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IsoNews Ostensibly Shut Down By The DOJ 1083

Posted by chrisd
from the terrorists-have-won dept.
According to Yahoo News and also Cyber Crime The longest running news site for Piracy has been turned over to the Department of Justice. Stating David Rocci AKA krazy8, has recently plead guilty to selling modchips via his website http://www.isonews.com with profit of $48,000. Now the domain has been linked to the Cybercrime Site warning all pirates all there that modchipping is not a game. [chrisd] In case you needed a reminder...you don't own your hardware. Eff? That said, this is not 100% positive, and there are rumors of the old site floating around on other ip addresses out there.
In related DOJ web hijinks..joemite writes "Cannabis News released this article about how the DEA is seeking to redirect indicted businesses that sell glass bongs and pipes to the DEA's website. "If the court orders the sites to be redirected, Ashcroft said, they will point to a DEA.gov Web page that says: "By application of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Web site you are attempting to visit has been restrained by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853 (e)(1)(a)."" Also check out an analysis of the entire situation by Richard Cowan"
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IsoNews Ostensibly Shut Down By The DOJ

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  • by mekkab (133181) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:50PM (#5391626) Homepage Journal
    All your base are belong to us!
    • by Old Uncle Bill (574524) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:49PM (#5392859) Journal
      They must have been terrorists. I'm sure they are in Cuba by now. Houses sold, assets frozen and confiscated. Or they violated the DMCA. Can that land you in Guantanamo these days? Or is violating the DMCA now the same as being a terrorist? It's so confusing, really. I guess I probably should not be writing this. I think they're coming for me now...

      In Soviet Russia (no, this is not one of those jokes) they had a name for the person who turned you in. They called them a Stukatch (bad transcription from the Cyrillic, sorry). It was an offtake on the word Stuk, or "knock". If your neighbor did not like you, or disagreed with your "morals" they would turn you in, and soon enough you would get that knock.
  • In the US (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:50PM (#5391628)
    you are all criminals.
    • Re:In the US (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:46PM (#5392844) Homepage Journal
      you are all criminals.

      Over the years, I've run across a number of articles explaining why, in most of the country, this is quite literally true. It turns out that in most of the US, it isn't logically possible to follow all the laws simultaneously. There are almost always logical contradictions in the various laws, so that following one law means breaking another.

      Some of the examples get downright silly. For example, in one place that I lived, the law students dug out the anti-gambling laws, and verified that, under a literal interpretation, carrying cash was "being in posession of gambling devices". You know the various penny-matching games or serial-number games that can be played with money? They make money itself a gambling device.

      OTOH, if you weren't carrying money, that was ipse facto evidence of vagrancy, for which you could be arrested and held in jail.

      Then, of course, there are all the laws that you could follow if you knew about them, but you'd never suspect that such stupid laws exist. There are supposedly several states in which the legal speed limit is still 10 or 15 mph, dating from 100 years ago when that was fast enough to scare the horses.

      Granted, such laws would probably be overturned, but first you have to be arrested and charged, so that you can defend yourself in court. This gives you an arrest record, which can be used against you.

      This isn't entirely frivolous. Almost all urban black males have arrest records by age 18. The reason is that they can be and are routinely arrested on just this sort of violation. They have little or no defense, since they are in fact always in violation of some law, even if they're just standing on the corner watching the world go by. This arrest record is then used to deny them access to education and jobs. So much for decades of "equal opportunity" legislation.

      Back to frivolity: I lived in Florida for a few years, and one of the fun laws there turns out to outlaw "nude bathing". The wording does not exclude a bath in the bathtub in your own bathroom. But if you shower nude (with or without a friend), you are apparently legal.

      All in all, if you're in the US, you are usually in violation of some law at any time. You are at least a criminal part of the day, no matter what you do or don't do.

      (I'd guess that this is also true in much of the rest of the world, but I've only read about it in US terms.)

      • Oh come on (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The Tyro (247333) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @03:59AM (#5394135)
        I can't believe you just made a racial thing out of that...

        Take a look at those arrest records on those urban black males you state are frivolously arrested. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that there'd be a variety of different crimes, including a few violent felonies, not just BS speeding tickets based on 100-year-old laws.

        Now, I'm not implying that crime is genetic in black males or any of that National Alliance racist crap... it has a lot to do with being young urban males, making poor choices (as we all tend to do when young and stupid), and being surrounded by criminal subcultures, which young people tend to emulate. For instance, the "Gansta" style of dress... that whole thing simply escapes me. Why would anyone emulate a bunch of thugs, who largely prey on their own people? Boggles the mind...

        OK... sorry, end of tangent. What I was trying to say is that people often get arrest records BECAUSE they commit crimes, not because "the man" is keeping them down.

        I can see your point if we are simply talking about public nuisance-type crimes... but an armed robbery rap usually requires active participation.
        • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Informative)

          by I_redwolf (51890) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @04:51AM (#5394287) Homepage Journal
          I live in Brooklyn, NYC; I'm a black male. I was arrested outside the front of my house.. ON my steps for no reason. The reason on paper says "disorderly conduct". You watch too much TV.. Those males, who emulate a bunch of thugs, who largely prey on their own people are already in jail for entirely different reasons. I bet you also didn't know that out of every 8 black males you see during the day; 1 is in jail. While I was in central bookings in Downtown Brooklyn about 100% of the people in the cells were black so I asked what the hell is everyone in here for. "Jay walking", "Had no id on me", "Told a cop to fucking stop following me", "Didn't have my license".. Most of the things ran off were ticket offenses. One guy was caught racing his car down by Hunts Point and ended all the way in Brooklyn? Wtf is that? (I'd also like to point out that discon; disorderly conduct is a ticket offense). Surely some of these guys had to be lying but as I waited in the court room; they weren't.

          I'd also like to point out that up until that point I never had a problem with the "law". Infact until my honorable discharge on Dec 5th 2002 I was an intel analyst for a Military Police Battalion and knew a truck load of police officers. The difference I realize is that I used to live in Suburbia.. Moving to Brooklyn changed the ideologies. Says alot about white people huh?

          That incident, however, hasn't gone without challenge and the officers of the 79th precint who did this are being raked over the coals. The difference here is that my parents have money and my dad is in a position where he can make calls. Alot of the other black males out there don't have that. The contempt passes just the cops to their skin colors and this is why you sit there at your keyboard and make such assumptions about the social character of a black male in an urban area? You know nothing about it until you see it or experience it. So please, keep your ideas to yourself.
          • Re:Oh come on (Score:4, Interesting)

            by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @08:30AM (#5394823) Homepage
            So please, keep your ideas to yourself.

            [don't be afraid to say what you want


            I look at the two lines above, one right after the other, shake head, blink eyes and conclude: it's just, utterly bizarre.
          • Re:Oh come on (Score:4, Insightful)

            by qoncept (599709) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @09:29AM (#5395073) Homepage
            Says alot about white people huh?

            Yes, all white people. I was reading your post hoping to gain some insite, but then I realized you're as racist as Jesse Jackson.

            That aside... A common theme in jail is that, regardless of one's race, they are in for some bullshit reason. And it tends to happen over and over again, not just to random people. Perhaps you should remember when asking people what they are "in for" that they are in a place where dishonest people go and you're asking them something it's not in their best interest to be honest about.

  • by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:51PM (#5391632) Homepage Journal
    "David Rocci AKA krazy8, has recently plead guilty to sellin modchips... "

    That's a shame. ChrisD could've used a g-key mod.
  • so make a bong from (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:51PM (#5391633) Homepage
    - a carrot
    - a can of coke
    - a 2l pop bottle

    Or just eat the weed.

    Or smoke it in a joint.

    I mean, poor american taxpayers, how much are you paying a year now to try and keep those dangerous stoners from running amok?
    • by fishbowl (7759) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:14PM (#5391836)
      >I mean, poor american taxpayers, how much are
      >you paying a year now to try and keep those
      >dangerous stoners from running amok?

      Eleven Billion Dollars.

      I've decided that no "legalization" or "decriminialization" effort will ever work.
      So I am seeking support for an effort to have Alcohol classified as a Schedule II narcotic, and Tobacco as Schedule I (tobacco has no known medical uses), and placed under DEA authority as Federally controlled substances.

      Our society does not tolerate the use of dangerous drugs. Federal enforcement of drug control regulations is a success. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and the people have consistently shown an inability to use it without causing death and destruction. If you have a medical reason for using alcohol, then you should be able to get a prescription for it. Otherwise, possession and sale should be treated exactly like the other dangerous drugs.

      • by dc2light (584170) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:11PM (#5392247)
        I hope that you are joking. Please tell me when, in the history of the United States (or any other nation), has prohibition served it's intended purpose (if it's true intended purpose is to dramatically reduce or elliminate the trade and use of the given subject of prohibition)?
        Fiorella H. LaGuardia begs to differ with you:
        http://prohibition.history.ohio-state.edu/la guardi .htm

        People didn't start sticking needles in their arms until Heroin became illegal in 1914 thanks to The Harrison Narcotic Act. Once it was hard to get, and therefore much more expensive, people who were addicted to heroin needed to make the most of what they could get.

        Prohibition only makes a bad situation worse. I don't think that any good comes out of the abuse of 'drugs/alcohol', however I think we should take heed of the lessons of history, instead of continually repeating them (at the expense of billions of dollars, not to mention the untold human suffering).

        The addicts and their families aren't the only one's who suffer. The misery generated by the illegal drug traffic business touches all of our lives in some way. That doesn't begin to address the incredible horrors instigated in the countries of origin and trade of the prohibited materials. (Seen Columbia in the headlines lately?)

        However noble your intentions might be, you ignore the element of greed (a sad element of human nature) at everyone's peril. If there is a demand for something, someone will find a way to supply it, priced according to the risks involved and the availabilty of the material in question.

        I really can't believe anyone would advocate prohibition. You really must be joking. Right?
      • by Loundry (4143) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:52PM (#5392875) Journal
        I've decided that no "legalization" or "decriminialization" effort will ever work.

        Why not? Because the people don't want it, or because the Imperial Federal Government won't allow it?

        Our society does not tolerate the use of dangerous drugs.

        False! Alcohol use and abuse is tolerated. Furthermore, marijuana is not a dangerous drug.

        Federal enforcement of drug control regulations is a success.

        False! The government can't keep drugs out of prisons. What makes you think they do a good job keeping it out of the hands of non-inamtes?

        Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and the people have consistently shown an inability to use it without causing death and destruction.

        True for some people. I'll point out here that "the people" have consistently shown a stellar ability to use marijuana with no ill side effects.

        If you have a medical reason for using alcohol, then you should be able to get a prescription for it. Otherwise, possession and sale should be treated exactly like the other dangerous drugs.

        The purpose of this is to persecute people who use alcohol and tobacco, for there is no evidence that anything outside of education is any more than marginally effective at getting people to not use some drugs.

  • Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:51PM (#5391634) Homepage
    ...I don't remember signing anything when I bought any of my game systems saying I'd leave 'em alone inside.

    I wonder when Ikea's going to come after me for cutting down the legs on that one table to make it an inch shorter....

    • or maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:59PM (#5391713) Homepage
      I wonder when Ikea's going to come after me for cutting down the legs on that one table to make it an inch shorter....

      Actually, as I think about it, they'd probably just go after Black & Decker for making the saw I used to cut down the table legs. My use of it to violate my license from Ikea is clearly their fault and all.

      • Re:or maybe... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AftanGustur (7715)
        Actually, as I think about it, they'd probably just go after Black & Decker for making the saw I used to cut down the table legs

        I think it's very easy to see how the same logic as was used by the governament in this case, could be applied against emulators like Mame ..

    • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NearlyHeadless (110901) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:33PM (#5391973)
      ...I don't remember signing anything when I bought any of my game systems saying I'd leave 'em alone inside.

      1) They broke the law by selling something, not changing equipment they own.


      2) You don't have to sign anything. It is a statute, enacted by the legislature, not a contract.


      3) It has never been the case that you can do anything you want with your own property. Some of the laws are quite sensible (e.g. I don't want people manufacturing explosives in the apartment downstairs, even if they legally bought the chemicals), and some are silly, but it is even sillier to pretend that you have some kind of blanket right to do anything at all with anything you own.

      • Re:Weird... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NortWind (575520)
        ...it is even sillier to pretend that you have some kind of blanket right to do anything at all with anything you own.

        Please go read the U.S. Constitution for a short while. It guarentees you (as a U.S. citizen) the blanket right to do whatever you want in the pursuit of your own happiness, unless it conflicts with a constitutional law. The rights of the state are the ones being enumerated, and deliberately limited, by that bit of paper. It's a pity more people don't read it.

        • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NearlyHeadless (110901) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:27PM (#5392352)
          Please go read the U.S. Constitution for a short while. It guarentees you (as a U.S. citizen) the blanket right to do whatever you want in the pursuit of your own happiness, unless it conflicts with a constitutional law. The rights of the state are the ones being enumerated, and deliberately limited, by that bit of paper. It's a pity more people don't read it.

          Wrong. The phrase "pursuit of hapiness" is not in the Constitution, it's in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution enumerates rights of people, rights of states, and says that your rights are not limited to those that are enumerated. But nowhere does it say anything remotely like "you have the right to do anything you want."

          • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by sabinm (447146) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @12:28AM (#5393083) Homepage Journal
            Wrong. The phrase "pursuit of hapiness" is not in the Constitution, it's in the Declaration of Independence.

            You are correct that it is not in the Constitution. However, the Constitution was drafted with the explicit purpose to create a just governable society based on the values we hold to be *self evident* as stated in the Declaration of Independence. You can't seperate them. It's like taking REASON away from LAW. The Declaration was the REASON. The Constitution the LAW that supports the reason.

            "But nowhere does it say anything remotely like "you have the right to do anything you want."

            Have you ever heard of the phrase "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW"? That phrase means something important. The role of the government is not to prohibit people. The role of the Constitution is not to prohibit people. It is to prohibit those who have power (namely the government) from abusing the power that the PEOPLE gave to them. That was the whole cause of the Civil War. The Confederacy decided that the STATES were the purpose of the United States of America, and chaffed at the idea that CONGRESS would make a law to prohibit STATES RIGHTS (namely that of slave ownership and trade). The Union argued that the Government was made "for the people and by the people", and a state did not have the right to dissolve the union made up of people.

            Getting back to the point, I do have the right to do anything that state law or congressional law does not prohibit explicitly. And the 14th amendment states that STATES cannot take away "LIFE LIBERTY OR PROPERTY" without DUE PROCESS of LAW. That is how the slaves were freed permanently from individual states legalizing slavery ... etc. Now it can be argued that the first ten amendments, which we so lovingly call the BILL OF RIGHTS is what prohibits the US CONGRESS from taking away "LIFE LIBERTY and PROPERTY" without due process of law.

            The Constitution is the most beautiful document ever written because it, for the first time in the history of man, LIMITS THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT of a nation. So, yes, these pirates do have a point about being able to open up their own machine and doing what they want with it. Just as the companies have the right to prohibit sales to anyone who choses to modify their product. They know that this is suicide and so they insist on using REGULATORY AGENCIES (arms of the Executive Branch) to enforce their own policies. I don't own any modified equipment, however, I was considering a modded xbox just to use the open sourced media player, increase my hard drive capacity and and put a faster dvd rom drive in. To ENHANCE my experience of gaming on my xbox.

            These are the same tactics that AT&T used when they prohibited any other equipment on "their" telephone lines (that the taxpayers subsidised and permitted a natural monopoly for conveniences' sake. The courts ruled them a monopoly that abused its power and the rest is history.

            These are the same tactics that are used all the time when ficticious entities get frustrated at the fact that they lose control over their product once the consumer buys it. You have to wonder why they don't get the hint that consumer confidence will never increase until producers give consumers reason to have confidence in them

            Of course the total apathy and lack of organization of the technology community has doomed it to be manipulated in perpetuity. But I'm going to end my history lesson and my rant.
      • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bigpat (158134) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:40PM (#5392814)
        Speaking of silly...

        "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. "

        oh and...

        "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. "

        Pretty silly huh? Next they'll be like saying we can just like vote on our own laws and stuff.

        - If you aren't interested in freedom, I will rule you.

      • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NigelJohnstone (242811) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @04:43AM (#5394264)
        "1) They broke the law by selling something, not changing equipment they own."

        A soldering iron also changes stuff not owned by the soldering iron manufacturer. Does Radio Shack now lose its website?

        "2) You don't have to sign anything. It is a statute, enacted by the legislature, not a contract."

        Yeh for a while corporations owned the Government and would have written themselves into the constitution if Fritz was still in charge. Whats your point? That US law went a bit out of wack and needs to be changed. Why do you think the DMCA is being challenged?

        "3) It has never been the case that you can do anything you want with your own property."

        This is secondary legislation.
        You can have hundreds of thousands of laws in secondary legislation once you open that can of worms.
        Ban crowbars & sledge hammers because they are used in breakins.
        Ban screwdrivers because they might be used to unscrew doors.
        Ban rope, because it might be used to tie someone up.
        Ban halloween masks because they might be used in a robbery.

        Normally you don't remove your citizens freedom with secondary legislation unless it causes serious danger to others.

        e.g. A crowbar is legal because it doesn't cause serious danger of loss of life, Explosive go boom, so they can cause serious loss of life and laws stop you possessing explosives.

        Now unless modchipping an XBox or PS2 is now suddenly a danger to your fellow citizens then this is way out of whack.

  • DOJ doesn't own it (Score:5, Informative)

    by iCEBaLM (34905) <<icebalm> <at> <icebalm.com>> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:52PM (#5391636)
    Registrant:
    The iSO News (ISONEWS-DOM)
    Jacobus van 't Hoffstraat 69
    Nijmegen, MR 6533
    NL

    Domain Name: ISONEWS.COM
  • More Links... (Score:5, Informative)

    by syr (647840) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:53PM (#5391650)
    Story 1 [neowin.net]
    Post article [washingtonpost.com]
    TheRegister story [theregister.co.uk]

    Quote:

    ---
    Two Justice Department attorneys said Internet users would eventually be steered to the government's address as name servers across the Internet are updated over the next several hours.

    "There is going to be some lag time between the domain-name switch-over," one attorney said. "But the domain name isonews.com now belongs to the federal government."

    ---

    Enjoy...

    GameTab [gametab.com]

  • Link to more info (Score:4, Informative)

    by Captain Beefheart (628365) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:54PM (#5391655)
    More info HERE [isonews.com] This links to the ISOnews forum Will prolly be Slashdotted soon.
  • by cmdr_shithead (527909) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:54PM (#5391656) Journal
    In these grave times of war, all freedom thinking Americans should stand behind our President. These America-hating criticisms only help Bin Laden and his Communist and Democrat and Woman allies. I hope John Ashcroft shuts down Slash-dot and imprisons the lot of you in cuba!
  • by PovRayMan (31900) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:54PM (#5391659) Homepage
    They're going to make an example out of David Rocci.

  • Goddamn, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ninja Master Gara (602359) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:54PM (#5391662) Homepage
    The government will do anything to get more traffic to .gov sites.
  • by -jaded- (33744) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:56PM (#5391669)
    A cache of 'sharpie' felt tip markers were discovered among krazy8's belongings leading to further DMCA charges being levied...
  • by slagdogg (549983) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:56PM (#5391674)
    Their 'competitor', NFOrce [nforce.nl] is seemingly still alive and kicking. I suppose the difference is in their strategy for collecting funds. As a note, both removed serial numbers from all posted NFO files.
  • by jwbrown77 (526512) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:56PM (#5391676)
    You can access the site and it's forums (that have information on the takeover) here:

    ISONews [66.201.243.170]
  • Law of the land (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $beirdo (318326) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:57PM (#5391679) Homepage
    Let's change this law. I think I DO own my hardware, no matter how many lobbyists some corp, or the entertainment industry has.
  • by rolux (99682) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:57PM (#5391683) Homepage
    From the DoJ-defaced website:

    The Department of Justice and federal law enforcement will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals and groups that violate the federal criminal copyright laws at home and abroad.

    Eh... abroad? Isn't that the Department of Infinite Justice?
  • Seems weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jezza (39441) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:58PM (#5391698)
    I thought you guys (people living in the USA) could buy radar detectors to scan for speed traps, but some guy sells mod-chips for Xbox and he's done for it?! (I'm not familiar with this aspect of US law)

    Seems to me that this is quite unfair - in what way does the mod chip help pirates? I thought it:

    A) Allowed Linux to boot and run

    or

    B) Allowed to machine to play games from another region.

    I see no piracy on either count here. Have I got this wrong? (Help me out - I don't own an Xbox so I'm a little lost)
    • Re:Seems weird (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:52PM (#5392104) Journal
      Its called the DMCA

      Region encoding is copyright protection and a mod chip is a copyright circumvention device which the dmca outlaws.

      Fair use be dammed. You do not even have to violate a copyright to be tried for the dmca. Only bypassing the access method. So anything has patent like and other god like powers that are illegal to bypass.

      So if I practice fair use and rip a dvd onto my hard drive and do not distribute it I get busted even though fair use laws say I can do this. I'm not busted for ripping the dvd just bypassing the copyright to the dvd.

      DMCA is an attempt to lock out competition, bypass the 1992 home recording act, as well as make copyrights eternal to applease Hollywood and other big campaign contributers.

      So because something can be used for a crime its all illegal.

      Microsoft loves the dmca as it protects itself from competition and creates a monopoly on the xbox platform on who gets to sign games and other software.

  • by MavEtJu (241979) <{gro.ujtevam} {ta} {todhsals}> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:59PM (#5391707) Homepage
    When I read the article first I was reminded on this one I saw yesterday: DRUG ENFORCEMENT TAKES CONTROL OF DOMAIN NAMES, THREATENS PRIVACY [2600.com].

    Seems that the war on [drugs, terrorism, general stupidity etc] has moved on to a level higher.
  • Mod chips (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blincoln (592401) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:59PM (#5391708) Homepage Journal
    As much as I dislike the console pirating scene, this is a really bad turn of events.

    I have my PS2 chipped, and I'm going to do the same to my XBox. Not so I can pirate games, but so I can play imports, access savegame files on the hard drive, and so on. If I *can't* add that capability to a console with a mod chip, I'm much less likely to buy them in the first place.
  • The Bong Show... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:59PM (#5391714)
    "Cannabis News released this article about how the DEA is seeking to redirect indicted businesses that sell glass bongs and pipes to the DEA's website."

    At first, I thought this was sarcastic. Doesn't sound like it is. Is it illegal to have a bong? Can they really do that?

    This comment really bothered me:

    "In effect, the defunct Web sites become electronic flypaper for those looking for illegal drug paraphernalia, reporters covering the story, and people who have trouble spelling in Google."

    There's absolutely no way that they know anybody's intentions when they go to a site like that. The internet is a source of INFORMATION. At some point, information's going to be accessed. It's not like you can call me a pirate just for visiting a site about piracy. Heck, you can't even call me a pirate if I download an ISO. How do they know I'm not replacing a scratched disk?

    Blah blah blah I know, it's all been said before by lots of people. The difference for me today is that I now understand why privacy nuts are so fanatical about it. Out of context, data can be used in horrible ways.
    • Re:The Bong Show... (Score:5, Informative)

      by kfg (145172) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:50PM (#5392497)
      *Possesion* of a pipe *assumed* to be for smoking an illegal substance is a federal offense.

      Ain't it grand?

      One of my tobacconists also sells glass pipes. It's no accident that they sell tobacco. It removes the question of assumption.

      According to the DoJ *rolling papers* are also now considered "drug paraphenalia" and a federal offense to possess, which will surprise the hell out of a lot of "roll your own" tobacco smokers I know.

      KFG
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:00PM (#5391721)
    In case you needed a reminder...you don't own your hardware.

    You own your hardware. You can paint it pink, put 10 million volts through it, pull the chips out and mail them to your aunt Edna.

    However, the code on the chips, its interfaces, etc. is the intellectual property of whichever company made the thing.

    If someone comes along and copies most of it, changing some to do whatever additional feature and then sell that modification, they are selling a [modified] copy of someone else's intellectual property.

    Doing whatever you like to your own hardware is one thing - and totally legal. Duplicating someone else's intellectual property, changing a bit and then selling it as your own is something else - and illegal.

    Where it hits the user is that they're buying something that was illegal to produce and sell in the first place. If they had a mod chip that didn't impinge on any rights, you could pull out the old chip and stick the new one in freely and there's nothing anyone can do - just like no one will complain if you put Hello Kitty stickers and blue LEDs all over your case as they don't involve reselling anyone else's rights.
    • You're allowed to reverse engineer interfaces, think of AMI reverse engineering the Phenix bios and of all the DOS clones that are out there, including some that have fewer bugs than DOS. Also consider WINE is a reverse engineering of Windows.

      What you aren't allowed to do (according to the articles) is to circumvent the copy protection mechanism as per the new digital rights law.

    • -1 Offtopic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tony (765) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:40PM (#5392020) Journal
      They were not convicted of copyright infringement, so your comment is -1, offtopic. They were convicted of selling devices that circumvented security on a piece of hardware *you* (the user) purchased.

      Note the definition of piracy on the 0wn3d site: Piracy is the unauthorized, willful reproduction or distribution of copyrighted material, such as software, movies, music, and games.

      Then note the provided definition of Mod chips:
      Mod chips illegally circumvent built-in security protections and allow individuals to play pirated games on game consoles, such as the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony Playstation2.

      Tell me, where do these two intersect? They do not. Basically, we are being told we cannot modify the hardware we purchased in an otherwise legal manner (no copyright violations!), simply if it bypasses security. That is what krazy8 was convicted of doing.

      The original assessment is right: we have no rights to the goods we purchase, other than those provided by the corporation which produces those goods.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:00PM (#5391723)
    Modchip sales have been around for years; popular since the introduction of the original Playstation. There are tons of modchip sites out there, with significant more visibility than isonews. [modchip.com] Isonews has never actually stored copyrighted materials online. They just report what's been released. I suepect the big-business lobbying efforts of scum such as the BSA are merely using modchip sales as an excuse to shut the site down. Next thing you know it'll be illegal to post a NFO file from a Razor 1911 release.
  • by MisterFancypants (615129) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:02PM (#5391735)
    The issue with ISONEWS.com is that it was really 8 different servers spread throughout the country. The DOJ did arrest the site owner for selling 'mod chips', not for the site itself.

    Since shutting down 8 servers at once (some of them being out of the US) is hard, the DOJ took control of the DNS for the isonews.com domain and pointed it to their own site, which is what many people get when they go to http://www.isonews.com now.

    Some people still get redirected to the existing servers, but this will happen less and less as the DNS changes propagate out to leaf nodes.

  • Truth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkwatcher (250264) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:03PM (#5391742)
    Ok here is the official word straight from one of the ISOnews staff

    "Yes its true. The DOJ has taken control of the isonews.com DNS which now points to 149.101.1.91

    If you link directly to http://66.201.243.170 you can still reach the site. This is a good interim solution as the official DNS may be gone for good.

    If you can still reach isonews.com from the old dns its only because your ISP has not updated its cache. Take note of the ip now if you still want to be able to reach isonews
    Http://66.201.243.170

    Hop into efnet #isonews for updates as they arrive. We'll try to keep things running here until the situation becomes clearer.

    in the meantime , i wanna make some things clear.

    1.theres about 8 isonews servers.
    2.they are currently not being touched by anyone except isonews staff.
    3.theres no need to back anything up.

    In the meantime theres little need to specualte as we will keep you updated , in the meantime just use the forum as normal and pass the ip on to any friends who use the site till we sort this out."
  • by Jahf (21968) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:10PM (#5391800) Journal
    It's sad. John Ashcroft is the first person I've ever had spawn the words "Fascist Fuck" spontaneously in my head when seeing his image on sites like this [cybercrime.gov]. Normally I am a pretty level-headed guy. I think if you measured my autonomic responses, I would register more of a reaction to Ashcroft for than Saddam.

    Between things like this and the Patriot Act parts I and the soon to be released part II, this administration has been the most un-American in office since the anti-communist folks in the 50's.

    I fully believe that unless the modchip affects someone -elses- hardware, modifying hardware I own should be legal, especially if my use is to do something like run Linux ... if I then do something illegal like piracy or service theft with the modchip, punish that action, not the ownership of the modchip ... it should be no more illegal than having IP connectivity (which also enables software piracy if you want to take it to one possible logical conclusion).

    And before some idiot tries to subpoena my IP address to come search my house, my PS2 is not modified and I long ago (4-5 years) killed my software piracy habit in favor of free software. Just because I'm abiding by the law doesn't mean I agree with the way our current government tries to enforce the law and pass new (unconstitional in some cases) ones.
    • Fascism? :-D He he, it really does make me laugh out loud trying to imagine Mussolini or Hitler sending gamers to the gulags for hacking game consoles. I've heard lots of horrific stories from Iraqi refugees about torture with electric drills and acid, but not even Saddam Hussein has outlawed modchips! What a tyrant Ashcroft is! But seriously...

      It's just video games! Get a grip!

      You can legallly play any game on the planet if you pay for the games and the systems they were made to be played on. It won't kill you to shell out a few more bucks. Video games are NOT a necessity! We're not talking about important issues like access to public water reservoirs or voting booths. Believe or not, billions of people today have lived their whole lives without playing video games, and are no worse off for it.

      IMHO, this is utterly trivial. But since many of you think it's a critical, life-or-death, the-sky-is-falling, Constitutional abrogation, I will continue...

      We are a nation of laws, not chaos. Just because Joe Citizen doesn't like a law doesn't mean he gets to be self-appointed dictator. The law does not bow to prima donnas, post-modernists, or cry babies. Although you yourself can't make or repeal laws, you do get to choose the people who do that. The laws were created by representatives that the people have voted into office. That's the way a democracy (or, "representative republic," for the nitpickers) works.

      With over 280 million American citizens, there will always be major disagreement over the merit of particular legislation. Notwithstanding, you must obey the laws or freely accept the punishment for breaking them, even if they aren't written like YOU would want them to be. You may practice civil disobedience, but in doing so, you still must face the consequences until the other people in your movement have been effective in lobbying for the amendment or repeal of the contested laws.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:14PM (#5391838)
    krazy8 got busted because he tried to do something that the elite of the scene rightfully frown upon: making money off of the scene. At one point iSONEWS (formerly orm.nu, after it's founder) was basically run and hosted by DEVIANCE (a game release group) and offered analysis of group's releases each month. However, when orm began to step back from the site and krazy8 took over it more, it became more commercialized and the real scene members backed away from it. There were popup ads, special deals with businesses, and worst of all... increased traffic. The elite of the scene stopped visiting and posting on isonews and it degenerated into a place for newbies to flame each other and talk about how elite they were.

    krazy8 got busted because he tried to make the site more popular and profit off of it. Instead of catering to the elite of the scene, taking security precautions, and keeping the site 100% legal he appealed to the lowest common demonenator and payed the price. Sites like checkpoint cater to the elite of the scene, deny access to the public, and take security precautions.

    The lesson? Don't try to make money off of piracy and don't try to expose the scene to the public.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:22PM (#5391900) Homepage
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I get the idea that this is alot like busting Al Capone on tax evasion. They can't make a case on the REAL charge (pirating) so they use something else to make sure the site gets closed. They're just getting the site closed.

    That said, I agree that modchips aren't (or at least shouldn't be) illegal.

  • Not Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by OctaneZ (73357) <ben-slashdot2@um ... g minus herbivor> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:22PM (#5391903) Journal
    You can read more info about the plea bargain and case at: http://www.cybercrime.gov/rocciPlea.htm [cybercrime.gov]
    -OctaneZ
  • bleh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:24PM (#5391916) Homepage
    some of you may know me from there.

    all i can confirm that, krazy8 has not been seen in a long, long time... and that he was busted FOR selling modchips.

    the details of his plea bargain are not out, and nobody is speaking about anything.

    i would suspect anyone not speaking openly about it, to be part of the plea bargain.
  • modchips? (Score:3, Informative)

    by j1mmy (43634) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:27PM (#5391934) Journal
    I used to be a regular on isonews back in 98-99. krazy8 was making bucketloads of cash off banner ads. The trick was that you never actually saw them -- the ads were in invisible frames that automatically refreshed every so often. It's sad that he's had to resort to making money by selling actual product.
  • by Sgs-Cruz (526085) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:27PM (#5391940) Homepage Journal
    Even though redirecting the site to the DOJ is no more sinister than just the normal taking down of the offending site, it just looks so... sinister.

    Kind of like, you can't fight us. This belongs to us now. Don't even try to oppose us... Of course, that's the point of doing it, isn't it :S ...

  • by Snagle (644973) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:31PM (#5391962)
    People will always mod their systems. People want to play import games that they would otherwise not be able to play. People want to watch divx movies on their Xboxes. and BELIEVE IT OR NOT, some of us do want to legitimately back up the games we purchased. PS2 discs do scratch easily, little brothers arent always careful with that shiny new $50 piece of plastic. Oh, by the way, shutting down websites will not stop piracy.
  • Excuse me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by djkitsch (576853) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:32PM (#5391965)
    Doesn't this seem like the biggest waste of DOJ time? There are people out there guilty of *actual crimes* like murder, assault, carjacking etc, and they seem to be just as happy to track down and stop the sale of bloody XBox mod-chips, which to be frank probably has very little effect on Microsoft's sales figures, as they are finding the real baddies.

    Let's face it, if anything, Microsoft will be making more money out of modchips than anything else - it's not like they've got an original brand Microsoft mod-chip for sale, is it? What damn difference does it make to them if I'm also choosing to run Linux as well as Tony Hawk 4?

    Plus, how many more Slashdotters are likely to buy an XBox on the grounds of mod-chip, and thus Linux, support? Quite a few, I'd guess.
  • The Big Picture (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Planck0 (554268) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @09:56PM (#5392137)

    I'd like to take a step back from the specifics of who was selling mod chips for which game system and look at the big picture of what's happening here.

    Microsoft doesn't want mod-chips to be sold for probably one basic reason: they lose money on the sale of the X-Box unit itself. If someone uses a mod-chip to use the box to run, for example, Linux, then they get a very cheap PC and Microsoft doesn't make any money back on game sales. If someone uses the mod chip to play pirated/burned games, then, again, they lose money on pirated game sales. This is *why* they don't want people using mod-chips. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just giving their motivation.

    If all anyone ever did with mod chips was to run linux, then I doubt Microsoft/DoJ would really care; the small number of people that do this wouldn't make it worth their time to track them down.

    However, probably the majority of people using mod chips are also playing pirated games, and this is worth Microsoft/DoJ trying to stop. Everyone knows that it's really not possible to do this. Someone overseas can sell the mod chips and there's not much that Microsoft/DoJ can do about it.

    In the long run, I think most games are going to move to more a subscription-based architechture (like Everquest or something similar) where you pay a small fee (or nothing at all) to get the game itself, but you have to pay to actually play it by connecting to a company's servers. I think this is actually a good model because it would encourage companies to constantly provide new content (new quests in role-playing games, new race tracks in racing games, new landscape flight games, etc.). It would also save consumers from paying $70 for the latest uber-game only to play it for 10 hours and put it aside, never to be touched again. If you got bored with a game, you could just cancel your subscription.

    This is actually a trend caused by software/music/movie piracy in general. When all music becomes trivial to copy for free, then the producers of music will have to charge for services (i.e. rock concerts). Movie producers will have to provide movie theatres with large screens and great sound systems (they already do this). Game producers will have to provide a live and changing gamescape.

    • by PotatoHead (12771) <doug@opeCOBOLngeek.org minus language> on Thursday February 27, 2003 @04:25AM (#5394216) Homepage Journal
      I agree with your analysis about the motivations behind this move. I also mostly agree on the subscription model for games. I am still mulling over the movie and music thing mostly because I believe that subscriptions lessen the incentive to produce quality content instead of just new content, but that is another discussion.

      The problem I have with the whole thing is simple.

      I don't like being treated like a 5 year old kid. It is totally ok to know how to pick locks, copy media and modify hardware. What one does with that information has consequences of course, but the sharing of this type of knowledge is not the source of the problems.

      As a kid, I was shown how locks worked and was given some old locks to open for a challenge. The intent at the time was to keep an eager brain busy and learn some basic mechanical skills at the same time, plus it was fun!

      Later I took apart almost everything I have ever owned. Why? To understand how it worked and to learn how it could work better for me. The good karma I have earned from this is hard not to notice. Opening locked cars, fixing broken electronics, building creative solutions to solve problems all have earned me many favors in return. Who have I harmed exactly? Maybe a few local locksmiths have lost some revenue along with the electronics shops, but the people I helped sure found something to do with their money. Maybe they purchased a coupla more movies and music titles. heh heh...

      The technology I sell and service today benefits those who produce it. Maybe a few schools lost some revenue because I actually bothered to pick up a book and learn something without having someone hold my hand. Isn't this what we are supposed to be doing anyway? Helping ourselves as much as possible?

      80 percent of what I know today comes from this sort of learning. Those that mentored me early on were also teaching right from wrong. It also happens to be how I continue to make my living.

      Today, my very nature is being slowly criminalized for no good reason and I resent it! This is wrong no matter what the motivation and everyone here knows it. It is also not good for society in general. Don't you want to see what the upcoming talent will create in their garage when you get old. Wouldn't it be nice to say, "Wow! Nobody saw that coming!" The way things are now, you can plot your future on the corporate roadmaps.

      What we don't know is what to do about it (yet).

      IsoNews is a source of a lot of hard to find information that can be put to as many good uses as bad. There are many other sites that provide the same forum. Will Asscroft shut them all down? Why?

      I can understand the legal reason why some mod chips are illegal along with distributing pirated media, but I cannot understand the action against this site in general because it does not address the problem.

      The problem is behaviour, not knowing how or why one would bother to use or construct modchips or copy media. These things are legal and ethical no matter what anyone says. If you cannot learn how, who does that really benefit?

      The problem, as I see it, is the combination of education and maturity being modeled by many technically inclined people today. I can't say I blame them. It sucks to know you are being wronged.

      Understanding this is a part of the big picture that also needs to be considered if we are ever to come to any sort of humane solutions.

      Back to when I was young for a moment. Hacking things was encouraged! You could go to the supermarket and get magazines that actually documented this process in some detail. Teachers encouraged the activity as well. I remember a group of us changing one of the instructional disks to tell jokes. We learned a lot and harmed nobody because THE SCHOOL COULD EASILY MAKE BACKUPS! Know what the teacher did? He had us pick something we wanted to do and helped us do it. Guess what? WE LEARNED A LOT MORE!

      Having an opinion was valued and encouraged. Many a teacher challenged me as to why I believed something instead of just telling me it was not politically correct. Some of these same teachers had the freedom to nurture and channel this into good constructive growth.

      I might add that the schools had more flexibility in how they dealt with problem kids and a lot fewer lawyers. Maybe this was not as bad as we make it out to be today.

      I had considerable freedom in school provided that I towed the line on the basics; namely, maturity, ethics and citizenship.

      Today, things are very different. We are encouraged to know what to buy to solve our problems. I know that is a very general statement, but look around. You will see it in just about everything. In my state (oregon) education is being standardized and achievment is valued over creativity. Schools are sharply limited in what they can do to correct and control kids. They also exert far more subtle control than they used to because of this.

      At the same time, that standardized education does not include strong citizenship and ethics material probably because of the additional lawyers on staff today combined with their strain on the budget and the stiff education requirements leave little room. Of course the lawyers will say this material just might offend somebody as well. (Too f-ing bad I say.) Could the state find a generation of task oriented citizens easier to control as well? Hmmm...

      A lot of the technical education I see my kids getting is focused on performing tasks within the technology. Big mistake because understanding the ideas behind the tech is where the better tech comes from.

      Kids today have less freedom and higher demands all at the same time while teachers have less room to do what they should be doing; namely, building society one kid at a time.

      The level of control our society is experiencing is at an all time high. Is it any wonder that people are acting out?

      Consider our precious Xbox. (Other products have similar problems, I just want to use the Xbox as an example.) The money god says make as much as you can. That means keeping people paying which means control and limited device function designed to facillitate payment. Instead of paying a ton of lawyers, who consume a fair chunk of the profit themselves, why not actually understand what people want to do and encourage it?

      They could try marketing the Xbox Plus pack. Bundle it with a free game and code book! Sell the imports at a premium to those that want them. Funny, the 'Imports' are actually made here in Microsofts case so they just get to make more money.

      Go ahead and run Linux, but pay 50.00 first and remember that you still can play all the online games with no worries.

      Seems to me lots of kids would enjoy a home computer that could also play hot games. Why not let them do it? You just might find your next game developer that way.

      Dump some of those legal dollars into some marketing designed to distinguish and reward the right kinds of creativity from blatent self-serving piracy.

      Use the law to bust those doing real damage.

      Sure the hardcore crowd will see all of that for what it is and will continue to go against the business model, but lots of people will just buy the thing because it does what they want. Price it right and mix in a couple of nice features and you can make money off the whole thing and look reasonably cool at the same time.

      The rest of them will be numbered too small to worry about. Besides, you can spend what you want and the hardcore crowd will still do what they want. You just make less that way.

      As it stands now, the stigma of the Xbox is so great for me, I will never ever own one and I make sure and tell others why. Wonder how much annuity revenue that will end up costing?

      The core of the problem here is control. Here in the land of the free, we are increasingly under the thumb of large corporations driven by shareholder demand to make money every single quarter or cease to exist. Our free market has taught us the fewer options people have, the easier it is to make money. This same market makes it hard for companies to actually try new things. Invest in a new business model, but lose money for a quarter or two? Watch your stock become worthless. Better to not even try it, it is cheaper to pay the lawyers to beat away your potential competition while limiting your customers options in ways that maximize revenue.

      Is this really American? Is this sort of power what our founders intended? Will these actions and others like them really benefit society, or will they benefit governments and corporations who seek control?

      I for one see this for what it is. A lame attempt to drive information underground because it does not align well with some business model and that sucks and is wrong.

      For anyone that actually gets to the bottom of this comment, take note this year and next of who does what and why. Remember that when it comes time to buy something, or vote. Be sure and tell them why and tell them often.

      It matters.

  • Ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by southpolesammy (150094) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:01PM (#5392172) Journal
    This is getting way out of hand. Pretty soon, I won't be able to make modifications to my PC or my car, not because it would void the warranty (don't care), but because I'M NOT FREAKING ALLOWED TO IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Of course, by this logic, all of NASCAR should be banned and taken over by the DOJ. Perhaps we can get a few of those judges to try driving those cars too. Sounds like Darwinism in action to me....
  • pled guilty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bwt (68845) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:02PM (#5392185) Homepage
    Why on earth did this guy plead guilty? It seems to me he is accused of a non-crime, at least the way the web-site reads. He should appeal and the EFF should help him.

    This is extremely revolting that the selling of mod chips would be viewed in and of itself as illegal. All you people out there who think the DMCA covers this are very confused. The DMCA violation occurs when you strip a client game program of its authentication key (and this is copyright infringement anyway). All this guy did was sell parts that turned the game console into a general purpose computer. This is NO different than selling general purpose computer parts.
    • Re:pled guilty (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Maul (83993) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:18PM (#5392291) Journal
      My guess as to why he plead guilty:

      The Department of Gestapo... err Justice goons threatened to hold him without a bail hearing or a trial for a long time (much like the government did to Kevin Mitnick), and told him it'd be a lot easier in the long run to plead guilty rather than fight.
      • Re:pled guilty (Score:3, Informative)

        by Scarblac (122480)

        My guess as to why he plead guilty: The Department of Gestapo... err Justice goons threatened to hold him without a bail hearing or a trial for a long time (much like the government did to Kevin Mitnick), and told him it'd be a lot easier in the long run to plead guilty rather than fight.

        This is one of the reasons why it'll soon be illegal for Dutch courts to extradite people to the US. There is so much pressure on accepting a plea bargain that basically nobody gets a fair trial anymore.

        The other reason is that agreements for extraditions of Dutch citizens to the US always state that they will be allowed to sit out their jail time in a Dutch prison - but this never actually happened in the last ten years.

  • LEGAL MODCHIPPING (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:31PM (#5392379)
    In Australia mod chipping is legal. The Federal Court held last year that the owner of a Sony Playstation can buy a mod chip from a supplier to permit him play region locked games,etc. The decision in essence starts that if you own a machine (Xbox, Playstation whatever) and buy software for it from overseas that have been crippled by region locking or the like you can fiddle with your machine to get your property (eg games) working. By implication this extends to all similar modding. The case was supported by the A.C.C.C, which enforces the Australian equivalent of the Clayton and Sherman Acts (ie US anti-trust laws)and Federal Government. The ACCC has commenced and supported similar litigation in the past.Region free DVDs are the norm here, maybe because we are lumped into a region with Latin America and we see a trickle of "legit" DVDs from the US.

    Microsoft's reaction was to threaten to withdraw Xboxes from the Australian market. Xboxes aren't sold in Australia's largest electrical chain stores because M$ won't sell Xboxes to them unless they dropped Playstation and M$ was told to get lost.
  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @10:38PM (#5392416)
    Why are mod chips even illegal? They give equipment owners the ability to play whatever the hell they want on their machines. Go after the "pirates" not the guys who sell you the means to control your device. The game industry, along with the content industry, expect you to buy the equipment and the games/music but consider backing up the software or music to be a crime and thanks to the DMCA it is.

    Sure, the mod chips can be used to play games that aren't officially released yet (overseas releases) just like multi-region DVD players and they let you play a copied game if you choose. They have legitimate uses and hell this is my equipment I'll do as I please with it. It blows my mind that this 22 year old will be in debt for the rest of his days to pay off his legal fees on his deal AND the fine he's going to get AND serve time in prison (probably) because hardware manufacturers don't want you touching the inside of their magic black boxes.

    On top of it all, they're seizing domain names (who game then that right?) to point to their absurd pro-industry propaganda. Lets sum up their message.

    1. Piracy is copying/selling stuff you dont own.

    2. Mod chips let you do anything you want with your machine.

    These things have nothing in common but an easy to arrest 22 year old.
  • by almound (552970) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:03PM (#5392587) Homepage
    The honeymoon is over, people. Unfortunately, I am coming to the realization that the battle is lost already. I now understand that I will never again enjoy privacy on the Net. Mega-corporations have got there first, and the piecemeal approach of fire walls, anonymizers, proxy server kludges, and spam eliminators is just not going to protect me.

    I foresee that I have to plan for the fact that I will not be able to use the Internet ever again unrestrictedly, and have been preparing for a complete break of private Internet use for about a year now. Shortly, I will be discontinuing my cable modem service forever, and will only use the Internet in a public forum such as at work, in a college, or in a Cybercafe, wherein I will obey every single law applicable (and will refrain from doing ANYTHING that may potentially break some law). However paranoid that may make me, it is worth it. We haven't even seen the beginning of how savage the witch hunts are about to become.

    Yes, this is a boycot. Boycotting the Internet in this fashion may sound extreme, but then again I think the Patriot Act is a bit extreme ... particularly the enhancement that the Justice Department is planning to shortly introduce to the Patriot Act.

    http://www.public-i.org/dtaweb/home.asp

    Look for the icon the reads, "Patriot Act II"

    One way to fight such rabid facism is to disconnect from the system. (This works because the Internet is a closed system. Without Internet users, there will be no commercial use for the Interent and no inherent need for vigorous policing of it.) I believe alternative networks will spring up out of the void so created, and, if those information avenues appears safe, I will surely take advantage of them. In the meantime, I plan to concentrate on fully utilizing the plentiful software already available which computing has afforded me.

    I was a fairly well-paid computer professional from 1994 through 2000. But a sickness overtook the computer industry. It is a sickness imposed by forces which during the same time period tried to impose similar types of maladies on the health care and legal professions. Unfortunately, the computer industry (being in its infancy) was more susceptible than the others. Without strong professional organization and fraught by endemic sabotage by mega-corporations from within, the computer industry was doomed to succumb.

    Currently, I am enrolled in a mathematics course of study which will degree me in Statistics, and am changing my profession out of the computer technology field altogether. For those still brave enough to tough it out under the current conditions:

    May God have mercy on your souls.
  • The Modchips... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <jason...nash@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:07PM (#5392612)
    It looks like the modchips were illegal because they contain a BIOS. Most chips are shipped without a BIOS, but the Enigmahs are pre-flashed.

    A modchip without a bios isn't a usable device.
  • by TheCeltic (102319) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @11:20PM (#5392705) Homepage
    Next it will be radio shack... without them, most home electronic enthusiasts,phone phreakers,ham radio junkies and hardware tweakers would have trouble getting the tools they want.

    While at it, they should shutdown any store that sells blank cd's, video tapes or casettes since they can also be used for illegal purposes. I'm just glad they leave the head shops,online gambling and online porn places alone since they are so moral and legal....

    Once again, we have closed down a business because it offered a product that COULD be used for illegal purposes. Napster had similiar problems (how was it illegal for a company to allow users to share music? they simply offered a means to share music. music that was open to share or not could be posted on napster..even songs written by "home artists" - the USERS were the ones breaking the law. Does that mean that if someone uses a Bicycle to flee from a crime that all bike shops should be shut down?)

    This is truly a sad sad sad day for America! Hopefully over time we will grow up and realize that the world is changing.

  • by Anubis333 (103791) on Thursday February 27, 2003 @05:49AM (#5394448) Homepage
    Many people like to mod their consoles, allowing them to make "fair use" copies of games they have purchased, in case their children destroy or scratch the disk, or allow them to play import games from other countries (that they purchase online) that are unplayable in their own country. Many people also make their own games for consoles or handhelds, especially the Game Boy Advance, which has hundreds of cool demos and games, free, for people who have moded, or "flashable" cartridges. Last Christmas, siting the DMCA, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony filed against Lik-Sang.com (my favorite game hardware site) for selling such mod chips, because they could also be used to play downloaded copies of games, which would be an illegal use under the DMCA. One of the largest issues at hand with the mod chip craze, is that most consoles are now sold at a loss, and the companies have locked themselves into a dangerous game where they primarily make money off of game sales, and these mega corporations only want you to be playing (and buying) their games, not freely downloadable games online, or booting LINUX.

    A console that plays MP3s or DIVX over a network (or off its 100gb drive) as an entertainment center, or runs LINUX, is USELESS monetarily to Microsoft. This, like everything in the world, is about money.

    The edited BIOS of the mod chip is the illegal thing under the DMCA. Almost all mod chip sites do *NOT SELL CHIPS WITH A BIOS*, you must download the bios from someone online. This is perfectly LEGAL (buying the mod with no BIOS), though it is illegal (under the DMCA) to download that BIOS. If he's being prosecuted and plead guilty, it was because he was selling mods preflashed with a bios. There are hundreds of MOD chip sites online, and they aren't being taken over by the DMCA.

    CE
    • One of the largest issues at hand with the mod chip craze, is that most consoles are now sold at a loss, and the companies have locked themselves into a dangerous game where they primarily make money off of game sales, and these mega corporations only want you to be playing (and buying) their games, not freely downloadable games online, or booting LINUX.

      I wonder what would happen if I created a razor blade that fit the Mach 3 razor, was equivalent to the Mach 3 blades, and sold it for half the price of the Mach 3 blades...

      What happened to 'generic' stuff? You never see plain old black and white "CEREAL" boxes anymore..

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