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Xbox 360 Jailbreaker May Need Real Jailbreak 359

An anonymous reader writes "Back in July, the Librarian of Congress officially made it legal to jailbreak your iPhone (or any phone). So why is it that the government is trying to prosecute Matthew Crippen for jailbreaking Xbox 360s? If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, and lawyers are trying to prevent the author of a book about jailbreaking the original Xbox from testifying in Crippen's defense. What kind of law says it's okay to jailbreak the phone in your pocket, but not your gaming console?"
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Xbox 360 Jailbreaker May Need Real Jailbreak

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  • Re:What kind of law? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by __aatirs3925 ( 1805148 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:18AM (#34021700) Journal
    I would give you modpoints if I knew how for that answer :)
  • by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:35AM (#34021798)

    "As far as I'm considered, when I buy something (phone, game console, computer, whatever) it's mine to do with as I please."

    People with money and an interest in these devices appear to disagree. No matter how wrong they are, I wonder who will be the one who is listened to...

    "That's not to say it excuses piracy"

    Not that reason alone, no. Logic does that.

    "I really don't care what the lobbyist-bought-and-paid-for law says on the matter."

    Really? Well, that won't stop these corporate tools from caring about you and attempting to doom you to the same fate as this guy.

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:44AM (#34022084) Homepage

    The prison system in the US is heavily privatised, is it not? I wonder how much of a difference that makes, when there's a strong commercial incentive to have more criminals (assuming that private jails get paid more from the government to house more inmates)?

  • by PinkyGigglebrain ( 730753 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:59AM (#34022148)
    I would challenge your view that the only "real usage" of moding a game console is to play illegally copied games.

    Of course I can only speak for myself but my intent when I modded my Xbox was so I could copy the games I already owned onto its hard drive and no longer need the easily damaged disks, that in some cases cost me $70+, to play the game. The originals are now stored in a safe location and will only be used to reload the hard disk should it fail at a later date.

    My action also allowed me to extend the life of my console since I no longer needed to use the optical disk drive, which was already starting to fail, and maximize my investment in the games. If I had to keep switching the disks, risking damage to them every time and causing wear on the optical disk drive, I would buy far fewer games than I have. From that view the modding actually led to the sale of more games by the distributors.

    If Microsoft chooses to ban me from using my modded console on their network I do not have a problem with that, they own the servers, but I own the Xbox and will do with it as I please with it.

    And I still fail to see how jail breaking a game console is any different than jail breaking an iPhone, in both cases it allows the owner to do what they want with device they own. If anything I see more of an argument against jail breaking a phone that was discounted pursuant to a service contract and therefor not fully owned by the purchaser until the terms of the contract are fulfilled, than a game console which was purchased outright.
  • Re:Jailbreaking? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by loufoque ( 1400831 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:25AM (#34022230)

    Note that as far as I'm aware, that's only the case in the US.
    In Europe, you are given explicit rights to circumvent DRM for fair use. In France, there even was a proposal to force the manufacturer to provide information on how to circumvent it for that purpose, but of course it was scrapped.

  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:12AM (#34022774)
    Besides, the exception was granted specifically to enable certain uses with the person's device. Even though it specifically mentioned the iPhone, and even though that doesn't mean it creates a blanket rule for all other devices, courts will generally follow the precedent set down by previous courts. If the precedent is that a person is allowed to modify their device for their own use so long as the commercial aspect is not present, the courts should apply that to any device in the future (the principle being the use, not the device). The thing that might trip this guy up is the commercial asepct, if he was selling the modification it might run afoul on those grounds.
  • Re:What kind of law? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:32AM (#34022890)

    I suspect it's not as simple (or as underhanded) as people are implying. The phone is a utility device, with a long contract, which unlike common 'dumb' phones, cannot be moved from carrier to carrier as was originally intended. The X-Box was never intended to move from entertainment network to entertainment network, nor does it have a sim for just such a purpose.

    On one hand we have a device that was design for portability to another carrier, and another device that was never designed for it.

    I don't think there is any underhandedness at all. Although they are both a very specific class of computers, they are not the same type of device.

  • by ( 614258 ) <slashdot.openstandards@net> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @10:27AM (#34024532) Homepage
    Is anyone else concerned that homeland security arrested him? Weren't they created to fight terrorism in response to 9/11?!? And, what on earth does it have to do with "Immigration and Customs"? It sounds like the ESA went to an organization that they knew (1) had nothing important to do today, (2) would have the least capability to understand the issue involved and (3), would have a tendency to overblow the importance, and (4) be desperate to throw someone in jail.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.