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396 comments

another FP for the jihad (0, Offtopic)

bitmsk (867537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951302)

Re:another FP for the jihad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951340)

jihads are for fuckfaces.

Off-topic? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951303)

What would space rockets look like if women designed them? Discuss.

Re:Off-topic? (-1, Offtopic)

vranash (594439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951343)

The Syreen ship from Star Control 1/2 :-P

Women could never design something so cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951345)

Q: Why couldn't Helen Keller drive a car?
A: Because she was a woman.

Re:Women could never design something so cool (-1, Offtopic)

rathehun (818491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951356)

Don't reply to the troll... ...damn.

Bend over Aussies and... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951311)

.. spread those checks for the bald eagle.

Those FBI warnings at the start of some movies are now not a joke - a branch office will be opening soon.

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer".

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951353)

Yes. Next on our list of things to do is replace our Prime Minister with a speaker connected to a microphone in your US senate buildings.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (5, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951599)

I'd have moderated that one +1 Cold Hard Truth.

If there's any Australians who still think Free Trade with the US is a good thing, just ask their largest trading partner how free trade has helped with softwood lumber [buildingonline.com] , hogs [axcessnews.com] , wheat [aberdeennews.com] , or anything else for that matter.

For those unfamiliar with the process:
  1. Blame Canada
  2. Impose tariff
  3. Ignore NAFTA rulings that don't support the tariff
  4. ???
  5. Profit
NAFTA was supposed to reduce trade barriers, but has only made them much worse. Push for binding arbitration in your FTA if you can't get out of it now. They will not listen to trade commissions, they make more money collecting the tariffs than they lose paying penalties.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (5, Funny)

Skjie (799104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951379)

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer". Unfair competition?

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (4, Funny)

planet-sloop (772745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951382)

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer"
Why, is an alcohol percentage greater than 2.5 too much for you?
I've heard it makes a good substitute for heroin over in Jesusland

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (1, Interesting)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951395)

This is horse arse...

Isn't Sony a japanese company? Why would they be able to "reap benefits" from the US-Aussie FTA?

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951584)

Offices in the US and US patten/copyrights make it in thier best interest and include them in US law.

One of the key things about this us-au trade agreement was that It sort of imposed US lawe on AU. This might make it possible for any company from anywere else in the world claim assests being sold in AU fall under these laws even if they do not have any presence in the US. This hole ordeal kind of skips the process of AU making the laws and almost importing all of americas.

Simpsons reference (0, Offtopic)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951471)

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer".

Wait, are we talking about coffee or beer?

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (-1, Offtopic)

jwdb (526327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951505)

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer".

Right. And when you Americans force the same agreement on us Europeans, we'll have a few remarks about your "beer" :)

You don't know what beer is until you've been among the Germanic people. Hell, my own country of Belgium isn't much bigger than Massachusetts, but we've got somewhere in the 300 different beers coming from over a hundred breweries. No idea what the Germans themselves have, but I expect it's significantly more.

Jw

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951537)

anyone got a yankee scuppering device boy they is gettin way to big for there smelly little boots and ned knocking down a few dozen pegs bunch of 5 knuckle jobs .

Keep ya ass wipe rules on your OWN patch of mud will ya !.

Frell you all over there an give it a rest

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951598)

IT is interesting that your country has tried over 300 different types of beer and still cannot make one good enough for every one to drink.

Thats the difference between american and your country. We make somethign and make it good, while you guys piss around getting it wrong then celebrate how many times it didn't come out right.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951626)

I'm Australian, lived in the U.S. for almost half my life, and now live in Germany.

All of these countries make crap beer compared to the Japanese micro-breweries I frequented (often) while I lived in Tokyo ... yes, I believe that Japanese beer trumps German beer, which trumps American beer, which beats the living crap out of Australian beer ...

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (-1, Offtopic)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951549)

*cough* cheek's *cough*

And already stated, how the Americans can force their, for want of a better word, piss water ... ugh.. i mean beer on a nation of Drinkers only surpassed by the mad germanic larger swillers is beyond me :)

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (0, Offtopic)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951607)

Oktoberfest is the Germany's biggest import over here.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951559)

Well, as a Kiwi I say I am glad we can now forget about ANZUS

Australia and the United States can have each other.

I guess that means it's now called ANUS so the parent post was really quite appropriate.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951574)

Also expect some law suits from Americans about the product you guys sell as "beer".

Yes, our scientists are already talking to the American scientific community to find out how much H20 should be added to our beer so it can comply with the Budweiser specification.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (3, Funny)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951596)

Wait, wait, wait. You're from the USA and complain about bad beer? You can't be serious.

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (1)

Ravadill (589248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951637)

"Our" beer is safe, most of it is either owned by New Zealand(Lion Nathan) or Japanese corps...

Re:Bend over Aussies and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951680)

Team America World Police .... aint it the truth. We will be drive on the "otherside" of the road in our left hand drive SUV's before long. Unless of course there is a copyright on that !!!!

Here we go again (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951314)

trying to outlaw technology just because it CAN be used for bad things. Without the mod chip, I wouldn't be able to import games. I don't know how me importing games is bad for Sony.

Re:Here we go again (4, Insightful)

tricops (635353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951333)

Well if it's a game you can't get where you are, then no it's not really bad for them... but if it is one you could get where you are, then it hurts them because you are bypassing their region strategic pricing... (unless, of course, you get it from somewhere more expensive, but er... I'll assume not).

Re:Here we go again (4, Interesting)

koreth (409849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951363)

I agree with you, it's silly and ultimately counterproductive, like DVD region coding. However, Sony's position does have some nugget of sense to it: if there is widespread importation of a particular game, or even the perception of it, Sony will be in a weaker negotiating position when they talk terms with foreign distributors/publishers since the potential market will be smaller. The distributors can say, "Well, the rabid fans have already imported, so we won't be able to market the game at as high an initial price." Sony may have to offer deeper wholesale discounts to make it worth the distributors' while to sell to fewer people or at a lower retail price. That may equal less money in Sony's coffers (depending on whether there's enough profit from the import orders to make up the difference.)

Whether that's what happens in real life, who knows? But it's easy to see why they might be afraid of it happening.

Too bad for Sony (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951541)

"Sony will be in a weaker negotiating position when they talk terms with foreign distributors/publishers "

So what?

Really, I can't imagine why this is the general public's concern. I certainly can't imagine why its the job of the Australian government to make sure Sony is in the best negotiating position with local distributors.

Re:Here we go again (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951613)

Except that surely a lot of the time the importer will be the local Sony subsidary anyway...

It's definitely bad for Sony (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951377)

If you don't buy your Sony games locally, you undercut Sony's ability to gouge on local game prices locally. And from what I've heard, video game companies seem to gouge on local game prices in Australia quite a bit.

It's all about protecting corps, such as Sony, from the effects of global capitalism; market forces are bad for profits, so technological and legal barriers to their proper operation must be put in place. Modern corporatism demands that only corporations get to benefit from globalization, never consumers.

Re:Here we go again (3, Interesting)

bl4nk (607569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951389)

"I don't know how me importing games is bad for Sony."

Sony is worried about piracy, not you importing games. I don't see how mod-chips can be considered "technology," as you state it to be. I would call it something more along the lines of "circumvention." Don't demonize Sony for trying to prevent piracy on their console simply because their efforts hinder your ability to import games. It's unfortunate that those who import games are left out in the cold, but that's how it is. Write Sony a letter.

Sure, Sony makes a lot of money. Sure, Sony spent a lot of money developing their console. Sure, a lot of developers spent a lot of money creating games for Sony's console. Do you think Sony's attempt at preventing their "clients" games from getting juarezed is a bad thing? A terrible thing?

Re:Here we go again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951431)

Write Sony a letter.

If I am having to write letters to privately held corporations if I want to express displeasure with the laws that are being applied to me, something is very, very, very wrong.

Re:Here we go again (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951394)

It's called price discrimination. It also has to do with content licensing and publisher contracts. It is bad for Sony just as it would be bad for a bar in the middle of downtown not to sell their drinks for a higher price than a bar out in boom fuck. It is still bullshit though that these laws are being passed to basically put the power of the state behind price discrimination (whereas in my example it was being used to exclude price discrimination; I feel that both are wrong)...

Re:Here we go again (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951419)

Easy.

They can sell said game in Japan, make a lot of money. Then depending on how said game does, can chose whether or not to translate and ship it to the US.

If they decide to send it to the US, then you already owning a copy will cost them money. Never mind that you'd probably buy the US version too.

Same thing with regioned DVDs almost. You can go to like China and buy a legit DVD of a new release for like $5 USD. Of course here they're $20-30. About surprised they don't do this BY STATE.

Re:Here we go again (1)

hashish (62254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951473)

I don't like Sony's chances, the appeal will win in the High court b/c of the Australia's Trade Practices law. Changes in the copyright do not give the comapny a right to run a cartel, so Sony will struggle again to win.

Re:Here we go again (2, Insightful)

anonicon (215837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951477)

John, listen closely, it's four letters and 11 words. PHBs - they don't give a flying crap if you can do something.

In Corporate Land, the needs or desires of Slashdot-style geeks fall about ten levels of importance below the texture of the toilet paper in the corporate wash room. Until there's a consistent way to embarrass these companies and highlight these abuses in ways that will generate sufficient heat to make Sony back up, nothing's going to change to address your needs unless there are some mod chippers who think they won't get caught.

Re:Here we go again (2, Interesting)

goober1473 (714415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951583)

In the UK it's actually illegal to sell an item which could be used to breach copywrite, sony have used this to stop mod chips in the UK. Next the printing press and the pencil will be banned as these could clearly brech copywrite.

crazy (4, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951316)

Great, so these chips themselves don't violate any copyrights, they just allow you to use your console as though it were a computer. Yes you can pirate software on a computer and you pirate software on a modded console--so what? Do the manufacturer's really have a right to say that you can only use content licensed from them on a machine you bought? Hell no. Unless they make you sign a contract and that is a term, then no, this is insane.

Sorry... (4, Insightful)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951334)

Do the manufacturer's really have a right to say that you can only use content licensed from them on a machine you bought? Hell no. Unless they make you sign a contract and that is a term, then no, this is insane.

I think you're confusing the way things should be with the way things actually are.

Re:Sorry... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951378)

I guess what I should have phrased it "Is it natural for the manufacturer's to have a right to... ."

Re:crazy (2, Interesting)

The Impossible (17916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951380)

Sure they can, just as easy as pattenting stuff the whole world knows how to produce, let you conform to licenses before you're able to read them, invade countries because 'someones says they have weapons' and be very supprised that not everybody think you're right...

It's an imperfect world, with the US leading the way. (being lead by major corporations themselves)

The basic principle of capitalism is making sure you have more money then the others. When this can't be achieved by creating superior goods, buy the competition, change laws so your idea of how it should be is legal,...

I don't say that communism is perfect eather. The idea is great (just look at the Star Trek series, some believe that's a perfect future, even tho it's communistic of nature), but it has one flaw... humans

Oh wait, this is going political... forget it. I have enough cash, so yo capitalism. (with a bit less cash, yo socialism, with no cash, yo communism)

Ah well, that's the world, live in it or get out... Nah... the latter is to messy

Re:crazy (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951428)

"When this can't be achieved by creating superior goods, buy the competition, change laws so your idea of how it should be is legal,..." --So, capitalism leads to corporations buying the laws and making the system no longer capitalistic in nature? You are melding capitalism and democracy into one big generalization. What I think would be great is if there was an establishment clause for businesses rather than just for religions. Corporate welfare is pretty ingrained in our heads as being ok at this point though.

Re:crazy (2, Interesting)

The Impossible (17916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951507)

> "When this can't be achieved by creating superior goods, buy the competition, change laws so your idea of how it should be is legal,..."
> --So, capitalism leads to corporations buying the laws and making the system no longer capitalistic in nature?

No... capitalistic systems tend to make the democratic system corrupt.

> You are melding capitalism and democracy into one big generalization. What I think would be great is if there was an establishment clause for businesses rather than just for religions.

Maybe it's just better to keep the business out of the political scene. It doesn't sound right to me when big corporations 'support' politicians and very shortly after election laws are passed to support the needs of the coporations, instead of supporting the masses.

Why should modchips be illegal? To illegelize the use of copied software (which already is illegal), or protect the companies who are stupid enough to sell the console for les sthen the production costs? If someone finds a perfectly legal function for the use of the console (PS2/Xbox/...) without having to buy the software, why shouldn't that person be able to add a modchip to it.

He's still not allowed to copy the software, as it's copyright infringement.

If this law is to prevent people to use the consoles for something usefull, with the producer losing some cash over it... simply make the console more expencive and make the games cheaper. Solve the problem, if there is any, instead of passing laws that don't make sense.

Before you know it you're not allowed to play games on your telephone, just because it's made to make phonecalls, or something stupid like that.

If I buy stuff, I want to be able to choose what to do with it, even if this means adding a chip to it to make it more usefull to me then it was. If I use that chip to do illegal stuff with it, make the usage illegal, not the chip.

Eighter that or make guns illegal too, as you can kill people with them, cars because you can speed,... Don't illegelize the product, illigelize the illegal actions.

> Corporate welfare is pretty ingrained in our heads as being ok at this point though.

Yeah, but this law is protecting the companies from their own stupidity. Not to solve problems of illegal copying games.

Re:crazy (2, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951551)

I pretty much agree with everything you just said.. I don't think most of it was really in contradiction to what I said. For instance:

> Corporate welfare is pretty ingrained in our heads as being ok at this point though.

Yeah, but this law is protecting the companies from their own stupidity. Not to solve problems of illegal copying games.

Corporate welfare is almost always done to protect companies from their own stupidity, or perhaps a better term: lack of competitiveness. It is almost always used to leverage certain businesses or industries against competitors. If the competitors are beating them out, there are usually very few reasons, and I've only heard a few that are compelling, to support something that isn't flying in the market place. It typically amounts to a sort of statistical cockmongery akin to showing graphs with skewed scales at a presentation. Basically it pass off a "hardly noticible" tax on the masses (though economically even a single instance turns out to be quite noticeable, and with the amount of corporate welfare out there when viewed in aggregate it is quite noticable to the individual as well) to have a strongly noticable affect on a particular entity or industry. John McCain has had some great ideas in dealing with this problem by proposing ways where corporate welfare can be cut "all or nothing" style. It is hard for your constituents to complain that you didn't use national funds to build them a new baseball park when you point out that in doing so you prevented the rest of the damn nation from getting one as well.

My god (-1, Redundant)

rathehun (818491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951317)

Second post and the story is ./ed...I can picture the hordes reloading feverishly, waiting for the next story to come...heeheeeheeeee...

Whom do you want to slashdot today?

Re:My god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951327)

Working fine here!

It's just loading slowly. Still comes up. (-1, Offtopic)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951328)

NM

A reasonable agreement (4, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951322)

was already given the last time. It was also nothing to do with piracy either. They had seen that SONY were creating an artificial trade barrier, why would the new law change their minds and hand a victory to SONY. Surely it cannot make that much of a difference, not when the original verdict was far more insightful than what SONY was portraying because it had nothing to do with piracy.

Re:A reasonable agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951411)

Yes, but the changes in the FTA were hardly pushed through with the intention of maintaining the status quo.

Re:A reasonable agreement (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951508)

Sony won't win, because it was NOT a copyright decision. Zoning IS an artificial trade barrier, and the Federal Trade Practices ACT trumps all acts of illegal and collusive agreements, or price fixing. Sony only lost, because it did not apply to be exempted - something they can fix without a court case.

If Sony wants, it can apply for an excemption anytime. They would get it too - IF they could prove consumers are not being done over. All they gotta do is replace defective discs, and ensure prices in Australia are equal lowest, and that ALL titles are available, oh and pay out people with other zone sets.

On piracy, the court conviced the man. So by appealing, maybe the TPC can fine the appellant something appropriate for a vexatious action.

Site is loading slloooooooowwwlllly (5, Informative)

TelJanin (784836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951326)

Here's the text:

Sony in push to outflank PS2 mods
Andrew Colley
MARCH 15, 2005
SONY Computer Entertainment Australia is planning a new legal bid to outlaw PlayStation modification chips following recent changes to federal copyright laws.

The devices override copy control mechanisms Sony builds into its consoles to block the use of pirated games and DVDs encoded for players built to operate in other regions.

Launching the Gran Turismo 4 game in Sydney last week, SCEA managing director Michael Ephraim said the company had instructed its lawyers to prepare a new court challenge to the legality of the devices.

The case would be based on amendments to the Copyright Act flowing from the US Free Trade Agreement in January, he said.

Sony's lawyers were preparing the case in anticipation of a High Court appeal overturning a decision in its favour, based on previous laws, handed down by the full bench of the Federal Court in July 2003.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr Ephraim said "the company would take more steps to crack down on street-level piracy in the second half of the year.

"We will wait for the outcome of the Stevens case.

However, Mr Ephraim said, "the world has changed a lot".

"So we will continue our fight against chipping on the PS2."

SCEA has engaged in a long series of legal manoeuvres to outlaw the chips since 2002 when it took legal action against backyard mod chip supplier, Eddy Stevens, in the Federal Court.

Sony asked the court to interpret parts of the Copyright Act outlawing the devices that circumvent copy protection mechanisms to include mod chips that Mr Stevens was selling.

However, Justice Ronald Sackville ruled in favour of Mr Stevens after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervened in the case.

The competition watchdog argued that Sony was using the copy control mechanism to erect artificial trade barriers between Australian consumers and overseas games and DVD markets.

Sony eventually won its case on appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court in July 2003. However, on February 8 Mr Stevens appealed to the High Court to overturn the decision.

Mr Stevens's legal representative, Gadens Lawyers, said the High Court had not set a date to give its decision.

Re:Site is loading slloooooooowwwlllly (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951362)

...Federal Court in July 2003.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr Ephraim said ...

Damnation! Stupid Adblock is broken! Back to IE for me!

But... (4, Interesting)

ducklord (770855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951336)

Well, what did you expect? To come and spread the chips themselves?

Modchips are supposed to make PS2s play homebrew software, demos and applications. Like what? The PS2Reality player, whos development was stopped when it managed to play about 60-70% of movies, at low quality and stuttering framerate? That's the best known app requiring a Modchip, and it's not any more developed.

SONY, and all of us, know that modchips are used, as far as PS2 goes, in 99,9% of the cases for piracy. Although, yeah, I've got a modded console -for obvious reasons- we shouldn't hide behind our finger.

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951402)

...and 76% of all statistics are made up on the spot. The fact of the matter is that mod chips have legitimate uses to facilitate playing import games, a number of which are not released in Australia at all. I expect quite a number of people use it for that and that alone, of course I have no statistics to backup my statement. Nonetheless, don't lump everyone into one group just because of one potentially illegal use, or would you rather bittorrent and the internet itself be gotten rid of due to the numerous venues for illegal use?

Re:But... (1)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951406)

Modchips on Playstations have been avaliable for almost as long as the Playstation itself. Sony's obviously been aware of this the whole time but haven't clamped down on it until now - it's been years! When did the first PS come out? 98?

I've always believed in cases like this, they don't really care - piracy builds their userbase - obviously in the short term the only sale that's made comes from the hardware (and there's bugger all in that) but give it a few years, they have a healthy market share and then that's when they stomp down on it.

There's so much software out there that's made it's way into the mainstream through piracy.

I believe that Microsoft have kinda been doing the same thing with XP up till now - took them 4 or so years until they got serious about piracy (when they block updates to pirate copies of Windows later this year).

Re:But... (5, Interesting)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951474)

I bought my PS2 in London when I was living there the past 3 years, Ive now returned (to Sydney) and want to buy and play legit games that are sold at my local stores. WTF should I buy a new console when a mod chip will do the job? I guess im the 0.01% your talking about but thats no reason I should get shafted.

Re:But... (0, Troll)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951620)

99.9%? And where exactly did that figure come from? Remember, the burden of proof is on Sony's side; if they claim things like that, then it's up to THEM to back them up with data, and if they say things like "all of us know that..." then it really just shows that they can't do that. The same goes for you: you're just repeating that kind of misinformation that's uninformed at best and deliberate FUD at worst.

DMCA == trade barriers (5, Insightful)

Thumpnugget (142707) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951346)

From the article:

However, Justice Ronald Sackville ruled in favour of Mr Stevens after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervened in the case. The competition watchdog argued that Sony was using the copy control mechanism to erect artificial trade barriers between Australian consumers and overseas games and DVD markets.

Really? No kidding? It seems to me like erecting trade barriers has been the only use of the DMCA and related copyright legislation's restriction on copy control mechanisms. DVDs and region coding/CSS, Lexmark and printer cartridges, Sony and modchips. Can someone please give me a valid instance of the DMCA's copy control mechanism clauses being invoked in a case that didn't involve keeping a potential competitor out of a specific market?

all together now (3, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951351)

o/ Advaaaaaance Americstralia Faaaaaaaair

Re:all together now (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951384)

o/.o/,o/_o/ o/ o/ o/ o/
o/.o/,o/_o/ o/.o/,o/_o/
o/.o/,o/_o/ o/.o/,o/_o/
o/.o/,o/_o/ o/.o/,o/_o/
o/.o/,o/_o/ o/.o/,o/_o/
Our forces are marching general!

Re:all together now (1)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951557)

I'm looking forward to the day when we can get rid of our token foreign head of state and replace her with a genuine president elected by the people. The U.S. people that is.

Re:all together now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951698)

Hey, is that some kind of crack? We have a couple of questionable elections and in with the jokes. I see.

Well, you'll be cheap labor making products for which I'll overpay soon enough.

If they'd really wanted to stop modding... (3, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951352)

they'd have encapsulated the board, chips and all, with an epoxy resin coating as part of the assembly process and then assembled the case so that it breaks when disassembled (ie one way clips) instead of using screws.

Re:If they'd really wanted to stop modding... (1)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951658)

Yeah, but then it's only a matter of time before some solvent shows up that will safely eat away the epoxy, and people will be proud of their "naked" systems.

A better solution would be to only offer server-based content. Minimal physical system, no significant modding can happen, unless you break into their facilities, which would have it's own built-in legal consequences.

modchips != piracy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951358)

A modchip is not acting as a replacement part. It does not 'unlock' or permit operation of the console. The purpose of a modchip is to bypass the signing mechanism used to prevent you from playing pirated games.

Okay, time for a list of modchip uses:

- Playing unofficial/unlicensed software (ex: Game Enhancer [lawtechjournal.com] , which was almost definately first developed with the help of a modchip, since absolutely ZERO Sony code or patents were used to complete the software)
- Using unofficial devices (ex: New max memory devices made by Datel [ps2-scene.org] )
- Cheating devices (ex: Game genie [bbc.co.uk] by Galoob)
- Playing backups [justice.gc.ca]
- Bypassing region protection [gamesindustry.biz]

These are all locks placed on the device by the manufacturer in an attempt to stop the usage of third party items, such as:

1 - Third party discs not authorized by the console manufacturer
2 - Third party software not authorized by the console manufacturer
3 - Third party hardware not authorized by the console manufacturer
4 - Authorized software from the manufacturer that was not intended to be used in your country

As far as I know, in all three situations, doing those things is legal. It is legal for me to put Maxell media in an HP burner (item 1), it's legal for me to install Windows XP to a Mac (item 2), it's legal for me to use a non sony DV tape in my Sony DV camcorder (item 3), and it's legal for me to watch a PAL videotape in the USA (item 4).

Now, for some reason, the person who built the device decided for me they didn't like items 1 - 4. So they built the device not to allow this. Now this law says such locks are illegal. And since the actions were legal to start with, where's your beef?

That someone might do items 1 - 4 with an illegal intent? Yeah, they could. In fact, you could install a pirated Windows XP on a Mac using an emulator. Does that make the emulator illegal? You could copy a copyrighted gameboy game into a blank flash memory cartridge and play it on your gameboy. Does that make computer memory illegal?

This is no different than banning box cutters on airlines because you think a terrorist is going to slash your throat with one. You're using an (extremely poor) band-aid to cover up what is a societal problem that already has PLENTY of legal recourse against the act, and you are inconveniencing [reason.com] and embarassing [homeip.net] people as you do it. It's nasty and wrong, and, quite honestly, it makes me, as an outsider, afraid to enter your country. It's no different than trying to ban chewing gum [bbc.co.uk] just because someone might stick it under a desk.

Re:modchips != piracy (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951440)

' It's no different than trying to ban chewing gum'
Except:
1: it gets very hot and wet in asia, you don't want an insect infestation because someone stuck chewing cum under the desk.

2: You can get it on prescription if you have a medical requirement.

So, it's not really band, and the whole tidy thing is to stop insects. I think you get a fine in some resturants if you ask for more food than you can eat.

Sony should sell non regional hardware then. (1)

threeofnine (813056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951386)

If Sony is to proceede with this case, and win, then they are essentially saying that mod chips are illegal, and thus would prevent you from playing games and DVD's purchased overseas.

Therefore, would not an interpertiation of the FTA be that Sony would be required to sell hardware compatible with software/DVD's purchased in both Australia and the USA. This is called FREE TRADE, thus negating the need to a legal use of the chip.

Sony, you cannot have it both ways.

Three of Nine.

I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (5, Insightful)

serps (517783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951387)

I think anyone who's been keeping up to date with international agreements could see this coming a mile away. Australia is just the latest in a series of countries that have signed up for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States and received a bonus kick in the nuts to their copyright laws.

As an Australian, however, it's a lot more personal. I read /. I keep up to date on stuff like this. I sent letters to all political parties about this, with little success. My problem is this: I can talk to the politicians, but in an issue such as this, which politician will stand on principles to block the copyright amendments and subject themselves to "blocking Australian jobs" and other, more emotionally-laden epithets?

We know why the copyright amendments are in there; the USA is willing to sacrifice protectionism in a few key markets for a bigger stick on copyright. The USA wins: they get to stop the popular-but-expensive subsidies, while being popular in the electorate for their copyright stance.

The other country, my country, thinks it's getting a good deal, but ends up with an Intellectual property deficit. The politicians don't care - they reap the political benefits now.

Sorry for the rant. I guess it's just sour grapes - one would think that after helping the US with that crazy War on Terror thing, that we'd at least get the courtesy of lube before the big event.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951417)

We know why the copyright amendments are in there; the USA is willing to sacrifice protectionism in a few key markets for a bigger stick on copyright. The USA wins: they get to stop the popular-but-expensive subsidies, while being popular in the electorate for their copyright stance.

Man, I dunno about this. The copyright stance more or less is just more protectionism. Now that so many American companies are adopting business models that at some level depend on abuse of the legal system, ensuring legal systems in foreign countries may be equally abused becomes an essential part of sustaining those companies business models. It looks to me like the USA is sacrificing protectionism to gain a different sort of protectionism.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (2, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951430)

real countries don't use lube. Deal with it like the British always has, by keeping the upper lip part of the mouth, stiff.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951444)

Sorry for the rant. I guess it's just sour grapes - one would think that after helping the US with that crazy War on Terror thing, that we'd at least get the courtesy of lube before the big event.
As an Australian I feel the same way. We certainly have been shafted without lube. While not all seppos can be blamed, the ones who rely entirely on income from investments are... fat bastards. Perhaps they should try working for a living.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (1)

thesixthreplicant (866292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951464)

well if we're playing the blame game we should pretty much blame the australians for letting it happen in the first place.

maybe next time we won't vote in a GWB clone.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (4, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951486)

The effects of reduced freedom in the realm of "intellectual property" and a starved public domain take decades to manifest themselves. The effects of a free trade agreement take a shorter time to manifest, and are much more visible to the electorate. It's clear why politicians would pass such a thing.

The main problem with modern democracy is career politicians. In America (at least), legislators act with their main focus on getting reelected to do the same thing again. Someone who is serving their country for a guaranteed term length is less likely to pander to the electorate while harming the public good since there would be less, if anything, to gain from it. The term can either be limited or unlimited in length and still reap these benefits. Unlimited, guaranteed terms work for the American Supreme Court, and I think limited, guaranteed terms would work for legislatures. There would have to be ways to impeach them if shit hit the fan, of course.

It's too bad that it'd be the legislatures that would have to bring this change in the first place.

Re:I am Jack's Total Lack of Suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951670)

well said.

multi zone DVD is next (0, Offtopic)

pbjones (315127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951398)

ah, the downhill slide to stupidity.

When you make trade agreements with America (4, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951401)

Funny how this mutual trade agreement doesn't make those mod chips legal in the U.S too, isn't it?

Re:When you make trade agreements with America (2, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951437)

You make a good point, the Agreement does seem a bit one way. But I'm sure the people higher up knew this or didn't care either way.

Re:When you make trade agreements with America (3, Insightful)

gstamp (99104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951469)

Free-trade: Were we are free to trade our laws for Americas.

hehehehe (1, Troll)

BortQ (468164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951408)

This is what you guys get for invading Iraq. Go Canada Go!!!

And again (4, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951432)

You can tell me what i can do to my legaly purchased goods all you want ,the fact is im not going to listen if it comes into effect where i live , Its called civil disobediance .
The fact is people buy products not licenses to use them in this case , mod chips are illegal because they potentialy could enable the use of pirate games.
now lets look at the logic here ,
If i am going to use an illegaly cloned game i bought at some back street store or got online , do you think i would have any qualms about also getting a modchip sent to me and installing it, the simple awnser is
"Probbaly not ".
Now if i wanted to modify my console to turn it into someform of server , or homebrew test kit for making my own games then i may just think twice .
The real reason they dont want people doing this is not the piracy issue as they know that people will pirate anyway and this will only make it a tiny bit more inconveniant .
The real reason i belive is that of two things , They profit from Games sales not hardware(thus homebrew is a problem or could potentialy be int he future , and people turning it into something else) and the fact that region encoding is not an anti piracy mesure but a way to make sure people dont benifit from better prices in difrent regions.

TO bring out an old addage i have used many times before , Are Guns illegal as they facillitate murder which is infact the sole purpose of handguns (to kill),In most countrys Yes it is illegal for a person to own a gun but not to mod a console, In America however no .
I wont get into the gun ownership debate , but i will say this Please have equal standerds , the same applys to P2P programs , just because they may be used to break the (civil)law , it dosn't mean they should be illegal.
Mod chips , just as guns and Beer and bread knifes may all be used to break the law .
They also may all be used to respectivly , Install linux on your xbox or so on ,Um cant think of one for guns ... maybe hunt... And Spread butter on your bread.

Ummmmmmmmmm, stoopid question, but... (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951442)

Aren't mod chips made and marketed in/from Hong Kong & Taiwan? How does this effect Australia?

Re:Ummmmmmmmmm, stoopid question, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951487)

Well, you(or shops) do need to import them if you live in Australia... Thats what will become illegal.

Re:Ummmmmmmmmm, stoopid question, but... (1)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951527)

Previously there was a ruling which effectively made the use of mod-chips legal, since they were viewed as a simple means of bypassing an artificial trade barrier. As such with these changes that is no longer the case, and people who want to play their important games get shafted as a result.

M*O*N*A*C*O (1)

(3067) (867811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951449)

I actually live in Australia and believe me this cuts both ways. The US can be sued by Sony Australia for stuff that was previously legal in the US.

M*O*N*A*C*O

Re:M*O*N*A*C*O (2, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951684)

Pfffft. You really don't understand international politics. Australia is America's bitch, what can Australia do to the United States no matter what agreements anyone has.

I'm in Australia too by the way?

Oh America, how glad I am... (5, Insightful)

beredon (454896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951450)

...to be part of your "land of the free".

Sincerely, an Australian.

opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951463)

does this mean i can buy a ridiculously cheap laptop from walmart now we the agreement is in place?

probably not as we will still get shafted

It should also be noted... (5, Funny)

jpiggot (800494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951482)

In other signs of what is to come with the AU-US Federal trade agreement coming into force, actor Paul Hogan of the "Crocodile Dundee" movies has been removed to an undisclosed location and beaten to death with large stones.

Re:It should also be noted... (4, Funny)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951526)

Well I must admit that I was skeptical about the value of this agreement until I heard this...

Re:It should also be noted... (1)

jpiggot (800494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951533)

I'm still waiting for that agreement to go through where we trade the vocal cords of Brendon Frazier for the suspension of the Iranian nuclear weapons program...

Australia: Corporate State Wet Dream (3, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951488)


I'm Australian, but have not lived there in quite a while.

Every time I go back, I'm disgusted by just how corporate-bitch that nation has become. I shouldn't be surprised; Australia has pretty much always been the Gimp Nation of the Western Imperialists, but stories like this just ring the bell even clearer.

Will Australia ever change? I don't think so; I believe it is the model state for what is planned for other formerly-great nations ...

Re:Australia: Corporate State Wet Dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951715)

"That nation" eh?

Don't sound too Australian any more. I for one actually enjoy living here. I realise with the mostly perfect weather, laid back atmosphere, current low unemployment, comfy western lifestyle, and relative safety of the streets (not to mention the big backyard) it can be a bit of a chore, but someone has to do it.

Oh well, I'm off to the pub to watch the footy for a while with the lads. Dunno how much longer I can stand this lifestyle..... You're right. Maybe I should live somewhere else.

Damn it (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951519)

The ACCC should have forced Sony to make a PS2 that had no copy control in it. They should also force the same on Xbox and DVD playing devices. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, our consumer watchdog agency intervened in the PS2 mod chipping case stating that mod chipping must be legal as without it Australians can't by games from overseas to play on our PS2. As most games are released overseas before they are released here and games are often priced hirer here than they are to import, the ACCC ruled this was an artificial trade barrier.

They should have taken a harder stance, now we're gunna get fucked over by the stupid trade agreement.

Personal experience (1)

jchuillier (846178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951556)

I was personally questioned by the french police and my flat was raided 10 years ago when Nintendo France made a lawsuit for the SNES/SFC game copy machines (the nice thing that plugged in the cartridge port and had ram and a floppy drive). So the police searched my flat while I was away, seized around 5 copy machines, about 50 games on floppies, my 2 computers and all they thought was of interest, besides that they emptied the trash in the bathtub and let it like that, it was nice when I came back home from holidays 2 weeks after that... So I had to go to Paris to talk to the police and explain myself, of course I was importing the copy machines from Hong Kong and selling them in France, the only problem for the police was tha

Re:Personal experience (complete text this time) (5, Interesting)

jchuillier (846178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951585)

I was personally questioned by the french police and my flat was raided 10 years ago when Nintendo France made a lawsuit for the SNES/SFC game copy machines (the nice thing that plugged in the cartridge port and had ram and a floppy drive). So the police searched my flat while I was away, seized around 5 copy machines, about 50 games on floppies, my 2 computers and all they thought was of interest, besides that they emptied the trash in the bathtub and let it like that, it was nice when I came back home from holidays 2 weeks after that... So I had to go to Paris to talk to the police and explain myself, of course I was importing the copy machines from Hong Kong and selling them in France, the only problem for the police was that I was doing this in an "open" way, sending the goos by FEDEX "game copy machine" written on the customs decalaration and paying the customs and VAT tax. First they told me I was questioned for "importation of material being used for illegal copying" but when I showed them the customs paper they changed this to "selling of pirated games" arguing that I HAD to give games when I was selling a unit, at the time we had a pre internet way of coimmunicating in France called minitel, basically a chat BBS with incredible speed (1200/75) and so they had minitel logs of my conversations with buyers, but since I NEVER sold games after 2 hours they had to let me go, give me ALL my stuff back and pay for the damages they had caused in my flat... Bottom line is that since the modchip or device can be used for private copying and so on, it's going to be VERY difficult to put someone who's not selling pirated games in jail, at least in France, and even with the P2P hype, the judges are starting to realise that and the situation is MUCH more calm than it was 6 months ago... Now how is the law and the judges in an hysteric environment such as Fox news-USA and Murdoch land is another question...

When in Rome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951575)

When in Rome [slashdot.org]

culture now laws (5, Insightful)

courseB (837633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951602)

its bad enough that we spread crap media and movies to countries like australia, now we give them laws...

Help us ACCC you're our only hope (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11951621)

I wonder how much longer the ACCC will be around for. They keep getting in the way of the big corporations; they've stopped Telstras' (au phone company) anti-competitive activities many times, they've stopped the big oil companies price manipulation and as seen here they have gotten in the way of Sonys' region locking.

Considering the Australian government gets donations from those big corporation and that the ACCC is funded by the government i simply cant see the organisation lasting.

Oh the irony! (3, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11951700)

Sony asked the court to interpret parts of the Copyright Act outlawing the devices that circumvent copy protection mechanisms to include mod chips that Mr Stevens was selling.

However, Justice Ronald Sackville ruled in favour of Mr Stevens after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervened in the case.

The competition watchdog argued that Sony was using the copy control mechanism to erect artificial trade barriers between Australian consumers and overseas games and DVD markets.

And the new 'free trade' agreement overrides Australia's Consumer Commission to make these devices illegal.

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