informa
News

Judge Temporarily Halts First Ever Federal Console Modding Trial

Opening statements in a first-of-its-kind federal trial over the installation of console mod chips were put on hold today as the judge berated the prosecution for myriad legal and technical issues.
Opening statements in a first-of-its-kind federal trial over the installation of console mod chips were put on hold today as the judge berated the prosecution for myriad legal and technical issues. The case revolves around Matthew Crippen, a 28-year-old parking attendant arrested last year after being taped selling and installing Xbox 360 mod chips to federal investigators. Law enforcement was first alerted to Crippen thanks to a tip from the ESA. The government argues Crippen's modifications are illegal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act because they circumvent built-in copy protection in the hardware and facilitate the play of illegally copied game software. But today, Wired reports U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez seemed to backtrack on a previous ruling that Crippen could not argue the modifications were "fair use" alterations to facilitate the playing of backup and homebrew software. “The only way to be able to play copied games is to circumvent the technology,” Gutierrez said. “How about backup games and the homebrewed?” Gutierrez also took the prosecution to task for instructing the jury that Crippen did not need to be aware his actions were illegal to be found guilty, in direct contradiction to a DMCA IP crimes manual the government published in 1998. Problems with prosecution witnesses, one of whom admitted he himself had previously modded Xbox consoles, were also a feature in the judge's half-hour tirade against the federal prosecutors. Crippen faces up to ten years in prison, if convicted. Earlier this year, the U.S. Copyright Office loosened DMCA restrictions on acts such as jailbreaking an iPhone or cracking a game purely for technical testing purposes.

Latest Jobs

Pocketwatch Games

Remote
01.05.22
Senior Gameplay Engineer

Disbelief

Cambridge, Massachusetts
01.07.22
Jr. Programmer

Gameloft Australia

Brisbane, Australia
01.06.21
Creative Director

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
01.06.22
Senior Systems Designer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more