Feeds

UK appeal court dismisses mod chip conviction

Devices not responsible for copyright infringement

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.