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Chip a Playstation, Go to Jail

chrisd posted about 12 years ago | from the do-not-pass-go dept.

Games 703

perogiex writes "A man in Ottawa was convicted of selling and installing mod chips out of his computer store. Sony is overjoyed, man is less than thrilled. This is the first time such a case was tried in Canada." From the article: Garby said he didn't know he was committing a crime and would have never gotten involved in selling mod chips if he had known the law. Update: 07/24 21:53 GMT by M : Headline corrected; it's clearly mod chips for the original Playstation, not the Playstation 2.

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703 comments

Suck a Dick, Get Picked Up by VA Linux (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | about 12 years ago | (#3945186)

last post niggers

CLIT

CLAIMED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945299)

8=================D
I have a penis, not a clit you fag.

FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945189)

Suck it, lame-os!!!!

fp? (-1, Troll)

superflex (318432) | about 12 years ago | (#3945190)

anal cocks, anal cocks. unnghh. shove that big fp right in there. oh yeah, it feels so good against my sphincter...

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945193)

slashdot is good and taco is a nice guy

depressing (2, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | about 12 years ago | (#3945194)

For anyone who looks at mod chips as a way to do hobbiest development, versus piracy, this kind of thing is just depressing.

Re:depressing (1)

evilempireinc (592230) | about 12 years ago | (#3945240)

and what about import games as well?

Re:depressing (5, Insightful)

Xaoswolf (524554) | about 12 years ago | (#3945289)

he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games

He wasn't just selling mod chips, he was also selling pirated games. Not sure if they would have just busted him for the mod chips or not though.

Re:depressing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945332)

whoo fuckin hoo, what a stunning contribution you have made to the conversation, you little assgoblin. Now bend over while daddy teaches you not to churn out shit for the sake of saying something.

you make me sick and I would laugh if you died now. That is all.

Stood the test of trial... (1)

daemones (188271) | about 12 years ago | (#3945195)

Has this been tested, legally, in the US?

Re:Stood the test of trial... (2, Funny)

goldorak_dan (409400) | about 12 years ago | (#3945272)

Jesus!!! In the US, he probably would have been held indefinitely in an army compound with "american Taliban" stamped on his forehead.

Re:Stood the test of trial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945293)

Remember: The foil should be shiny side out and you have to take your meds every day as directed.

uh (3)

Sludge (1234) | about 12 years ago | (#3945197)

I'm scratching my head. What law was broken here? The article doesn't say very much. Something about "copyright laws", which is far from conclusive.

Mod chips (4, Informative)

unformed (225214) | about 12 years ago | (#3945271)

allow playing games that have been copied to CDR.

It's legitimate use is that it allows playign games from Japan.

FYI, the PS and PS2 also have region encoding similar to DVDs. Japanese games can't be played on American consoles, and (I believe) vice-versa. The mod chip prevents the system from recognizing that its not a legitimate disc (by replying to all queries as 'yes, this is legal')

Just as DeCSS is primarily used for watching other-regon dvds, but has a side effect of getting unencrypted content, the mod chip allows playing other-region games, and has a side effect of allowing games on CDR also.

Chances are that's why he got arrested. In the US, he could probably (also?) be arrested under the DMCA.

I'm not taking any sides, just stating facts...

Re:uh (5, Informative)

tonywong (96839) | about 12 years ago | (#3945291)

Sheesh, did you read the article?

He was caught modding the machines and selling pirated software out of his store. I don't think you can get busted for modding unless they can prove the intent was for pirating and not backup. Well, having and selling pirated software with your mods counts as copyright infringement.

It's like saying he had a lockpit set and was caught using it to steal goods from cars. Guess what? It's not the possession of the lockpit set that got him busted.

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945307)

If you look to the Microsoft X-box as a reference, it has been shown in court that modifying the X-box to work as a computer is against the purposes designated to the system. I believe the X-box set precedence in this matter. Hardware mod's are not allowed if they change the system allowing applications that were not originally intended for it.

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945314)

Uhm, "...investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games..." -- that would be the copyright laws.. The unauthorized equipment could have dealt with anything around the mod-chip (RF interference, UL listed stuff, etc.).

first cow post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945200)

moo

g to the oatse

c to the izzex

CLiT sucks, they've been awful quiet lately too..

goatse.cx [goatse.cx] .

Bleh (1)

ende (154873) | about 12 years ago | (#3945201)

Everyone thinks the stupidity claim will work.. never does

Selling 413 Pirated Games? (5, Insightful)

dhaberx (585739) | about 12 years ago | (#3945202)

This guy was selling a line of 413 pirated games and didn't know what he was doing was illegal? It sounds like he deserves what he got.

Re:Selling 413 Pirated Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945337)

Probably didn't know he would end up in jail. Thats a pretty big punishment for selling mod chips.

Old... (0, Insightful)

Mwongozi (176765) | about 12 years ago | (#3945204)

Why would you want to chip an old IBM computer [tripod.com] ?

Or did you mean "PS2"? ;)

Re:Old... (1)

great throwdini (118430) | about 12 years ago | (#3945255)

Why would you want to chip an old IBM computer [PS/2] ... Or did you mean "PS2"?

Thank you. When people turn increasingly to search engines to locate documents on the Web, using the proper terminology is important. It seems like hair-splitting, but it's not.

Then again maybe it is, but I don't care.

Lame excuse (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | about 12 years ago | (#3945206)

"Garby said he didn't know he was committing a crime and would have never gotten involved in selling mod chips if he had known the law"

While I agree that chipping a PS2 shouldn't be a crime, the above is an extreamly lame excuse.

Re:Lame excuse (1)

fruey (563914) | about 12 years ago | (#3945284)

Ignorance is never an excuse in the eyes of the law. Bigamy is illegal, but an immigrant from a muslim country could say he thought it was OK because the Coran says so. Can still get prosecuted.

He made a profit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945207)

He grossed 30,000 dollars from the sales of the chip and only had to pay a 17,000 fine...

Thus, he made 13,000 (minus whatever you consider a year of probation to be worth.

I would say everyone came out pretty even with this one (Sony's happy, the RCMP's happy, and I wouldn't be too upset if I were this guy.)

Re:He made a profit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945311)

Um - Have you ever heard of Cost of Goods Sold? and rent? and electricity? and all of the other things that come with running a business? Grosses means before any expenses. If the guy is lucky he broke even.

Ignorance is no excuse. (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 12 years ago | (#3945208)

He didn't know it was a crime?

He should've checked.

If it's morally questionable (and, please, don't tell me that chipping your PS2 so you can play pirated games on it isn't at least morally questionable), it just might be illegal, too!

- A.P.

Re:Ignorance is no excuse. (5, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3945241)

No, but putting a chip in a PS2 to play Japanese games isn't morally questionable, but just as illegal.

Re:Ignorance is no excuse. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945298)

No, but putting a chip in a PS2 to play Japanese games isn't morally questionable, but just as illegal.

If you have to open the console and solder in components to get it to do something it wasn't designed to do, yes, that is indeed morally questionable. If you want one that plays Japanese games then you should move to Japan and buy one there.. or at least import one from Japan. There are region controls for a reason man! We can't have American kids playing foreign games willy-nilly out of control. Who knows what kind of crap Japanese kids are exposed to??

Anyone else thought of a mouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945209)

When I first saw the headline I was thinking about someone being jailed for modifying their mouse... thought it was sorta strange =)

Kudos to him! (5, Funny)

Proaxiom (544639) | about 12 years ago | (#3945210)

He grossed $30,000 and was fined $17,000?

Looks like I'll be picking up a new hobby...

Re:Kudos to him! (1)

dsr9996 (593882) | about 12 years ago | (#3945230)

He grossed $30,000, but probably netted much less in profit, perhaps less than $17,000, so maybe he didn't make out so well.

Re:Kudos to him! (3, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | about 12 years ago | (#3945257)

Assuming he reported his earnings to the CCRAn that fine doesn't leave him much to pay for his overheads, let alone make a profit.

Re:Kudos to him! (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 12 years ago | (#3945320)

"He grossed $30,000 and was fined $17,000? Looks like I'll be picking up a new hobby..."

He got a year of probation. This probably includes not touching certain types of electronics within this period.

sure (0)

dze (89612) | about 12 years ago | (#3945211)

ah, yes, the old "ignorance of the law" defence.

Pirated Games (5, Insightful)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | about 12 years ago | (#3945213)

The article states that he was selling pirated games alongside the mod chips. Maybe the charge of copyright infringement related to the illegal video games being sold (as Sony did not design the mod chips, it is unclear of whose copyright he would be violating).

Chips or piracy (4, Insightful)

kevin42 (161303) | about 12 years ago | (#3945214)

It sounds like he was also selling pirated games. I wonder if they would ever have cracked down on him if all he had done was sell and install mod chips. The article seems to downplay the fact that he was selling pirated games as well.

Even though I think selling mod chips shouldn't be illegal, I don't have sympathy for people who are selling pirated software!

Re:Chips or piracy (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | about 12 years ago | (#3945254)

selling mod chips shouldn't be illegal?!?!
Do you also have a hacked cable box? It is theft of service.

Re:Chips or piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945310)

i don't see the connection
yes, mod chips can be used to play illegally made games. but they also allow users to make backups of their own games.

last week, one of my megaman games for the ps1 was scratched. worthless. if i had a mod chip, i could have burned a backup for less than 50 cents. instead, i'm stuck calling the area funco land's searching for it

Re:Chips or piracy (2)

kevin42 (161303) | about 12 years ago | (#3945349)

There are legitimate uses for mod chips. For one to develop games without paying Sony the 30k for a development set. I know people that are doing this very thing, using modified PS2s to develop and test games without paying for a full dev kit for every employee.

And if you re-read my post you will see I am against piracy of any type. No I do not have a hacked cable box. This is different.

Re:Chips or piracy (2, Insightful)

Psx29 (538840) | about 12 years ago | (#3945346)

It sounds like he was also selling pirated games. I wonder if they would ever have cracked down on him if all he had done was sell and install mod chips. The article seems to downplay the fact that he was selling pirated games as well.

I would have to agree with you that selling pirated games are illegal and he should be prosectued for it. However, the article is very vague as to the details of his guilty plea, and it is not clear if the actual charge of modifying a playstation is illegal or not. They only mention the following:

Robert Garby, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of copyright infringement and four counts of selling unauthorized computer equipment.

Now could that bolded text be referring to a modchip, or not? That, is the question.

Breaking the law (1)

Dick Click (166230) | about 12 years ago | (#3945216)

Perhaps he did not know installing the mod chips was a crime. I can't believe he did not think there was anything wrong with his selling pirated copies of games.

Umm, there's more than just the chips... (2, Redundant)

dennism (13667) | about 12 years ago | (#3945219)

according to the article, he sold "a line of 413 pirated video games" -- that's a little more than just selling modchips.

Re:Umm, there's more than just the chips... (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | about 12 years ago | (#3945279)

Yeah, but I dont like the idea of putting a non-violent `criminal` in jail for copying a few computer games. Shouldnt jail be for keeping the public safe from violent idiots? I dont mind sharing a bus with someone who has a pirate copy of sonic the hedgehog...not even if he`s selling them.
Whats wrong with a fine, confiscation of the stuff, perhaps community service, probation etc? Whats jail going to do? He`ll learn his lesson, right? Come out a changed man and all that? well, I guess that theory has to work for someone. It doesnt work for violent criminals, perhaps it`ll work for game-copiers?

law and ignorance (1)

binarybum (468664) | about 12 years ago | (#3945220)

While it shows that he wasn't acting malevolently, ignorance of a law does not provide any sort of exemptions legally. I do not agree with the law or the punishment, but surely this guy must have realized that his hardware hacking was pretty nonconvential for a retailer and therefore perhaps legally questionable.

Re:law and ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945283)

However, his shop was a custom computer shop...he probably made his own systems, and I don't see a far stretch from that to mod chips.

mod chips, or games? (0, Redundant)

misfit13b (572861) | about 12 years ago | (#3945223)

was it the mod chips they got him on, or the line of 413 pirated video games that he was selling the reason for his downfall?

i wouldn't have thought the mod chip selling was illegal, seeing how they're selling all over the place. does anyone have any more detail?

Re:mod chips, or games? (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | about 12 years ago | (#3945286)

Yes, okay, the last 10 times that was said probably were enough.

Today, Sony Is: (4, Funny)

sulli (195030) | about 12 years ago | (#3945225)

[ ] Bad
[ ] Good
[ ] CowboyNeal

Errr... (0, Redundant)

MConlon (246624) | about 12 years ago | (#3945226)

He was selling pirated games too, for something like $10 a pop.

Maybe the mod chip I can see, but "gee I didn't know hit was illegal to burn that disc." Yeah, right.

MJC

It wasnt just mod chips.. (4, Informative)

mrbill (4993) | about 12 years ago | (#3945227)

If you read the article, he was also selling a line of 417 different *pirated games*.

If he didnt know *that* was illegal, he's full of it.

Re:It wasnt just mod chips.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945306)

Regardless. Ignorance isn't an excuse.

I could kill someone and say "Oh, I didn't know it was illegal", but I'd still get nailed, right?

Re:It wasnt just mod chips.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945345)

It wasnt PS2s

Maybe yall would want to read what the article was ACTUALLY about.

He was selling Playstation mod chips and games, not PS2.

Not that this makes it legit :) But Im sure this was hardly a snap prosecution since the Ps2 doesnt have 417 games. Somehow I think this is OLD news.

-zer

Yea right he didnt know (1)

Gekko (45112) | about 12 years ago | (#3945229)

If you read the article he was also selling 430 PIRATED games. Yea right he didnt know. He was selling pirated games, he deserves what he got. The two counts of selling unauthorized computer equipment is bunk though. You should be able to sell mod chips.

Re:Yea right he didnt know (4, Interesting)

Peyna (14792) | about 12 years ago | (#3945246)

Ignorance is not a permissible defense anyway. Go ahead, try convincing the police officer you didn't know it was 45 on the road. Even if you turn onto the road after the sign and had no way of knowing if you had never driven on the road before, the law still applies.

Re:Yea right he didnt know (2, Interesting)

Gekko (45112) | about 12 years ago | (#3945328)

This is a true law in most cases, ignorance of the law does not excuse you from abiding by the law. I was not trying to imply otherwise. However in your speeding scenario some states have laws that state unless other wise posted the speed is XX mph (Usuaully 55). So if you are around their and can name the street you turned off on you have a good chance of actually beating it. I drove alot for an orginzation I was involved in and I found in rural areas 55 was usually a preaty safe bet as speed limits signs are posted very infrequently. Well firmly into Off Topic land now.

Uh!?! (1)

Leme (303299) | about 12 years ago | (#3945232)

He was charged after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and charging $30 to install "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles

He was SELLING pirated video games on top of the mod chips and he thought there was nothing wrong with it? And on top of that, he was advertising this in the local paper? This guy has some serious balls. Honestly, he deserves the punishment.

Re:Uh!?! (2)

RobinH (124750) | about 12 years ago | (#3945331)

And on top of that, he was advertising this in the local paper?

I have MANY times seen people selling mod chips in the local papers (in Canada). There is usually something in there like: "... to play backups and imports..." I have a feeling they only went after him because he was selling pirated video games. There is no such thing as a DMCA in Canada, so you're allowed to hack apart a PS/2 all you want, and modify it to play backup games, but you still can't make illegal copies of games.

what the hell? (1)

funkmastermike (264946) | about 12 years ago | (#3945233)

PS/2 is easy to chip.. its USB and firewire that gives me problems

rightous indignation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945239)

you slashdot faggots are all going to jail!

Excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945244)

"he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games" doesn't jibe with "Garby said he didn't know he was committing a crime"

Didn't get busted for the mod chip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945248)

Read the story. He was selling pirated games and was busted on copyright infringement. There is no mention about the mod chip being illegal. There is only Sony spouting their garbage about the mod chip.

Moronic spelling.. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 12 years ago | (#3945251)

(emphasis mine)
Garby sold the chips from his computer store, Kustum Komputers

That in itself should get him life in prison with no chance of parole.

Re:Moronic spelling.. (2)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | about 12 years ago | (#3945294)

Dang, then I hope you never eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts...

My idea (1)

OracleX103 (584746) | about 12 years ago | (#3945258)

Just a question: would it have still be illegal for him to just sell kits with detailed instructions from his store?
I was always under the impression that you could do whatever you want to your own hardware, so I don't know if this would be a terrible thing to do.

DMCA (4, Interesting)

ultima (3696) | about 12 years ago | (#3945260)

Since the mod chips circumvent copy protection, I can see how they are made illegal under the DMCA in the US. Is there a Canadian version to this I am not aware of?

Re:DMCA (4, Informative)

Proaxiom (544639) | about 12 years ago | (#3945302)

No. Although the Canadian government has been investigating the possibility [ic.gc.ca] of a DMCA equivalent.

Fined for selling pirate games, NOT mod chip (0, Redundant)

zerosignal (222614) | about 12 years ago | (#3945262)

He was charged after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and charging $30 to install "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles.

To sum up (2)

Infonaut (96956) | about 12 years ago | (#3945263)

1) What a jackass! If he didn't know selling pirated games was illegal, he deserves what he got.

2) Heh heh.. he still made some money off the deal.

3) Damn! 413 games! Where did you say this guy's shop was?

wait a second... (5, Insightful)

denshi (173594) | about 12 years ago | (#3945264)

Does anyone know where to get the briefs for this case? One line in the article bothered me:
He was charged after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and charging $30 to install "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles.
....and then the rest of the article is grandstanding about mod chips from various, easily bribed parties. From first glance, this looks like they had a cut-and-dried case of copyright infringement because he was selling copied games (thus copying & deriving profit from such), but some groups are trying to cast this case into a ruling on mod chip legality -- which would be a much harder case to prosecute. Has anyone seen this case in detail?

see what happens... (1)

Budgreen (561093) | about 12 years ago | (#3945266)

when you don't read slashdot!

if he was an avid reader he would have known allllll about this..

way to take a stand, dude (-1, Flamebait)

tps12 (105590) | about 12 years ago | (#3945269)

Garby said he didn't know he was committing a crime and would have never gotten involved in selling mod chips if he had known the law.

Jesus Christ, is it any wonder no one wants to rally behind hackers? Could this guy be any more spineless? Here he is, on trial for excercizing his God-given right to modify his own property, and he says "sorry?" (Sorry, Canadian, he must have said "soory.") Give me a break. Leave it to a Canuck to take a perfect opportunity to set a positive precedent and turn it into an excuse to soil his pants and kiss Sony's feet. Unbelievable.

Re:way to take a stand, dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945339)

Yeah, those 400-some stolen games were really his property, eh?

Well, I suppose the cd-r's were his, but certainly not the data on them.

Positive precedent? This ass has done nothing positive, and there was never any chance of anything positive coming from his actions.

Ignorance (1)

wicket2001 (467481) | about 12 years ago | (#3945270)

Garby said he didn't know he was committing a crime and would have never gotten involved in selling mod chips if he had known the law.

Unfortunately, ignorance of the law won't keep you out of trouble. You still have to face the consequences.

Error in article's title (1)

af_robot (553885) | about 12 years ago | (#3945275)

Garby sold the chips from his computer store, Kustum Komputers, which he ran from November 1999 to March 2001. He advertised the mod chip sales and installation service in local flyers.

I'm sure it was mod chips for original Playstation, not for Playstation 2. In arcticle's text it also called just "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles.

No DMCA in Canada. (4, Interesting)

MarvinMouse (323641) | about 12 years ago | (#3945277)

I think he was likely fined mostly for the sales of the pirated games. I don't believe we have an equivalent to the DMCA in Canada, and therefore the mod chip is perfectly allowable to be sold in Canada. He got caught for software piracy, not for breaking DRM.

But, I am not absolutely sure on this. Could a Canadian Lawyer verify this for me? Also, do you know if he could get caught on that Mod chip for a different reason?

Read the article (1, Redundant)

Wind_Walker (83965) | about 12 years ago | (#3945280)

He wasn't just selling mod chips, he was selling more than 400 pirated video games. The guy had a CD burner in the back cranking out video games, and says "I didn't know it was illegal"? Give me a break.

I just bought a PS2 modchip (and it's hopefully on its way here now) and own exactly 0 pirated games. I bought the mod chip for imports, and nothing more. Modchips aren't the evil part - it's the pirated games.

more detail (1, Redundant)

SubtleNuance (184325) | about 12 years ago | (#3945281)

after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and

did he get a fine and probation for selling unlicensed copies *or* modding the PS2?

413 games too (0, Redundant)

millette (56354) | about 12 years ago | (#3945288)

I really wish slashdot editors would do a piece of their homework. Look, the guy was selling copies of games thru his store. He had 413 different rom images in stock. Oh, and he was installing mod chips for 30$ too, but I'm sure that's now how he grossed 300,000$.

Hmmm (4, Insightful)

PMadavi (583271) | about 12 years ago | (#3945290)

Well, I can see him getting arrested for selling pirated software, that makes sense. What's interesting is that he got charged for the mod-chip, not the games. Should selling something that allows you to do illegal things be illegal? I mean, we sell guns and pipes. All kinds of things. Should you buy those things doesn't mean you're going to kill or do drugs, right?

Here's a scenario. You bought a rad new PS2 game, you want to make sure that if it gets scratched, eaten, etc. . . you can still play your game, so you burn a copy, and use the mod chip to play the game. You paid for the game once, right? What's wrong with that.

If you ask me, aside from the selling pirated games, this guy had a case.

Re:Hmmm (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | about 12 years ago | (#3945343)

Should selling something that allows you to do illegal things be illegal? I mean, we sell guns and pipes. All kinds of things. Should you buy those things doesn't mean you're going to kill or do drugs, right?

is there any legit use for a mod chip? If the answer is no, then you understand the difference. If the answer yes, tell me so I can justify using one.

oligatory troll (0, Redundant)

unformed (225214) | about 12 years ago | (#3945295)

Phase 1: Mod chips
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: PROFIT

(except here it actually worked)

Feel free to mod this down, this now common comment is actually getting pretty old, and i'm just trying to overdo it so it's not funny anymore.

Selling pirated games, too (2)

torinth (216077) | about 12 years ago | (#3945297)

He was charged after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and charging $30 to install "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles.

It sucks about him getting busted for the mod chips, but if you're selling pirated games, you've got no excuse for a little punishment. When you start profitting off of your ability to make exact replicas of other peoples work, with little work of your own, you're really profitting off of their work, not yours - and that's not fair.

-Andrew

I'd be tempted to defend this punk if... (2)

Rahga (13479) | about 12 years ago | (#3945301)

I'd be tempted to defend this punk if he wasn't selling "a line of 413 pirated video games". Mod chips are great for playing games that never get sold in the US market, imports like Puyo Puyo games and such. I also detest hardware manufacturers who demand control over their hardware that they sell through retail outlets without forcing the customer to sign a contract. If I want to solder my toaster up to my PS2, IMHO, I think I should have a right to do it.

But noooo, this punk sells illegally copied CDs, slashdot posts it as "man convicted for installing mod chips" in an attempt to spin the story. Smooth move, Travolta. I'm sorry, but I left my gold stars in my other jacket.

How many pirated games? (2, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | about 12 years ago | (#3945303)

Reading over the comments, I've seen people claim 413, 417 and 430... so far. All in the same ballpark, but really, how hard is it to copy a simple number from an article?

Get a clue, editors! (2, Interesting)

tandr (108948) | about 12 years ago | (#3945304)

Look, there is a PS/2 and there is PS2 (without slash in the middle) First is very old IBM computer, second -- new (relatively) gaming console.

So, what this guy was selling ??

Ottawa? (1)

misfit13b (572861) | about 12 years ago | (#3945305)

umm, what's with the Ottawa postcard link?

in other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945308)

Stephen King was found dead this morning. Policeman sais ``He was already dead when we found him''.

Truly an american icon.

Please top calling it PS/2 (2, Interesting)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | about 12 years ago | (#3945312)

I keep picturing a guy going to jail for upgrading his IBM 386.

It's called civil disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945315)

It is called civil disobedience, and it is often the only way to get injustice corrected (and the DMCA is extremely unjust).

If enough people are arrested for outrageously stupid reasons, public awareness of what is happening will be raised. I remember telling a non-technical friend of mine, who is a pilot for a major airline and served in the airforce (and saw combat in Yugoslavia), about the arrest of Dmitry and he was outraged. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him as angry as he was that day. He took that injustice very personally, as do most people who believe in the ideals of democracy and not the rule of corporate oligarchs, cartels, and monopolists.

The more lay people that are made aware of these injustices the better, and this guy is going a long way toward accomplishing this. The excesses of copyright have only succeeded these last decades because the awareness of what has happened (chronic copyright extentions, and now fundamental changes in its nature from a civil to a criminal law, and from a largely commercial regulation to a profoundly invasive personal one) has been absent. Copyright law, in its current form, will likely not withstand public scruitiny very well, which is something that would be good for every one of us (returning it back to its pre-1970 duration, if not repealing the notion altogether and replacing it with a gentler, non-monopolistic regime for compensating authors and artists, but that is a discussion for another day).

Raising public awareness of these issues is probably one of the most important things we can be doing, and if we as technically knowledgable people do not do so, no one will. This guy should be applauded for stepping up to the plate and putting his personal liberty on the line for the greater public good.

If we had more people willing to do this sort of thing when the despots seize personal liberty after personal liberty we would live in a much better world. He is a man who clearly feels strongly enough about software freedom to risk jail time, up to 5 years, which is a hell of a lot more grave than the $17,000 fine mentioned in the article (I wonder why they played that down. That makes his actions even more impressive).

Man is less than thrilled (1)

sbeast702 (447699) | about 12 years ago | (#3945318)

Sony is over joyed, man is less than thrilled, america still doesn't care about canada, they're not even a real country anyway. And here' Michelle with weather.... Michelle...

Dont believe the hype (2, Interesting)

RpiMatty1 (471296) | about 12 years ago | (#3945319)

First of all its a PS2 not PS/2.
Second, the artice said Sony Playstation, meaning the orginal playstation.
This slashdot artice makes it seem like they will go after you for putting a mod chip in, well this idiot "was selling a line of 413 pirated video games".

From this report, it appears the man is a pirate.. (1)

brainvision (318711) | about 12 years ago | (#3945321)

This guy sold a line of pirated software, according to the report. He was also fool enough to advertise that he would make modifications which would allow people to play pirated games. Then he claimed that he did not realize any of this was illegal. What planet is he from?

I agree that the recent trend in copyright law is draconian. But this guy is not the poster child for the cause of consumer rights. He's an idiot, and example of what copyright laws are good for -- protecting content creators from having their work ripped off.

WTF! Where are those who said this was a US prob? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945322)

You know who you are.

The Canadians who always act like the US is the only country with crazy laws and courts. The ones who always say "this could never happen here" and "this happens because US citizens are so lazy."

I think this clearly shows this is becoming a WORLDWIDE problem. And not just because of the long arm of the US.

Precedent? (1)

Kakarat (595386) | about 12 years ago | (#3945333)

Sony applauded the conviction, the first for selling mod chips in Canada, calling it "precedent setting."

They call it a "precedent setting" because they got him for 413 pirated games or because he made a mod chip? Of course selling copies of games have always been illegal, but there is not law AFAIK that makes it illegal to sell/make mod chips. I do enjoy the ignorance card he played there when he was caught. "Officer, these are only backup copies of my games to which I have misplaced. It's a good thing I made backups!"

As usual, /. gets the facts wrong (2, Interesting)

GrammarPhone (513904) | about 12 years ago | (#3945334)

He was fined for selling pirated video games, as others have pointed out. As well, it was PlayStation games and mod chips, not PS2 (and most definitely NOT PS/2).

"Editors": Is it so hard to read the article?

All is OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3945335)

"He was charged after an RCMP investigation found he was selling a line of 413 pirated video games and charging $30 to install "mod chips" in Sony PlayStation video game consoles. "

he got punished for selling pirated games, not installing modchips. we don't have the crap laws like the US.

A basic tenet of law (3, Insightful)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | about 12 years ago | (#3945336)

Ignorance of the law is no defense.

That said, I'm interested to find out which part of the Criminal Code specifically makes installing mod chips, and presumably other circumvention devices, a felony offense. It sounds rather DMCA-like. I wonder if Parliament passed something DMCA-like with almost no fanfare. The article makes it sound like the mod chip conviction is the important one for being the first of its kind.
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