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Heretic
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2,766 Posts
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Australian Court Rules 'Mod Chips' Legal

SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's High Court ruled unanimously Thursday that modifying Sony PlayStation consoles so that they can play cheaper overseas versions of the company's games does not violate Australian copyright laws.

The decision ends a four-year legal battle between entertainment and Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). and Sydney-based business owner Eddy Stevens, who supplied and installed "mod chips" in PlayStation devices.

Sony divides the global gaming market into regions and programs its PlayStation consoles so that games sold in the United States or Asia cannot be played on consoles sold in Australia. The so-called mod chips bypass Sony's regional coding and allow users to run cheaper games made for markets outside Australia on their PlayStation machines.

The High Court ruled that while making a pirated copy of a game is illegal, playing a game using a mod chip is not.

A lawyer for Stevens, Nathan Mattock, said the ruling would allow Australian consumers to buy lower price versions of games overseas and play them on their Australian-bought PlayStation consoles, provided they have a mod chip installed.

"It's a victory for consumers, but also business people as well," he told The Associated Press. "It will likely increase competition in the market and possibly reduce prices in the market for gaming."

Mattock said Thursday's ruling could force Sony to rethink its regional coding system and make game prices more uniform around the world.

A spokeswoman for Sony Australia, who declined to be named, said the company did not have any comment at this stage.
A victory for piracy, I'd say.
 

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The Hunter
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15,879 Posts
More like a victory for everyone who does not like Sony's policy. In Europe it's exactly the same, stuff costing 50 dollars here ends up being at least 10% more expensive. This was not a case about piracy, but about Sony's policy. If you have a modchip installed and still buy the original game but only overseas, you are still paying for the product, I don't see anything wrong with that.

And of course this does not even include the fact that a lot of good games don't even make it into PAL regions, and let's not forget homebrew for certain systems ;)
 

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-PM to advertise here-
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8,262 Posts
Its simple, everything has good uses and bad uses.
You can use a hammer to drive nails, or kill someone. Killing doesn't make the hammer bad. :p

Similarly, just like the hammer the modchip is a tool. to use it for the right purpose, its good. If not, then its bad.
 

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Miserable Bugger
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1,090 Posts
The problem is that companies don't often see the difference between the mod-chips that let you play other region games and mod-chips that let you play copied games.

I think they are going to have to learn quickly, because in this day of the internet, region locking isn't the way forward.
 

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The Hunter
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15,879 Posts
Either way, it is a step in the right direction :)

Nice way to put it Fawad, perhaps I should try to stop Sony from releasing the PS3 cause I might use it to smash my brother's head :evil:
 

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Registered
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99 Posts
I feel the same if they had region free games they would become cheaper in certain places and I would be able to buy more games because here prices are unrealistic :( . But I know pirates will take full advantage of this and mod-chips will become cheaper and piracy will increase. :nod:
 

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Miserable Bugger
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1,090 Posts
I feel the same if they had region free games they would become cheaper in certain places and I would be able to buy more games because here prices are unrealistic . But I know pirates will take full advantage of this and mod-chips will become cheaper and piracy will increase.

But the court ruling isn't about copy protection mod-chips, just region free mod-chips.

So this ruling wont have a single bit of an effect on piracy, the companies like Sony will still have the full power to go after those people who deal in mod-chips that by-pass copy protection.

All this court ruling is doing, is letting you alter your games console so you can BUY games from abroad.
 

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PS2 PAL[v9], PS3Slim PAL
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5,370 Posts
one thing's for sure: no matter what will happen or has happend, mod chips will be installed all over the world (some ppl will use them to run games from other regions, some will play their backups, some will run homebrews and some will just have fun with illegal copies... + all those 'options' can be mixed with eachother...) no matter what will sony do and no matter how hard sony will try

EDIT: lol, someone just wrote me that on http://www.theinquirer.net/ is written that X-Box 360 will have region lock for games and movies ...
 
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