Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Man convicted for chipping Xbox

Filed under
Legal

A 22-year-old man has become the first person in the UK to be convicted for modifying a video games console.

The Cambridge graduate was sentenced at Caerphilly Magistrates Court in Wales to 140 hours of community service.

The man had been selling modified Xbox consoles which he fitted with a big hard drive containing 80 games.

"This case sets a major precedent which marks a milestone in the fight against piracy," said games industry spokesman Michael Rawlinson.

The conviction is the first of its kind in the UK, where the modification of video games consoles has been an illegal practice since October 2003, when the UK enacted the EU Copyright Directive.

Under that directive, it is illegal to circumvent copy protection systems.

Consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation 2 can be modified by chips that are soldered to a console's main circuit board to bypass copyright controls.

The chips allow people to play games purchased legitimately in other countries, as well as running backup copies or bootleg discs.

In this case, the man was tracked down by an investigator working for the UK games industry trade body, the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association, (Elspa).

The man, who has not yet been named, was selling modified Xbox consoles, fitted with a 200GB hard drive and 80 pre-installed games, via his website for £380.

Elspa informed Caerphilly County Borough Council Trading Standards and Gwent Constabulary, as well as helping to collect forensic evidence used by the prosecution.

The man was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay £750 in costs. The court also seized his equipment - three PCs, two printers, three Xbox consoles and 38 hard drives.

"It sends a clear message to anyone tempted to become involved in chipping consoles that this is a criminal offence and will be dealt with accordingly," said Mr Rawlinson, deputy director general of Elspa.

"The modification of consoles is an activity that Elspa's anti-piracy team is prioritising. It is encouraging to see the UK courts do the same."

In July last year, Sony won a legal battle to ban the selling of mod chips in the UK.

BBC News

More in Tux Machines

Audacious 3.8.1 Open-Source Music Player Supports Opus Cover Art in the Info Bar

More than two months after the release of the major Audacious 3.8 open-source and cross-platform music player software for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows operating system, the first maintenance update arrives on December 6, 2016. Read more

Ubuntu Core has the keys to IoT security

In October, a DDoS attack on Dyn's infrastructure took down a big chunk of the internet, making sites like Amazon and Twitter inaccessible. It was the first major attack involving IoT (internet of things) devices. Fortunately, it was also a benign attack: no one got hurt, no one died. However, the next attack could be catastrophic. No one knows when it will happen. No one knows the magnitude. Read more

Android Marshmallow on PC Falls Flat

The Android-x86 Project eventually may become a viable operating system alternative for your desktop and laptops computers, but it's not there yet. You will have to wait a while for the developers to fix a number of failures with the latest release upgrading Android-x86 to Marshmallow 6.0.1. The developers late this summer released the first stable version of Android-x86 6.0, codenamed "Marshmallow." Android-x86 lets you run the Android OS with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop and laptop computers, rather than buying one of the qualified Chromebooks with the Google Play Store features bolted on. Read more

Korora 25 Linux Released, Based on Fedora 25 Ships with Cinnamon 3.2, MATE 1.16

On December 7, 2016, the development team behind the Fedora-based Korora Linux operating system proudly announced the release and general availability of Korora 25. Read more