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Xbox 360 Jailbreaker May Need Real Jailbreak

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the root-root-root-for-the-home-team dept.

Iphone 359

An anonymous reader writes "Back in July, the Librarian of Congress officially made it legal to jailbreak your iPhone (or any phone). So why is it that the government is trying to prosecute Matthew Crippen for jailbreaking Xbox 360s? If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, and lawyers are trying to prevent the author of a book about jailbreaking the original Xbox from testifying in Crippen's defense. What kind of law says it's okay to jailbreak the phone in your pocket, but not your gaming console?"

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Apple xbox (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021684)

Gah, Apple! Making all these locked down devices like the iphone and the xbox...

Re:Apple xbox (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021754)

lolwut? First poster and anonymous coward got it right?

Seriously, why is this a apple story?

isn't it obvious? (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022338)

Because Apple is the new blac^W Microsoft.

What kind of law? (5, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021686)

What kind of law says it's okay to jailbreak the phone in your pocket, but not your gaming console?"

The kind of law "sponsored" by Microsoft, Sony, and other industry lobbyists.

Re:What kind of law? (1, Interesting)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021700)

I would give you modpoints if I knew how for that answer :)

Re:What kind of law? (3, Informative)

koreaman (835838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021972)

You have to be given modpoints by the system before you can mod people up. The UI will make it fairly obvious that you are able to moderate if and when that happens.

Re:What kind of law? (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022124)

You're also ineligible to moderate in any article that you've replied to (and replying will trash any mod points you'd already applied therein).

Re:What kind of law? (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022318)

thanks to all of you!

Re:What kind of law? (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021784)

The law they sponsored doesn't let you jailbreak the phone either.

That's a specific exemption that is not part of law itself (well the existance of exemptions is, but not what those excemptions are).

Re:What kind of law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021946)

Other way around. Blanket law with exceptions.

Re:What kind of law? (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022074)

Or the law aided by lawyers with iPhones and who don't give a crap about the original Xbox

Re:What kind of law? (4, Insightful)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022146)

In the land of the fee...., and the home of the laws bought by big media companies. Doesn't quite rhyme properly any more.

Re:What kind of law? (1)

syleishere (1811744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022296)

It will only work against them in long run, gamers want to play games off their hard drives, not have a million cd's taking up space. They also want to be able to load older games like nintendo roms and such and modify it way they want. If 360 is NOT cracked soon, ps3 will win the war since we can now jailbreak that system, code custom apps for it, and play downloaded games. Only thing MS has going for it is their xbox live, and that is only because the community has not yet converted to playing free on ps3, but with their recent announcement of raising prices on xbox live to compensate people slowly switching, they are only making it faster.

Re:What kind of law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022356)

The analogy is the seller of the gun (or liquor bottle) is subsequently being charged with murder or drink driving and homicide. Why are we not charging the store owner who sold you the X-box with assisting piracy?

Google for China and drop shippers - pick one and get your own improved un-locker - they are up to version 5 now. Unlike rare earths, China will sell you this one.

Anyway there are 2 problems here Unlocking is automatically linked to copyright infringement (civil) + false cause - whereas the DCMA is another separate matter. Ask anyone is rest of the world about region locked games at non-world prices and not being able to recover from worn out media.

Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021704)

Or is anyone else sick of the term "jailbreak"? It sounds stupid.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021742)

Jailbreak is fine, otherwise the old media will go back to calling it 'hacking', in the bad context.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022066)

In this case jailbreak is not fine. He wasn't jailbreaking the Xbox, he was charging people to mod it to play backups/pirated media. Jailbreaking is generally accepted as removing device enforced limits on what 3rd party software can run. The mod he was using still will not allow homebrew or other non approved software to work.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Informative)

rickzor (1838596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022420)

Actually, it would allow homebrew software. His mod was an extension of the soldering mod that allowed users to install linux on the original xbox, instead modified for the 360 hardware. All the mod does is stop the xbox from checking if it is a factory made, xbox manufactured game when you load a disc (somewhat like how a jailbroken iphone can use non app-store apps) and instead it will run whatever you stick in there, from game backups to a bios bootloader.

Also, the article states that he would only mod for backups, and if piracy were brought up it would be a "no-deal".

AMERIKA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021708)

Ah Amerika! It's the new Russia!

Re:AMERIKA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022088)

The New Russia, where the jail breaks you.

It's mine, I bought it, I can do what I want (3, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021710)

As long as I am not publishing their source code, or distributing their copyrighted binaries, then fuck'em.

On the other hand, if I am publishing their source or binaries then I should expect a response, although jail time seems extreme to say the least.

Different situation completely (5, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021738)

The jailbreaking finding [eff.org] (pdf) was narrow, specifically noting that the

critical question is whether jailbreaking an iPhone in order to add applications to the phone constitutes a noninfringing use...

it appears fair to say that the purpose and character of the modification of the operating system is to engage in a private, noncommercial use intended to add functionality to a device owned by the person making the modification, albeit beyond what Apple has determined to be acceptable. The user is not engaging in any commercial exploitation of the firmware, at least not when the jailbreaking is done for the user’s own private use of the device

The Library of Congress specifically made Iphone jailbreaking permissable, for the reasons given above. As with all things legal, a specific permission isn't just instanlty transformed into general allowance to do whatever the hell you want. The Xbox was not included in the permission granted and therefore such hacking is a violation of the current statute until found otherwise in a court.

The fact that Crippen is making money from breaking the law, and in likelyhood abetting a little casual piracy, suggests he's going to get made an example of.

Re:Different situation completely (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021776)

"general allowance to do whatever the hell you want"

still it seems that companies is doing that by limit our right to out own stuff.

They sold it. Not rented it to you.

Re:Different situation completely (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021820)

Look at the cute AC! He thinks consumers are real people, like corporations!

Re:Different situation completely (1)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021834)

Absolutely, but you're still not allowed to go in there and adapt the product you've bought so that you can break the law. I apologize for the awful analogy - at least it's not jerking off based - but when I buy a car I can't just rip out the seatbelts and print my personal president-killing manifesto on the body. There is an implicit social contract that dictates that my right to use an object extends only so far as that use is legal.

In this case Crippen acted so as to violate the law. On the whole that same law seems a sensible one. If the judge decides it’s not, as they are wont to do, then than important legal benchmark will be established. If not, Crippen is in for a world of trouble.

Re:Different situation completely (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022060)

You're allowed to rip out the manufacturer-installed seatbelts and swap em for your own seatbelts as long as they pass certain safety standards. You are allowed to print your personal manifesto on the body (at least constitutionally) although I could see you being pulled over by every two-bit cop who read it to harass you about it.

To further extend the analogy, this is like a car manufacturer saying you can only put Exxon brand gasoline in the tank, and putting in any other kind of gas constitutes an offense punishable by jail time. This guy also apparently wrote a book on how to get gas from non-compliant gas pumps into your Exxon-only tank.

Captcha: Perish

Re:Different situation completely (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021806)

"and in likelyhood abetting a little casual piracy"

Oh, no! Money that only exists in the future of an alternate dimension where the artist/business made more money was 'stolen'! This is almost as bad as that time when I decided not to buy a product from a store, thereby depriving them of profit that they could, potentially, have had!

Re:Different situation completely (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022244)

It's definitely the case that many people are too tight to buy stuff at all and therefore no sales are being lost to them, but many people still pay for pirated physical copies of DVDs and computer games. Chances are if there was no other option, they would eventually pay for the real things once they came down in price.

I won't pay the launch price of a game these days unless I know it's very good.

Re:Different situation completely (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021878)

AThe Xbox was not included in the permission granted and therefore such hacking is a violation of the current statute until found otherwise in a court.

Yes we know that. It doesn't make the hypocrisy of the law any less.

I think people forget that intent matters (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021886)

Not all laws take intent in to account, but many do. Why you do something can be as important as what you do. If you kill someone it can be anything from justified self defense, which isn't chargeable, up to 1st degree murder, which can net a death penalty in some places. What it depends on is the specifics of your actions and what you meant to do. In all cases the other person is dead, the major action and outcome are the same. However WHY they are dead matters.

If someone is trying to kill you and you kill them, justified. If you kill someone through an accident perhaps involving some negligence (like you hit them with your car because you weren't looking) manslaughter 2. If you kill them through direct action, but didn't mean to (like you are beating them up and it goes too far), manslaughter 1. If you mean to kill someone, but don't plan it (like you catch a guy with your wife) murder 2. If you plan out and execute killing someone, murder 1. They are just as dead in all cases, but your reasons and surrounding actions matter.

Things can also be legal or illegal depending on their intended use. Water pipes/bongs/hookahs have a long tradition of use with tobacco and they are legal in the US for that use. Smoke shops can sell them, and people can buy them. However they are drug paraphernalia and thus illegal if used to smoke marijuana, or other controlled substances. So go in to a smoke shop and ask for a bong to smoke weed, they'll toss you out. Reason is they can get in trouble for selling it if they know it is intended for illegal use.

Lockpicks are similar. You can own your own lockpicks, no problem. All locksmiths do, and you'd want them to learn. However if you imply that you are going to use them for something illegal, they won't sell them to you and if you do use them for something illegal they are burglary tools and thus not legal.

Our legal system takes intent in to account, and takes other circumstances. So there is nothing contradictory about saying "An individual can jailbreak their phone for the purpose of adding functionality and that is perfectly legal," and also saying "A person cannot sell Xbox 360 breaks for the purpose of enabling the illicit copying of games."

There's also the question of what a jailbreak does and doesn't do. In the case of the iPhone, it allows for fairly significant functionality, like installing Flash. Legally this is called a "substantial non-infringing use" and hence is a DMCA exemption. The 360 hack? Does it do anything other than let you play copied games? If not or if the uses are only superficial, then it probably isn't legal.

Now if you don't like the law, think it should be changed, the answer is to let your representatives know. They are the ones who make the laws, they can unmake them.

Re:I think people forget that intent matters (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022000)

"Now if you don't like the law, think it should be changed, the answer is to let your representatives know."

Well, that will only work if you're a person with a seemingly unlimited supply of money. Sadly, that is not the case with so many people. They will almost always listen to the lobbyist over the poor civilian.

Re:Different situation completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022016)

No fuck that. Laws that target specific products or people are great for societies structured around kings. Not so much for democracies where the law is supposed to apply universally for everyone. Whatever happened to generality and prospectivity or the general concept of equal protection?

If challenged I find it difficult to see how this crap could stand.

Re:Different situation completely (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022204)

The fact that Crippen is making money from breaking the law, and in likelyhood abetting a little casual piracy, suggests he's going to get made an example of.

Replacing the software on hardware you own is not breaking the law.

Re:Different situation completely (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022262)

Using software designed to get around copy protection is breaking the law though.

Re:Different situation completely (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022336)

Depends on the software intent. If it is for interoperability or fair use, it's legal.
If it is made with the intent of copying copyrighted material illegally, it's not.

At least that's how it is in France. They've successfully ruled that free software that allows to decode encrypted media is legal if this is done in the intention of playback.
I believe that in the US, CSS (the copy protection system for DVDs) required some special exception.

Re:Different situation completely (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022368)

So, he's been prosecuted in France? No, you say? Then what does your opinion of French law have to do with this case?

Re:Different situation completely (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022450)

I confused this with another thread where I was highlighting it was different in Europe.

I bought it; it's mine. (5, Insightful)

deweyhewson (1323623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021770)

As far as I'm considered, when I buy something (phone, game console, computer, whatever) it's mine to do with as I please.

Whether I want to modify it, or throw it off a cliff, is no longer any of the company's business. That's not to say it excuses piracy (which is an entirely separate matter altogether), but put simply, they have my money, and I have their product. Our relationship should there be at an end.

I really don't care what the lobbyist-bought-and-paid-for law says on the matter.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (3, Interesting)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021798)

"As far as I'm considered, when I buy something (phone, game console, computer, whatever) it's mine to do with as I please."

People with money and an interest in these devices appear to disagree. No matter how wrong they are, I wonder who will be the one who is listened to...

"That's not to say it excuses piracy"

Not that reason alone, no. Logic does that.

"I really don't care what the lobbyist-bought-and-paid-for law says on the matter."

Really? Well, that won't stop these corporate tools from caring about you and attempting to doom you to the same fate as this guy.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021852)

As far as I'm considered, when I buy something (phone, game console, computer, whatever) it's mine to do with as I please. Whether I want to modify it, or throw it off a cliff, is no longer any of the company's business. That's not to say it excuses piracy (which is an entirely separate matter altogether), but put simply, they have my money, and I have their product. Our relationship should there be at an end. I really don't care what the lobbyist-bought-and-paid-for law says on the matter.

Exactly. If they didn't want you to own it, they shouldn't have sold it to you.

And it is simply horrifying that a person can go to a very real prison for tinkering with some zeroes and ones a perfectly legal piece of electronics without harming anyone.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022156)

Licences for this stuff will end up being, that you own the hardware, but only a licence to use one copy of the software that does not belong to you, and can only run it without modification.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021854)

If you want to wipe the hard drive and start from scratch then I bet the court would agree. In this case jail breaking an Xbox 360 is probably to run the OS in a state to circumvent copy protection.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021858)

Right, but you don't have the right to charge money to install chips into someone else's device. There's all sorts of legal precedent for that from cars to guns to any number of other items you're prohibited from doing. That's why he went to jail.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021912)

Errr....

Sure you can charge money for aftermarket addons for cars!

Or were you thinking of things like reflashing car firmware to remove speed limiters and the like?

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021926)

straight pipes, actually. don't know if electronic limiters are illegal to remove.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022284)

Microsoft aren't going to be very upset if you do some case mods to your 360. Not exactly very analogous to customising your device's firmware.

Remapping your ECU or swapping in a bigger engine will void your warranty and could put you over legal emissions limits depending on what you do (but it is fun!). Very similar to installing custom firmware.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (2, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021962)

you don't have the right to charge money to install chips into someone else's device.

That alone, so broadly worded, is not illegal if that 'someone else' owns the device. There are thousands of electronics technicians in the USA (and far more in China) who do this for a living.

On the other hand, it may be against the law for you to use (or even own) a modified device. But even with guns the legal situation is not that obvious. In any case it's a legal minefield.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022092)

"Right, but you don't have the right to charge money to install chips into someone else's device."

Excuse me? Car Tuning shops do it ALL THE TIME.

Ever hear of a PERFORMANCE CHIP UPGRADE?

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022310)

Try and claim a new engine under warranty if you blow your engine after doing a "PERFORMANCE CHIP UPGRADE". I don't think the manufacturer will be very willing to help you out. When you make modifications to your car on that level it invalidates your engine warranty, same as modding your Xbox will get your cut off from Xbox Live. I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, I've had it done on one of my cars. I'm just pointing out how manufacturers do not approve of third party modifications.

You are allowed to modify hardware if you want, just don't go crying if you get busted for installing a mod to get around copyright, or if the manufacturer refuses to serve you further.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022272)

they have my money, and I have their product. Our relationship should there be at an end.

So you don't want driver or firmware updates? You don't want access to the Apple Store or Xbox Live? Fair enough.

I'm pretty sure that's how things already work though. You can do what you want with the hardware, but don't expect to get their services any more if you've broken their terms.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022276)

You bought it knowing it was protected, and you probably agreed to a terms/conditions saying you wouldn't break the protection. If you want to do as you please, you're free to buy a less protected console.

Re:I bought it; it's mine. (1)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022294)

...they have my money, and I have their product. Our relationship should there be at an end.

So you're happy that:

  • the product is not fit for purpose which you discover only after getting it home;
  • the product fails to work soon after getting it home

and you have no recourse to get them to fix it as your relationship with them has ended now that they have your money and you have their product?

The law which has exemptions for specific things.. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021778)

For your phone you can "jailbreak" in order to install non-pirated software or connect to a different carrier.

For your xbox you can "jailbreak" to investigate security flaws. Note that "running homebrew software" is not investigating security flaws, neither is running pirated software.

The Library of Congress gets to make this stuff up: http://www.copyright.gov/1201/ [copyright.gov]

The law is weird....you know this. (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021788)

Come on, the law is so weird, it has to be real. Fiction has to make sense.

An example: ever hear of Relevant Conduct? [goo.gl] I've talked about this before. Here's the scenario: you get caught with a small bag of weed. You get arrested. While being booked some Fed sees you and says "hey! Aren't you the guy who mowed down all those nuns and orphans with an AK at McDonald's last week?" You deny it, but he's sure and you are charged with mass murder. You go to trial, and win. You are found not guilty after two minutes of deliberation. There was no evidence and the witness said it wasn't you.

But since the McDonald's was in another state, the case is federal, and you get six months for the weed. Think you'll do it in some easy Club Fed? No way, you have mass murder as relevant conduct. I am not kidding: your custody can be affected by dismissed or acquitted charges. You have been found not guilty, but it's on your Pre-Sentence Investigation and the Bureau of Prisons will send you to a much tougher place: after all, you're a murderer! So, you go to a USP, and are dead in a week.

As I've posted, I recently did five years in the feds, and rather than be close to my home in a Camp, I was sent to a disciplinary FCI as far away as they could send me, due to charges which were dismissed. The xBox thing does not surprise me in the least...there is so much bad law on the books, which is one reason we have so many people in jail.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (5, Funny)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021830)

Sounds like you have... a problem with authority! Why don't you stop being a criminal? After all, the law is always right. This is just how the world works, and since it could, potentially, be worse, you might as well not bother trying to change it.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021890)

Why is this modded troll? What's with people today? It's called sarcastic irony!!

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (1)

pacinpm (631330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021920)

Sounds like you have... a problem with authority! Why don't you stop being a criminal? After all, the law is always right. This is just how the world works, and since it could, potentially, be worse, you might as well not bother trying to change it.

Should all Negros think like you USA will still have a slavery.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022362)

If all negros thought like that it wouldn't be slavery. Sheep can't be slaves.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022024)

Excessive law is no law.

Even members of the roman consul figured that out.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021836)

And people wonder why the US is regarded by a lot of the world as a place to avoid at all costs?

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021866)

Because a lot of the world consists of people who should be thrown into a dank fetid, hole filled with raw sewage underneath a prison?

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021918)

Because a lot of the world consists of people who should be thrown into a dank fetid, hole filled with raw sewage underneath a prison?

Yeah, we know. We were talking about America after all.. but nice to see Americans coming to grip with their own status in the world.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021932)

We are the number one per capita nation for incarceration, but more interestingly, we also have the largest number of prison inmates. [nytimes.com]

We have 751 people in jail or prison per 100,000 population. UK? 151 per 100k. Germany 88. Japan 63. We throw people behind bars for offenses that would even amount to an arrest in most countries. I met people doing 20 years for a bag of crack the size of a sugar packet. I saw guys doing five for a phone call. I saw guys doing life because they were "co-conspirators" to something that happened 1,000 miles away without their knowledge.

God Bless America.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (5, Interesting)

trawg (308495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022084)

The prison system in the US is heavily privatised, is it not? I wonder how much of a difference that makes, when there's a strong commercial incentive to have more criminals (assuming that private jails get paid more from the government to house more inmates)?

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022158)

It's not just the governmnet payments. Criminals are a very cheap workforce.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022418)

I saw a 'That's my Bush' episode where they were celebrating the jailing of the 100 millionth US citizen.
I'd say that are on track...land of the free indeed.

Re:The law is weird....you know this. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021984)

To be fair by eating at McDonalds the nuns and kids had obviously shown that they wanted to die soon, all the murderer did was expedite the process, and save their tastebuds a bit of agony.

I am more concerned with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021796)

I am more concerned with the DHS wasting valuable resources not to mention tax dollars on something so trivial. Obviously the DHS is lacking real meaningful work.

Re:I am more concerned with (1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022058)

Redudant. They are nothing more than a make-work program designed for the sole purpose of thuggish intimidation.

Even worse, they're using the Boy Scouts [nytimes.com] to develop their own version of the Hitler Youth, right in my own backyard.

Breaking Apple News (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021808)

Man at risk of prosecution for Xbox 360 hacking.

Slashdot editorial guidelines: if it has "iPhone" in the story, that's the lead angle.

A precedent could prove interesting.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021832)

If they decide that it *should* be legal to jailbreak video game consoles, and they add a new exception for it, then would that not also make the sale of modchips explicitly legal?

Re:A precedent could prove interesting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022434)

So, basically you just answered yourself why corporations will never let this happen. I bet the judge is already planning his new yacht and which private island to buy.

Jailbreaking? (0)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021842)

Doesn't this term refer to a modification which allows you to install software other than the software approved by the manufacturer? There is a hack to accomplish this on the Xbox 360 but it is not what this guy was accused of performing. The hack he offered was to modify the disk drive to play copied disks. It has no use outside of piracy and playing "backups.' Unsigned homebrew software still doesn't run using that hack. This is without getting into the fact that the Library of Congress rule specifically applies to smart phones only.

Re:Jailbreaking? (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021894)

He modified his own property. That is what he did. Now, whether this allows others to potentially 'steal' money that only exists in the future of an alternate dimension where the artist/business made more money (the piracy is bad because they steal "potential profit" argument) is irrelevant. It can be used to play backup copies, yes. Now, no one can legally play their backed up games in fear of getting in legal trouble because lobbyists have an illogical fear of 'piracy'. Useless. Pirates will do this whether it is legal or not, and people who have legitimate uses for it could suffer. In some ways, it sounds similar to DRM.

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022034)

No he didn't modify his own property, he is selling the service of modifying everyone elses property, ie he is profiting from it, that is usually where the line is drawn, he has gone from screwing around at home to a commercial entity.

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022116)

"he is selling the service of modifying everyone elses property"

With their consent? If so, what I said above still applies. If people really want to pay him to do that, that is their own choice.

Re:Jailbreaking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022282)

No he didn't modify his own property, he is selling the service of modifying everyone elses property, ie he is profiting from it, that is usually where the line is drawn, he has gone from screwing around at home to a commercial entity.

By using that logic why aren't ECU flashers for cars illegal?... It's essentially jailbreaking your car.

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

pacinpm (631330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021928)

It has no use outside of piracy and playing "backups.'

Isn't creating backups a part of fair use?

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021992)

It is, but circumventing DRM technology to use those backups somehow isnt. It's a pretty tricky plan.

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022106)

Too bad the typical circumvention to make a backup it what is necessary to allow the backup to be restored.

DMCA is bullshit and the majority of the population just needs to force a class-action civil suit against the government for it.

Re:Jailbreaking? (3, Interesting)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022230)

Note that as far as I'm aware, that's only the case in the US.
In Europe, you are given explicit rights to circumvent DRM for fair use. In France, there even was a proposal to force the manufacturer to provide information on how to circumvent it for that purpose, but of course it was scrapped.

Re:Jailbreaking? (1)

srjh (1316705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022228)

Why is "backup" in scare quotes?

After the red ring of death, one of the most common technical problems was the scratching of discs, due to Microsoft trying to save 25 cents per console [wikipedia.org] . It's definitely a problem I observed before the RROD took out my Xbox 360, and being able to backup my $100 games (the price of a new console game here in Australia) would definitely be welcome.

Don't fall for Microsoft's lie that "backup" is code for "pirated".

I find this not hard to understand (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021902)

Phones have other uses than playing games (playing games is rather a minor functionality), but the only real usage of jailbreaking game console is, you guessed it, playing pirated games.

Go figure.

Re:I find this not hard to understand (2, Interesting)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022148)

I would challenge your view that the only "real usage" of moding a game console is to play illegally copied games.

Of course I can only speak for myself but my intent when I modded my Xbox was so I could copy the games I already owned onto its hard drive and no longer need the easily damaged disks, that in some cases cost me $70+, to play the game. The originals are now stored in a safe location and will only be used to reload the hard disk should it fail at a later date.

My action also allowed me to extend the life of my console since I no longer needed to use the optical disk drive, which was already starting to fail, and maximize my investment in the games. If I had to keep switching the disks, risking damage to them every time and causing wear on the optical disk drive, I would buy far fewer games than I have. From that view the modding actually led to the sale of more games by the distributors.

If Microsoft chooses to ban me from using my modded console on their network I do not have a problem with that, they own the servers, but I own the Xbox and will do with it as I please with it.

And I still fail to see how jail breaking a game console is any different than jail breaking an iPhone, in both cases it allows the owner to do what they want with device they own. If anything I see more of an argument against jail breaking a phone that was discounted pursuant to a service contract and therefor not fully owned by the purchaser until the terms of the contract are fulfilled, than a game console which was purchased outright.

Re:I find this not hard to understand (1)

Nirvelli (851945) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022188)

Clearly you've never heard of XBMC [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I find this not hard to understand (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022234)

Mod parent up - I haven't played any games on my xbox in years - but I use xbmc to stream media on my modded xbox every day. I also have a version of debian linux installed which I fire up every now and again.
Games consoles are rather powerful computers - modding them frees up a lot of capabilities.

If it's Microsoft, it's not really yours. (2, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021908)

Just what MIcrosoft always wanted, rentable software. This is progress?

Re:If it's Microsoft, it's not really yours. (1)

MithrandirAgain (1924756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022222)

This is progress?

According to some, companies have the God-given right to do whatever they want to do, like restrict their costumer's rights, etc. And usually the response to such allegations is "If you don't like it, take a hike." which is often not possible (Google Analytics, anyone?)
Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot we can do. Unless what a company does explicitly break the law, there is nothing we can do except not buy from them. (Or we could just waste our lives by writing really nasty letters all day to Ballmer, Jobs, and Schmidt.)
In other words, companies care diddly-squat about "progress". It's all about the Benjamins.

hi (-1, Offtopic)

johanna2010 (1928806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021944)

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Call Amnesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021952)

Matthew Crippen is clearly a thought criminal who, in any remotely just society, should be released immediately without further processing. We need to get Amnesty international onto this one. Seriously.

What you do with your own zeros and ones is no different from what you do with your own thoughts.

Why bother? (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021994)

It takes a sick groupie to keep buying stuff from people who are trying to put you in jail for using your own paid for product. Just say no with your wallet. There are plenty of inexpensive desktops, laptops and other devices that officially support Linux or even come with it pre installed. Or you take free old hardware from your friends, coworkers, Goodwill and other situations where the original vendor doesn't benefit or the indirect benefit is offset by public good. Eventually some company, big or small, will get the message that there is a need for a different kind of product. And serving even one in 100K people on planet earth can sustain a small business.

Why is the article comparing these 2? (0)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022022)

I think there is a pretty major difference to jailbreaking your phone so you can install whatever apps you like compared to someone selling Xbox 360 mods to allow you to run pirated games. why would anyone think an exemption for jailbreaking your phone would be related to this is anyones guess.

Re:Why is the article comparing these 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022094)

xbmc? free60?

Re:Why is the article comparing these 2? (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022212)

There really is not a difference between jail breaking your phone to allow you to run pirated games, and selling Xbox 360 mods to allow you to install whatever apps you like. I don't know what unapproved apps are available for the 360, but I still run XBMC on my XBox1. In fact, XBMC has always been the most used app on my Xboxes.

It's a conspiracy! (1)

MithrandirAgain (1924756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022168)

From the article:

Where did he learn the skill?
"Google, man."

It's a conspiracy, man! Google is controlling people's minds and making them do things!

my guess (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022192)

my guess is a similar ruling that allows Region-free DVD players into Australia, the line between making it work ie enabling functionality, and breaking copyright 'protection' systems.

baidu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022280)

baidu [baidu.com]

Think of the children (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022460)

Believe it or not, but I'd love to mod my Wii so I could create & play backups of all the discs I bought, because I don't want buy them again when my kids accidently scratch my Mario Kart discs when they play them.

And I'd gladly pay someone for the service too (after all, he's spending time, and he's risking to brick my hardware, so there's some liability as well...).

The only real solution is to pass a law that makes all kinds of DRM illegal. Any technology whose only purpose is to make the usage of the product more difficult and cumbersome (yes, that includes unskippable DVD ads) should be banned.

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