Monday, August 6, 2007

Mod Chips Illegal?

Apparently, Federal agents are going on anti-mod-chip raids. Mod chips--small pieces of circuitry that can be attached to gaming consoles in order to convince them to run games that they would not otherwise run--are apparently barred under the DMCA as copyright circumvention devices. While it is true that installing a mod chip will cause a console to play home-burned copies of commercial games, it is also the only way to cause the console to run non-official, unsigned games, known as "homebrew" software. This second use of mod chips-running unofficial software, or even copies of the Linux operating system, constitutes a "substantial non-infringing use" for mod chips, and that anyone fighting a case in court over mod chips would probably win--assuming they have a decent lawyer.

Maybe someone should talk to the EFF?

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