Feeds

Sony loses Aussie PlayStation mod chip case

Not a g'day for regional coding

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Australia’s High Court has ruled that modifying PlayStations to bypass Sony's regional coding mechanism does not violate the country’s copyright laws.

Sony sued a Sydney-based supplier of mod chips four years ago, claiming the chips violate its copyright. It initially lost, then won the case on appeal. However, the chip supplier appealed that decision and the case went to the High Court. Sony has fought hard in a number of countries to clamp down on mod chips, which can be used, amongst other things, to bypass the regional coding system which underpins the company’s differential pricing in different markets.

The judges, according to the Associated Press, decided that while pirating a game is one thing, playing an otherwise legit game using a mod chip is another, opening the way for Aussies to buy in games from cheaper markets to play on their Sony Australia machines. They also found that Sony’s regional coding did not qualify as a technological protection measure, and also said that regional coding restricted competition and consumer rights.

AP quoted a defence lawyer predicting the move would force Sony to harmonize worldwide game prices. It didn’t quote Sony, as the electronics giant had nothing to say at the time.

While the decision will cheer up gamers down under, it’s less clear what effect it will have in other countries. Console vendors have had more success persuading judges in other markets that mod chips are a very bad thing. While Sony may abandon regional pricing, it may also make a more concerted effort to bury regional coding in its console’s copyright protection mechanism. And judges seem to take a much dimmer view of any tampering with copyright protection.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.