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Sony loses PlayStation chipping case

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      10-06-2005
After a long court battle, Sony has finally lost its suit against a retailer
selling PlayStation mod chips in Australia
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4315172.stm>:

After a series of conflicting judgements from different courts,
the High Court has come down on the side of Mr Stevens.

It ruled that mod chips do not breach copyright. It decided that
while the chips let gamers play copied or imported games, they do
not enable the copying of games.

"There is no copyright reason why the purchaser should not be
entitled to copy the CD-Rom and modify the console in such a way
as to enjoy his or her lawfully acquired property without inhibition,"
said the court ruling.

"Sony sought to impose restrictions on the ordinary rights of owners,
respectively of the CD-Roms and consoles, beyond those relevant to
any copyright infringements."

"In effect, and apparently intentionally, those restrictions reduce
global market competition," said the judgement

The article says that the mod chips are banned in the UK and "other
countries". What about NZ--are they legal here?
 
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Evil Bastard
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      10-06-2005
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> After a long court battle, Sony has finally lost its suit against a retailer
> selling PlayStation mod chips in Australia


Wonderful result, and a crucial precedent.

If the 'right to tinker' had been extinguished in the kind of result
Sony wanted, it would be possible for manufacturers across all
industries to impose restrictions.

Imagine, for example, if it were illegal to service your own car, or
hire a mechanic other than the car manufacturer's 'authorised service
agents' to service it for you.

Or worse - imagine buying the nth generation of a Dell computer, to find
that the motherboard has a chip which forbids (at bios level) the
installation of a non-M$ operating system, or that your wonderful new
colour laser printer won't work with any non-M$ OS (or any OS which
doesn't possess M$-issued certificates). The only way around that would
be a modchip.

> The article says that the mod chips are banned in the UK and "other
> countries". What about NZ--are they legal here?


I don't believe it's yet been tested in NZ - from what I hear, modchips
are a thriving industry here, and Sony has yet to react. If they do
react, here's hoping the Aus ruling will hold sway.

It might also interest the Clark government - weren't they passing some
kind of 'fair use' legislation expressly permitting personal-use copying
and format shifting of CDs?

--
Cheers
EB

--

One who is not a conservative by age 20 has no brain.
One who is not a liberal by age 40 has no heart.
 
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thingy
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      10-08-2005
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> After a long court battle, Sony has finally lost its suit against a retailer
> selling PlayStation mod chips in Australia
> <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4315172.stm>:
>
> After a series of conflicting judgements from different courts,
> the High Court has come down on the side of Mr Stevens.
>
> It ruled that mod chips do not breach copyright. It decided that
> while the chips let gamers play copied or imported games, they do
> not enable the copying of games.
>
> "There is no copyright reason why the purchaser should not be
> entitled to copy the CD-Rom and modify the console in such a way
> as to enjoy his or her lawfully acquired property without inhibition,"
> said the court ruling.
>
> "Sony sought to impose restrictions on the ordinary rights of owners,
> respectively of the CD-Roms and consoles, beyond those relevant to
> any copyright infringements."
>
> "In effect, and apparently intentionally, those restrictions reduce
> global market competition," said the judgement
>
> The article says that the mod chips are banned in the UK and "other
> countries". What about NZ--are they legal here?



I assume it would take a piece of case law. What is interesting is the
OZ courts kicked Sony out, yet OZ is supposed to follow American
IP......so I wonder how long it will be before Sony tries again via a
different avenue.

Apart from that I liked the judgement it allows fair use, you can modify
your car, or anything else once purchased, having Sony stopping you is
plain silly IMHO, Im glad at least one court has been so enlightened.

regards

Thing
 
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thingy
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      10-08-2005
Evil Bastard wrote:
> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>
>>After a long court battle, Sony has finally lost its suit against a retailer
>>selling PlayStation mod chips in Australia

>
>
> Wonderful result, and a crucial precedent.
>
> If the 'right to tinker' had been extinguished in the kind of result
> Sony wanted, it would be possible for manufacturers across all
> industries to impose restrictions.
>
> Imagine, for example, if it were illegal to service your own car, or
> hire a mechanic other than the car manufacturer's 'authorised service
> agents' to service it for you.


This was tried I believe eg connections to the on-board computer via
"proprietry" patented connector, not publishing the electrical and
communications interface for the CPU, or a service warning light on BMWs
that could only be reset after a "genuine" BMW service. Voiding
warantees after a "non-approved" garage fitted a non-genuine oil filter,
I think they all lost to court actions. Sometimes I like the US legal
system, you can sue stupid manufacturers at the drop of a hat and win,
sometimes the USA system is good for the small guy.

> Or worse - imagine buying the nth generation of a Dell computer, to find
> that the motherboard has a chip which forbids (at bios level) the
> installation of a non-M$ operating system, or that your wonderful new
> colour laser printer won't work with any non-M$ OS (or any OS which
> doesn't possess M$-issued certificates). The only way around that would
> be a modchip.
>
>
>>The article says that the mod chips are banned in the UK and "other
>>countries". What about NZ--are they legal here?

>
>
> I don't believe it's yet been tested in NZ - from what I hear, modchips
> are a thriving industry here, and Sony has yet to react. If they do
> react, here's hoping the Aus ruling will hold sway.


Being local to us I would hope it has more weight than anywhere else,
plus the NZ justice system is keen to be seen as seperate to its roots
of the UK one, so even the NZ supreme court if it were to go that far
might take the OZ ruling one as the most appropriate for NZ.

> It might also interest the Clark government - weren't they passing some
> kind of 'fair use' legislation expressly permitting personal-use copying
> and format shifting of CDs?


There has been talk, but did it happen? While in the USA there is a fair
use doctrine that allows backups and transferring a song/item from one
media to another, no such action is allowed in NZ.

I talked to a lawyer on just such a thing a while back and he was trying
to negoitiate from a company side (a sony lawyer or some such) in
allowing NZ to extend to the USA "fair use" but having a % added to
blank CDs to cover this. He thought it was fair as no one used CDs for
anything but "illegal copying" in the main. I pointed out to him that
that means free OSS users like myself (and businesses) who download ISOS
and use CDRs as backup media would legit and would be penalised and it
would be out of step with the USA, he grinned and let it be.....me trust
suits....never.....

regards

thing




 
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