A man gets arrested for “jailbreaking” video game consoles.
Specifically this guy was arrested for selling his services to crack Wii, Playstation and Xbox consoles so that users could ostensibly use back-up copies of their games. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is pretty specific on this point:
“(2) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that—
Note that this relates to anyone making a profit from hacking a device. If someone wants to crack his own device, good luck and hope you don’t brick it. Once you get into buying pirated software for a hacked unit, that’s also another story – shades of the RIAA which has lately been successful in winning convictions for ridiculous amounts of money against downloaders. In this case the indictment is very specific (Copy HERE) in alleging these actions for financial gain.
You can take issue with the law, but it is quite clear that it applies to this case and the alleged actions are in violation. Whether or not the law is to our liking is quite another issue, which seems to be the basis for almost all the comments I’ve seen on this issue. My take is that what you do with stuff you’ve bought is your ticket, but crossing the line by doing it for others can get you into some hot water. Folks are jailbreaking iPhones and the like but at their own peril – if it bricks, it’s on your watch.
Serendipitously Maximum PC just happened to run a series of hacking articles today:
- Custom Firmware Rocks! How to Hack Gadgets with New Software
- How-To: Hack Your Canon PowerShot Digital Camera
- How-To: Hack Your PSP the Easy Way
- How-To: Hack Your Router to Manage Network Traffic
- How-To: Install RockBox on your MP3 player
Many of our readers are tinkerers – I know many of you have probably helped a friend to build an overclocked PC or two and might find these articles interesting. Knowing where to draw the line is just the smart thing to do.