Sony Computer Entertainment of Australia, which has been waging courtroom battles against the manufacturers and sellers of chips that modify their PlayStation 2 hardware to circumvent copy-proofing protection, is gearing up for another round of lawsuits to defend the system.
The new lawsuits will be based on modifications to Australia's Copyright Act as a result of the U.S. Free Trade Agreement enacted in January. Sony plans to take advantage of the slightly different laws to mount a new assault on modification chip purveyors, in the event that its current lawsuit based on the old Copyright Act fails.
Said current lawsuit is against Eddy Stevens, a seller of the mod chips who was brought to court by Sony in 2002 in the hopes that Sony could get the court to interpret the laws to prohibit PlayStation 2 mod chips under its existing copy protection language. Stevens won the case, but Sony won the appeal to the Federal Court in 2003. The case is currently awaiting final decision in the High Court.
"We will wait for the outcome of the Stevens case," said SCE Australia Michael Ephraim, before "the company would take more steps to crack down on street-level piracy in the second half of the year. The world has changed a lot, so we will continue our fight against chipping on the PS2."