bought a PS2 laser off eBay from this Pei Cai not too long ago.

1322.12.2005 10:21

i'm just curious where would i buy a mod chip? i really want one for my ps2.

1422.12.2005 11:38

I can certainly understand that the mainstream media would use that headline because it's dramatic & favors the big companies that are whining about mods. But why does AfterDawn use it??? The point is that they were SELLING PIRATED COPIES OF GAMES. The modification is just what ALLOWED them to do that - it shouldn't be made the focus.

1522.12.2005 13:32

Exactly... The Guys Probably wouldn"t have Been Busted if all they Did was add Mod Chips and Hard Drives to the XBoX but also Putting Massive amounts of Pirated Games in the Consoles Is were they Crossed the Line... Cheers

1622.12.2005 13:56


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Apr 2006 @ 22:01

1722.12.2005 14:19

Did you pay cash for it? If you did they'll probably never know, but they could sieze credit card details. They'd probably just confiscate it if you plead that you thought it was all legitimate and they buy that you really are that naive.

1822.12.2005 15:49

<<<Did you pay cash for it? If you did they'll probably never know, but they could sieze credit card details. They'd probably just confiscate it if you plead that you thought it was all legitimate and they buy that you really are that naive.>>> I'm sure that the authorities that are smart engough to trace that transaction back to the buyer would never find their way to these postings to see that you really arn't that naive!!!!!! Don't you guys ever watch Law and Order?

1922.12.2005 18:27

5 years in prison, thats fuckin bullshit! There is something seriously fucked up about that sentence. Give them a spanking and send them home. That judge should have his head examined. He's obviously lost capacity to do his job.

2022.12.2005 20:10

Yes ,6 Years in Jail seems a Little Overboard for Simple Game Piracy... Were I live poeple might get 5 Years for ManSlaughter Or Rape or Armed Robery but Not for selling a few Copied Video games.... Well I guess that is what Happens when Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations Start Makeing Laws and Influencing the Judicial System... You won"t see those Kinds of Jail Sentences when Poor Poeple Get Robbed or Ripped off.... Makes me feel lucky that I live were I do as we don"t have nearly as Much Lopsided Justice....

2123.12.2005 0:36

I saw him too, according to tatsh, selling all kind of modded stuff almost a month ago

2223.12.2005 3:09

I completelly agree with Minion's last comment People killing people don't get that kind of sentences. There is definetelly something wrong with the judicial system. I can understand the copyright thing and that companies need to protect their products and everything but you just don't putin jail people for seeling pirated stuff ; at best you give them a salty fine and live it there.

2323.12.2005 3:23

Just wait till the MPAA wants to try to own your body and try to make you pay to use it, then the penalties for some of those real crimes will make 5 years prison seem more reasonable. They wouldn't want someone to damage one of their 'units'... All that lost revenue...

2423.12.2005 5:14

Advise to Ford Motors Co. (My fee is 10%) Sue all the automobiles constructor firms worldwide because they have evolved the T-model auto. This is really free money! Also sue anybody that owns a car worldwide. I think that I'm starting like myself!

2523.12.2005 11:38

sucks for them eh?

2623.12.2005 11:49

modchip dot ca (Canada) sell premodded PS2's with 30 day warranty. NO pirated software!!! Just a pre-modded PS2 for playing NTSC & PAL or LEGETIMATE backups so your kids cannot ruin $50 dollar game disks. They are reliable, fast, and good prices. Many years of being in business.

2824.12.2005 14:08

How these corporations got the right to copyright software in the first place? In science, if you invent something, you get a 20 year patent. After 20 years, anybody can use your invention, and modify and improve upon it. This system strikes a balance between corporate profit and public good. When a pharaceutical company invents a drug, after hundreds of millions spent in research and development, by the time the product finally hits the market, they usually have about 8-10 years left on their patent to make some money. After that time, the generic drug companies can kick in, use the technology that is clearly spelled out in the patent(if the technology isnt clearly spelled out in the patent, the patent can be invalidated by a judge in a court of law), and make the same drug and sell it. But in software, somehow these corporations squeezed the government to be able to allow them to get copyrights that last for an eternity rather than a mortal patent. Would Bill Gates be a bazillionaire if he was only allowed a 20 year patent? Would we have a better operating system if he was only allowed a 20 year patent? The answers are obvious. We are stuck with crap software, and Bill Gates is laughing all the way to the bank. Nobody can improve upon his invention, and that hurts us. The reason these 3 guys got such a stiff sentence is to make an example out of them. The corporations want to keep us in fear to keep us down. It is time we do something about this. Copyrights for software is complete bullshit, and it hurts us. A friend of mine who immigrated from China as a scientist and recently got his greencard downloaded 10 minutes worth of a Disney movie. Disney wanted to make an example out of him and prosecuted him to the full extent of the law. That was a $100,000 fine. He didnt even get to watch the movie. He just packed up and went back to China. The real pirates here are Disney and other corporations. They are trying to keep us in fear to protect their profits. It is time to end this ridiculous copyright system for software that is holding us down and allowing corporations to ruin peoples lives. It is out of control. And my operating system keeps crashing.

2924.12.2005 21:03

lol@piratedan yeah uncle bill and uncle sam

3028.12.2005 9:50

We are just common mortals... They are Gods and they have weapons called LOBBIES! That's Capitalism for you... You get people that raped kids walking free on the streets after a 5 or 6 year spell in the can, but you go down for the same period for selling a games console?!? How about Sony that got that virus going around? How many people lost their stuff thinking they got a virus off the net, when in reality they got it from a cd they bought in a shop? Did they get done for it? How about them people? Did they get compensation? And you claim USA is a free country? IS IT FUCK! You can get arrested for farting on the street, for god sake!

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive