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back to article Console games 'hack' reseller gets community service order

A Leicestershire-based computer reseller who modified video games consoles to run pirated games has been sentenced to a lengthy spell of community service. Thomas Norwood, 40, a director of Modchip Fitters, pleaded guilty to importation and sale of electronic cards that circumvented anti-piracy controls on Nintendo Wiis, …

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Don't pretend you're protecting the consumer, Mr Bull.

Arguments about the legitimacy of the nodding operation aside -- Trading Standards were working to protect the companies who were pissed off that their consoles' restrictions were hacked. By all means, Mr Bull, be proud to protect IP if that's what you believe -- please don't pretend you give a shit about the consumer (at least not in this instance).

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Anonymous Coward

Except

Except, if more and more end users play copied games, the prices for the games and presumably consoles will go up, thus making the cost for legitimate customers go up, in order that the software companies can maintain profits.

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Anonymous Coward

Doesnt work like that

Doesnt work like that. Though they never stop banging on about how it "does".

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Silver badge
FAIL

If they released games *worldwide*....

I wouldn't NEED to mod my damn console to play US imports.

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WTF?

Becoming more common

Now, granted I haven't owned a games console since the Megadrive and stopped playing games when they released Counterstrike so I may be out of touch here, but from what I gather console 'chipping' isn't HALF as common as it used to be. Back in PS1 games it seemed that ~80% of consoles were chipped and there was a thriving market in pirated games. Contrast this with today - I've NEVER seen a pirated XBOX360/PS3/Wii game on anyone's shelf.

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Dude, what?

Don't you know that mod chips are distributed by The Serious Organised Terrorists, and that they sneak out at night and harvest your childrens' organs while they sleep?

Why do you hate the children?

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This type of crime...

I couldn't help reading 'Bull added: "This type of crime is becoming more common and is a serious threat to legitimate businesses."' as the manufacturers killing off products they had sold to consumers as the crime in question...

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Stop

Stupid Laws and Stupidity Enforcing Them

If I pay good money to buy an electronic device, common sense says that if I choose to have it modified, it is my RIGHT to choose that modification, be it changing the paint scheme, through to allowing it to run the programs I want to run on it.

If the customer then goes on to commit IP theft, making use of the modification, then that IP theft crime should be persued.

Using the logic that has created this monster of legislation, all garage mechanics and motorcar manufactureres would be in jail, because the cars they worked on, had subsequently been used to commit a crime.

A clear case of gross stupidity in legislatiion.

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Anonymous Coward

Intent.

I think you are missing the idea of "intent" here. In both actual case and your garage mechanic example.

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Unhappy

RE: Intent

Mind reading and crystal ball gazing are not addmissible evidence in a UK court (yet.....).

Unless the person has been told that the modification is expressly for the purpose of commiting a crime, the mechanic or hardware modder can not be considered as conspirators in committing an unspecified crime at an unspecified point in time in the future.

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FAIL

Protecting Criminals

Yet interestingly Sony BMG and First 4 Internet haven't been persued in the UK for their criminal activities (CMA90 S1, S2, S3) in sneaking rootkits on to legimate Music buyers computers, when they decided to use root kits to protect their comercial interests.

So come on trading standards, remember you where created to protect the CONSUMER, not be the lap dog of large companies.

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Actually

Trading Standards *were* setup to protect companies from the public by providing a shield and (if needed) a ruling that favoured the business. The irony is that we taxpayers fund it but it protects big business not us.

With this in mind most decisions in the past suddenly make sense.

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WTF?

Former Sony BMG

Interestingly - since Sony bought out Bertelsmann's half-share in Sony BMG - Sony Music Entertainment doesn't go in for that kind of crap any more.

Anyway, for me, circumventing regional encoding is absolutely morally fine, but copying games is morally wrong and really does end up with game devs out of work.

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Unhappy

Origin Trading Standards

The origins of the service are in the enforcement of legislation on Weights and Measures.

Hence protecting consumers from fraudulent traders.

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WTF?

I want my tax money back

If these stupid tossers want to waste their time enforcing the draconian and anti-consumer regulations foisted on us by our useless government then the corporates can pay for them. They should not be wasting yours and my tax money victimising consumers so that Sony and Microsoft can get richer.

Fork the lot of them, I suggest we line them up on the Dover cliffs and bulldoze them into the channel as an example to the next lot of corporate shysters.

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Anonymous Coward

Legitimate businesses...

Isn't that widely known as a euphemism for an organized crime front operation?

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Was the fine for the pirate software &...

... not for actually putting modchips in machines?

After I purchase something its my right to do what ever I want with it. If I want to modchip my Xbox/PS or toaster I should be able too. I understand my rights to return the item within the warranty period are now no longer valid, but the law must understand, its mine & I can do what the devil I want with it.

Its a bit of a grey area as most people only modchip there machines, so they can play pirate software. I don't know any homebrew developers.

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Anonymous Coward

Ok...

Try to purchase a replica weapon and modify it to be live firing, they argue in court that it was yours and you have a right to do with it what you want.

(Actually, don't do this, it's just a flippant point.)

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Pirate

Homebrew dev's???

I actually do a little home brew dev for the nintendo wii..

in some areas of development it takes a great deal of time and effort to make sure you are not in breach of anyones copyright and keep the work legal...

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Silver badge

lol

Computer games person not allowed to leave his house.

I'm sure he's weeping - or at least, a rival BlOps clan is!

If the anti-piracy measures meant that protected systems had cheaper games (because no money is lost to piracy) then I'd have some sympathy for the manufacturers.

However, since pc games without such protection are cheaper than their console equivalents, I suspect that piracy is not the issue. I would guess it's more about Sony/Nintendo et al controlling the platform than end-user piracy. I suspect that selling extra controllers, licensing game publishers and online fees is what it's really all about.

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more details please!

I might have missed it.. but do we know what crime he was actually convicted of?

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Probably...

... something in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

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Happy

...legitimate disabling...

Oh, Bull.

--g

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