Feeds

UK appeal court dismisses mod chip conviction

Devices not responsible for copyright infringement

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The UK court of appeal this week ruled that games console mod chips do not bypass copy protection systems and are, therefore, effectively legal here.

The ruling comes more than six months after Neil Stanley Higgs of Speedwell Road, Speedwell, Bristol was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 26 offences under a 2003 amendment to the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

At the time, Higgs vowed to appeal against the verdict - reached unanimously by the jury - and just as well: this week, the appeal court quashed all charges against him.

Higgs argued that the mod chips did not infringe copyright because that action had already taken place.

modchip2_SM

An Xecuter 3CE mod chip board

The games industry hates mod chips because they allow consoles to play copies of games. Gamers who've modified their consoles this way maintain they do so to allow them to use back-up copies of games if discs become damaged, but the industry claims it's done to allow them to play titles they haven't paid for.

Higgs essentially told the court that the copyright infringement was not carried out by the mod chip but by the user who copies the original disc. As such, he could be no more responsible for the infringement than, say, Sony is when one of its PCs is used to make an unauthorised copy of a DVD.

In 2005, the High Court of Australia also ruled that mod chips are legal Down Under for the same reason. However, Australia changed the law the following year to ban the use of the chips.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.