Nearly 5 years later!
Department of Justice announced indictments against ten individuals subject of a 2007 raid targeting alleged video game console mod chip suppliers and sellers!!
Back in 2007, Federal agents carried out a series of raids against individuals and businesses in 16 US states as part of an investigation into the distribution and sale of mod chips. This one was dubbed "Operation Tangled Web". This is a little background:
Well, now, nearly five years later, Department of Justice announced indictments against ten of those alleged video game console mod chip suppliers.The 32 search warrants were executed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from 22 offices, with assistance from the gaming industry.
Those targeted by Operation Tangled Web are accused of direct involvement with the console-modding community, including those engaging in the import, distribution, sale, and installation of mod chips for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The ICE was the lead agency in the raids due to its responsibility for keeping counterfeit and pirated goods off of US store shelves.
The raids come in the wake of the arrest of a San Diego resident for selling pirated games and modded consoles. Frederick Brown was arrested in late June by the San Diego Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Unit after advertising his services on Craigslist and other web sites.
Little is know about the charges and sentences, but this is what was brought up:The ten individuals, who hail from Florida, New York, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts, were the focus of "Operation Tangled Web," an industry-aided effort undertaken by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in the summer of 2007. They've been charged with violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by trafficking in mod chips for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360, devices prosecutors say are "primarily designed to circumvent technological measures designed to effectively control access to a work copyrighted under Title 17 of the United States Code, for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain."
Of course, defenders note that console mod chips have extensive legal uses as well...The indictments generally charge that the defendants knowingly manufactured, imported, offered to the public, or otherwise trafficked in technology, products, services, devices, components or parts thereof, which were primarily designed to circumvent technological measures designed to effectively control access to a work copyrighted under Title 17 of the United States Code, for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to their case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
We will have to follow closely the development of these cases in the upcoming days!For this reason, last year the Electronic Frontier Foundation formally requested (PDF) that the US Copyright Office exempt mod chips from DMCA enforcement, much as it has excepted "jailbroken" smartphones since 2010. A final ruling on that request is expected later this year.
NEWS SOURCE #1: http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohn/news/10april2012_2.html
NEWS SOURCE #2: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2...ears-later.ars
Our thanks to 'Gauss' for writing up this news story for us!