Student Arrested for Modifying Consoles

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mapesdhs

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Just curious, what other offences in the US carry a sentence as long as 10
years in jail? Various violent crimes? The max sentence for what this guy
has done seems very harsh to me. The guy must have some reasonable electrical
engineering or computing talent - what a waste to throw such a person in jail.

(Or do possible sentences for violent crimes vary by state?)

Ian.

 

dheadley

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Everyone keeps chanting this "The owner can do what ever he wants with the hardware" mantra over and over. That is not what happened here. A third-party excepted payment to modify hardware that he did not own. Also they don't have to prove that he downloaded any games himself. All they would have to prove is his Intent to be an accomplice in his customers pirating of software. Such as if he advertised that for $100 he could provide you with the means to pirate all the games you wanted, i would think it would make him an accomplice to the piracy. Not a lawyer though so its all speculation.
 

jalek

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Sounds like Homeland Security has plenty of staff for handling terrorism and border security, so now they can spare assets to pursue IP protection.

Maybe the next series of budget cuts should target them.
 

Dave_69

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People, the problem is he was doing it for money, under the guise of an actual business (and probably without a business license). Moreover, I would submit that this guy probably WASN'T PAYING ANY TAXES on his earnings. If that's true, then that's why the government got involved. They couldn't care less about the modified code, the DRM, etc. What they DO care about is foregone tax revenue.

Yes, you have every right to dismantle or reverse-engineer your consoles or whatever, but when you do it illegaly for other people for profit, then that's when Uncle Sam rears his imperialist head.
 
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Actually modifying a computer is the same as upgrading a car (installing a turbo or so).

I think they can only jail and charge him for the illegal sales of the modded devices. In order to change and sell he probably needs a licence.
Probably gets 2 weeks in jail, fined with 2 thousand dollars, and left on probation for a couple of months...
 

tayb

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There are some holes in this story but the kid was clearly in the wrong. You can modify your own console legally under fair use (downloading the games would still be illegal) but providing a profitable service modifying game consoles to allow other people to steal Intellectual Property is certainly not legal. You can't provide a profitable means for others to break the law and not expect any legal repercussions.

Watch out if you ever had your console modified by this guy. They won't win in court unless they can prove that modifying consoles directly leads to pirated games and even then it isn't an open and shut case.
 
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10 years in prison that's outrageous. Take Plaxico Burres he was just convicted on 3 counts of weapons charges when his illegal to carry gun went off in a night club, which could have easily killed someone and he'll maybe be getting 3.5 years...and this guys getting 10 for putting mod-chips in consoles....glad to see were the priorities lie for US justice.
 

Dave_69

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blueswitch, or take Michael Vick for that matter. Those were just DOGS, and yet there are other guys on the field hiking the ball every weekend who do WORSE to actual HUMAN BEINGS. Why was he Vick-timized? Again, I think it was REALLY about foregone tax revenues... he wasn't paying taxes on his dogfight earnings.

Why the war on drugs? Drug dealers typically aren't all that savvy when it comes to reporting earnings. I've driven my car drunk, and I've driven it while high, and in my experience driving drunk is more dangerous. I think the only reason alcohol isn't illegal (it was in 1920s, if you recall) is because of the system of controls that are now in place. The war on drugs is about one thing - stopping people from making (a LOT of) money without giving The Empire (USA) its "fair" cut of the pie. Uncle Sam doesn't care whether you smoke it or not.

Why is prostitution mostly illegal? Again, pimps and prostitutes aren't that savvy at reporting earnings. Paying a girl for physical pleasures is totally harmless to others. So why the illegality of it? Is it because these "less-than-savory" people are not your typical tax-payer??? Is watching pR0n any different? Hmmmm...

What was Al Capone convicted of? Kidnapping? Laundering? Murder? No, it was tax evasion.

And then we have this guy modifying consoles... If I'm right, and he didn't pay taxes on it, they'll at least get him for that - at the MINIMUM.
 

griffed88

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The U.S.A is quickly turning into big brother. Down with the government interfering in private matters! down with the government period!
 

fracture

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LoL, Homeland Security. I wonder where they got this "Homeland" Security thing from? Oh right, they got it from the Nazi's.
 
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yeah but doesn't microsoft have to press charges for them to have even taken action? imo the only thing they got is him running a business with out a licence.
 

falchard

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I really don't see how this infringes on the digital millenium act. Consoles once bought are no longer property of microsoft or sony. Its property of the person who bought it. Modifying a console for a purpose when given permission by the owner should not warrant infringment since there is consent. It would be like modifying your own OSes registry to prevent it from throttling your connection.
If they were to arrest him for anything, it should have been not reporting the income on his taxes.
 

davisorle

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[citation][nom]omnimodis78[/nom]All these corporations have been ripping us off for a long, long time - and a guy goes and runs a business where he uses his skills and talent to earn some cash and lo and behold he is shoulder deep in shit now! Go figure... We will never, ever win against these greedy bastards because they write their own laws to screw us over day in and day out![/citation]

lol dude yeah its harsh as it sounds but its like you are asking for piracy to be legal. Does the sound oof it make any sence to you at all? So if you use your skill to make a sofware , let alone a hardware with included software ( aka console ), you are better for being the one capableto rip it and make money out of my product and you shouldn't be judged for it? Yeah we should all be in jail more or less like the above of your's comment, but lets not make things this cheap and be logical a bit more.
 

kingnoobe

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How could you not know it was illegal? Seriously..

Jail time though is nonsense. And the person who used the locksmith excuse go to hell idiot. If somebody walked by my house that I built, and was able to somehow simply copy it. And put it on his land.. More power to him. He didn't take anything away from me, I still got what is mine, he just found an easier way to get the same thing.
 

cliff

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No one cares if you have an unreasonable amount of Kreon drives or hacked firmware on multiple thumb drives lying around. The software is what ultimately got him in trouble. Odds are, if you're modding consoles for profit, you're going to test-run the machine - using a game from that gigantic pile of Verbatims. I hope he wasn't publicly advertising his business while highlighting specific illegalities to entice would-be clients (ie, the ability to play burnt and downloaded games). While that act in itself is not a crime, it would garner enough attention to have someone go undercover to determine whether or not something illegal was actually taking place.
 

kgrach

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Copying software is stealing kingnoobe.
No different than if you shoplifted the game.
Pirating software is not making a copy it is stealing money from the people who spent a lot of time and money making something for you to enjoy and expecting to get paid for their work.

You like to get paid for your work so do the people who make games.

Most of you people miss the point or maybe its on your head.

This guy was selling thieves tools. The sole purpose and the only purpose of these tools was to steal stuff from their rightful owners. I hope they get his sales list and seize every modified xbox and arrest everyone of his lame customers.

This is not about modifying an XBOX you can do that legally.

Modding you cell phone wont get you in trouble modifying it so you get free cell service by copying your neighbors EIN will.

Think of this as the same as the guy selling modified Cable boxes, so you can receive channels you did not pay for.

The only purpose of those boxes is to steal cable
Same here the only purpose of THOSE Xboxs was to steal software.
 

kgrach

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The guys toast.
There is plenty of legal president to hang him.
Owning an AR-15 is legal. But owning the piece of metal that allows it to go fully auto is. Just being in possesion of the flat piece of stamped metal will get you federal pen time. Becuase that peice of metal has only one purpose in life its illegal to own.

The guy would have to prove a legitimate reason for using a modified console.

 

jamesedgeuk2000

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"The guy would have to prove a legitimate reason for using a modified console."

er, playing software he had made himself or free software? running linux? using the xbox as a media centre?
 
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