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View Full Version : Legality of Mod Chips



Ashley Matthews
17-05-2003, 11:01 PM
Hey,

Just quickly - What exactly is the legal status of mod chips for PS2, XBOX etc?

Is it actually illegal to have one, or just to use one to engage in pirate activities?

I'm looking and buying one from a retailer on the internet.
Then there is the problem of finding someone in North Shore City to install it.......

Cheers,

Ashley

metla
17-05-2003, 11:04 PM
You buy something,you can do anything with it you feel like,its your property.Irrelevent to what sony and ms think.

Even if it is against the law,then the law would be wrong.

Look in the trade and exchange to find someone to fit the modchip.

Mike
17-05-2003, 11:16 PM
> You buy something,you can do anything with it you
> feel like,its your property.Irrelevent to what sony
> and ms think.

Not an entirely accurate example, but the idea is correct.

Mike.

Chilling_Silently
17-05-2003, 11:18 PM
Im not too sure if the actual chip is illegal or not, however the use of copied materials most likely is...

segfault
17-05-2003, 11:18 PM
> You buy something,you can do anything with it you
> feel like,its your property.Irrelevent to what sony
> and ms think.

Well, in the USA, the DMCA prevents modifying hardware in this way (I think the correction description of it is a "circumvention device". Several people selling modchips have been threatened using the DMCA and have had to stop selling modchips. I think it is unlikely that a law as bad as the DMCA will be implemented here, but there will be pressure by large corporations for one.

promethius
17-05-2003, 11:31 PM
"engage in pirate activities"...umm wat do u think??

Chilling_Silently
17-05-2003, 11:45 PM
I think he's meaning 'Does it only become illegal when you use it to play pirated software'?!

Lizard
18-05-2003, 01:19 PM
> I think he's meaning 'Does it only become illegal
> when you use it to play pirated software'?!

The question is, what else would a Modchip be used for?
I've considered one in the past, but unless you're pirating software, a modchip doesn't seem to do anything.
Am I completely wrong on this?

Pheonix
18-05-2003, 02:13 PM
A case here will give an example. Friend moved from states with PS2 un modified. Cannot play here due to we being PAL system. Brought NZ model (damn nice to be able to do that ) , but it can't play the American CD's that came with the original PS2. Had NZ brought model "chipped" and now can play his LEGAL disks.

tedheath
18-05-2003, 02:25 PM
Luckily NZ isn't a Nazi country and if you buy something you can modify it after all its yours. The obvious exception is guns or things that hurt people.
I know a few people who chip PXs but you must ensure they know what they are doing. Best way is to ring people from T&E ads and ask them where they got it done. You have a right to make a backup copy in case your game cd gets broken.
I have heard about people doing it with a butane soldering iron in the fron seat of their car.
If they stuff it up they just give you back your damaged PX and later.
Look in this country you get 2 yrs jail for reckless driving and killing a kid.
Using copied PX games is way down on the list of severe crimes.

tedheath

segfault
18-05-2003, 03:35 PM
> > I think he's meaning 'Does it only become illegal
> > when you use it to play pirated software'?!
>
> The question is, what else would a Modchip be used
> for?
> I've considered one in the past, but unless you're
> pirating software, a modchip doesn't seem to do
> anything.
> Am I completely wrong on this?

Well, to boot GNU/Linux on the Xbox, you must have a modchip installed (At this stage). In most parts of the world (excluding the USA), this is completely legal. However, I wonder if there is an agreement in the packaging that says "By using this, you agree to these terms"? This could effectively make it illegal for you to modify it, even though you own the hardware.

honeylaser
19-05-2003, 11:43 AM
> Then there is the problem of finding someone in North
> Shore City to install it.......

Legality issues aside, buy a solderless modchip. They are fixed to existing points on the board of your console, so all you need is screws. You can't go wrong with them, and there is MUCH less chance of destroying the modchip by mistake (and they aren't cheap!). We just got one ordered from Canada for our Xbox - I think they are around $150 NZ inc. shipping for a solderless kit. Worth the investment though - it's going to be fun upgrading the HDD to 180GB and installing Linux :D

Graham L
19-05-2003, 01:21 PM
So throw away the packaging. :D For some reason, Microsoft don't want to sell you a grunty CPU and graphics system, with disk and DVD (which they are selling at a loss :D) so you can run Linux on it. :D :D :D

I hear that the second model is a bit harder to load Linux. However, clever people are working on it. (The rewards are great ... some philanthropist gave $US100,000 for the first person to do it -- with a mod chip). There's a reward for doing it without a mod chip.

Lohsing
19-05-2003, 02:01 PM
I don't think you can get a HD bigger than 138gig for the XBox currently... something to do with the Bios, isn't it?

Lo.

SKT174
19-05-2003, 02:02 PM
There are lots of excellent games that will only exists i Japan. They won't make an English version. A Mod Chip allows me to play those games :D

honeylaser
19-05-2003, 02:17 PM
> I don't think you can get a HD bigger than 138gig for
> the XBox currently... something to do with the Bios,
> isn't it?

You may be right. In fact, knowing the person who boasted that they had done that (installed a 180GB) as well as I do, I wouldn't be suprised if that was all bollix. Anyway 138GB is enough for our purposes. We're getting the chip in order to store our games on the Xbox rather than loading from the media. Who wants to accidently scratch or snap a disk and have to pay to buy it again?

honeylaser
19-05-2003, 02:18 PM
> Who
> wants to accidently scratch or snap a disk and have
> to pay to buy it again?

To add to that, especially at over $100 for a decent new game.

honeylaser
19-05-2003, 02:23 PM
And just because we can't edit posts here and save space, I believe (off the top of my head) this is the chip we are having sent from Canada:

http://www.xbox-modchips.com/xodus.htm

Note that it screws onto the board, so no soldering. There are similar ones for the PS2 you can find here (https://secure.com-us.net/mod-chip/ps2nosolder.htm).

Lohsing
19-05-2003, 02:30 PM
Yeah, I am absolutely positive that 138gig is the limit currently... If you're into X-Box modding, you really need to have a look at this (http://www.xbox-scene.com/tutorials.php) site... I did a hard drive swap myself! :)

Lo.

Lohsing
19-05-2003, 02:38 PM
Incidentally, I've decided to buy one of these (http://www.play-asia.com/paos-13-20ad6000.html) extensions... let's me use my X-Box controller for PC based games... :D

Being shipped as we speak, and costs around NZ$50 to land here.

Lo.

robo
19-05-2003, 02:52 PM
Interesting. There is a definite mod-chip piracy subculture out there, though. I was hanging around a local computer store and they had two people come in with their PSXs to have them chipped and the guy was doing CDRs with numerous games for about $6 each.

There are some legit needs for mod-chips, but I am not sure that running linux on an x-box is really a legit need. They do sell them in the expectation that you will buy the games. I had an official Sony PS2 that could run CDR versions, it was a development rig, and was worth heaps (like over $10k).

For what the Xbox is. can't you just chuck a new mobo in an old PC to get a similar spec? Not worth the bother to me (does it have card slots, etc?, I don't know, never looked).

As for the solder on mod-chips, I would never risk it.

robo.

robsonde
19-05-2003, 04:16 PM
As far as I know it is fine to buy sell or own a mod chip, the probelms cames when you put in the chip and use it.

depending on what you do once you have the chip in the system you might be getting in to legal issues.
to fit the chip to the system you will be breaking the EULA and the DMCA (is the DCMA relavent in NZ? I think not....)
also you will void any warranty.

if you are backing up games you own and can prove you own then you should be ok, if you are backing up games you borrow or rent then you have a problem.

as all ready pointed out look in the paper to find some one to fit the chip, most electrinic shops wont touch it.

BTW if you mod chip an XBOX then you cant play online with it or MS will find you and be vary unhappy at you.

being that this forum avoids talking of "pirate activities" you might be best to look for a mod chip forum and they will have better / more info than most of us can give you.

Graham L
19-05-2003, 06:01 PM
Running linux on an x-box not a "legitimate need" ? If I want to buy one as a doorstop, I'm entitled to do that. :D Once I've opened the carton, I can do what I like to it. I wouldn't be using their software. :D So I wouldn't be altering it.

I know that Microsoft would like to prohibit anyone from running anything but MS software on any computer. They aren't going to be allowed to. :D And their software wouldn't run very well on an IBM s/390. Linux does. :D

Lohsing
19-05-2003, 06:58 PM
> BTW if you mod chip an XBOX then you cant play online
> with it or MS will find you and be vary unhappy at
> you.
>
> being that this forum avoids talking of "pirate
> activities" you might be best to look for a mod chip
> forum and they will have better / more info than most
> of us can give you.

Not true... Would love to discuss, but agree this forum isn't the right place...

Lo.

robsonde
19-05-2003, 07:05 PM
> > BTW if you mod chip an XBOX then you cant play
> >online with it or MS will find you and be vary unhappy at
> > you.

> Not true... Would love to discuss, but agree this
> forum isn't the right place...


I must admit I am just repeating what I have read on the net.

just because you read it on the inter dont make it true :-)

segfault
19-05-2003, 07:41 PM
> depending on what you do once you have the chip in
> the system you might be getting in to legal issues.
> to fit the chip to the system you will be breaking
> the EULA and the DMCA (is the DCMA relavent in NZ? I
> think not....)
> also you will void any warranty.

I'm not going to disagree with you on your point about the DMCA, but Jon Johanson (the DeCSS guy) was taken to court *in Norway* under the DMCA. So it's quite possible for laws to be used outside of their own country. Don't ask me how, but it happened in the DeCSS case.