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Student Faces Ten-Year Sentence for Modding Consoles

3552 Views 76 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Lex_Light
A college student in the U.S. is looking at a possible ten-year prison sentence after being arrested for the dastardly crime of modding game consoles.

Matthew Lloyd Crippen, a 27-year-old student at Cal State Fullerton, was arrested on Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs agents on two charges of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by "modifying for personal financial gain technology affecting control or access to a copyrighted work." The arrest follows an investigation that began in late 2008, instigated by the Entertainment Software Association, and a search of Crippen's house in May that resulted in the seizure of more than a dozen Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consoles. Each count carries a maximum prison term of five years.

"Playing with games in this way is not a game - it is criminal," said I.C.E. agent Robert Schoch. "Piracy, counterfeiting and other intellectual property rights violations not only cost U.S. businesses jobs and billions of dollars a year in lost revenue, they can also pose significant health and safety risks to consumers."

I.C.E. claims that counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy up to $250 billion each year and 750,000 American jobs, and according to an NBC Dallas-Forth Worth report, some estimates say that five to eight percent of all goods sold worldwide are counterfeit.

Full details surrounding the case haven't yet come out but at this stage it appears that Crippen is looking at a longer stretch than some killers for the crime of modding game consoles. Maybe I don't grasp the full complexity of the situation (or maybe I'm just Canadian) but that seems more than a bit harsh to me.
The Escapist : Forums : The News Room : Student Faces Ten-Year Sentence for Modding Consoles

just got to laugh eh.

Playing with games in this way is not a game - it is criminal
just got to point out, HA! there goes the entire pc moding comunity in his view.
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:p

Seems like it's me vs the forums on this...bring it on!!!



I really meant mod chips specifically. Changing the case, PSU or the ROM drive and the like I'm cool with. The chips however, am not :)
What were you expecting on a emu forum ? :p

anyways on piracy


FF Crisis Core
Not worth the efing bandwith and DEFINITELY not worth 20 bucks.
lol no. I wonder how the idiot came up with that, piracy can create jobs in america and around the world.
the same method that Obama used to get the figure that 4 million jobs would be saved by passing the stimulus bill. In other words, these are merely predictions....numbers pulled out of an ass

lol @ 265 billion of losses....makes the MPAA's 6 billion look like a reasonable number oO
the same method that Obama used to get the figure that 4 million jobs would be saved by passing the stimulus bill. In other words, these are merely predictions....numbers pulled out of an ass

lol @ 265 billion of losses....makes the MPAA's 6 billion look like a reasonable number oO
At least obama was doing it for a good cause. IMAGINE if we had McCain...........who bares a grudge against the chinese or some such?

War? Bush all over again?

Those corporate in the gaming industry are only interested in making small profits at the cost of peoples lives :D.
FF Crisis Core
Not worth the efing bandwith and DEFINITELY not worth 20 bucks.
Oooooh! I definitely disagree there. It's a pretty decent game, it just fails at fan service and the materia merging is just another failure too. Otherwise it's quite fun with some great music. For 20 bucks it can give you a fair amount of gaming fun.
Yeah i got to say i enjoyed playing that game to, its strange getting used to at first but once you did its quite fun.
it just fails at fan service
Because it was trying to tell a story, probably.
Crisis Core was a good game, although I wanted to control more people than Zack or at least 2 more companions, but I guess it would seem too much like Kingdom Hearts.

Guess they wanted to try something different and they did it.

Did any of you fought Minerva, Damn.

On topic: I guess they are trying to make an example with this guy.
Sucks to be him.
On topic: I guess they are trying to make an example with this guy.
Sucks to be him.
That's usually what they're after. They know he can't pay it. If anything, I bet they'll settle outside of court for a few thousand.
Is there a modification you can do to the lens in the PS3 to make pirated games work on it? Quite a few people are doing it and claim it actually works.
Depends on whether you are actually buying the product, or if you are buying a service and they are lending you the product. Different standpoints I guess. :p
In that case you'd sign a contract. When I go to a store I purchase a product without any legal and practical limitations. They can limit my rights after the purchase by putting in some sort of "rules" inside the shrinkwrapped box but those are legally invalid. It's just warrantee where they can limit you, or by writing in the terms of a license of a separate service that you're not allowed to make use of that if you did something with the original product that they don't like, such as modding.

Anyway, I still agree with your point Phil, that as a company you just feel screwed when this happens. Still, even if someone hacks your console and uses it, it still means they probably won't go to the competitor and they may actually pick up a legit game or two every once in a while. I think this is what's hurting the PS3 right now as well. If there's a low adoption rate for this reason, the word of mouth spreads much slower as well, and you'll have entire streets getting the competitor's product because everyone wants to be able to play together. That's one of the reasons of the success of the PSX.

@ Gamefreak: I wouldn't have the balls to risk something like that with a console that expensive.
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if he was selling them as an endorsement to pirate, he deserves punishment. but 10 YEARS?? this is just as stupid as the RIAA's actions of fining anyone who downloaded some songs $100,000 per song.
Hmmm.. 15 years ago we had pirated video game cartridges everywhere too, modded snes's, genesis's... Piracy have always existed, I dunno why they're making such a fuss about this now. Anyway , it's illegal so, no complaints. The guy was modding and selling videogames.. Something like this was bound to happen to him. I doubt he'd been arrested if he had modded just one unit for his own use.
Hmmm.. 15 years ago we had pirated video game cartridges everywhere too, modded snes's, genesis's... Piracy have always existed, I dunno why they're making such a fuss about this now. Anyway , it's illegal so, no complaints. The guy was modding and selling videogames.. Something like this was bound to happen to him. I doubt he'd been arrested if he had modded just one unit for his own use.
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry.

10 years ago, it wasn't.
Also, the internet made it much easier to massively infringe copyright, so that's the main problem. They lose too many potential sales. The problem is that these companies use these out of proportion scare tactics by just picking on one person, rather than trying to do something about the reasons WHY there is a demand for modded consoles in the first place.

I still don't agree that you get punished harder for something as minor as copyright infringement than for comitting murder.
The internet was still there 10 years ago.....except that everyone had slow-ass, expensive 56k dial-up so downloading huge games (a 1GB game was probably considered as the GTA 4 a decade years ago) was not something everybody had the patience or ca$h to do. But now that everyone has cheap, high-speed broadband, and cuz new file transfer technologies (more P2P networks, file-hosting sites such as RapidShare) are in place so pirating games is 10x easier then it was back then.
Yes it is easier to get the hands on pirated material. But I don't see how they can stop this... Cut the internet acess from the population ?? LOL. Just kidin'. I don't really see a way out for them, unless accept this reality. Poor bastards :lol: (The gaming companies)

And also putting this guy on jail won't change anything. Now he must be the pirate's new martyr.
Yes. The piracy will stay here forever, because some humans want to get some things for free. Why do you think that most people use emulation for playing his downloaded games? :mad:
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