Student Faces Ten-Year Sentence for Modding Consoles

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Student Faces Ten-Year Sentence for Modding Consoles


A college student in the U.S. is looking at a possible ten-year prison sentence after being arrested for the dastardly crime of modding game consoles.

Matthew Lloyd Crippen, a 27-year-old student at Nintendo [http://www.fullerton.edu/] consoles. Each count carries a maximum prison term of five years.

"Playing with games in this way is not a game - it is criminal," said I.C.E. agent Robert Schoch. "Piracy, counterfeiting and other intellectual property rights violations not only cost U.S. businesses jobs and billions of dollars a year in lost revenue, they can also pose significant health and safety risks to consumers."

I.C.E. claims that counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy up to $250 billion each year and 750,000 American jobs, and according to an NBC Dallas-Forth Worth [http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/tech/Cal-State-Student-Faces-10-Year-Prison-Term-for-Playing-with-Video-Games-52386872.html] report, some estimates say that five to eight percent of all goods sold worldwide are counterfeit.

Full details surrounding the case haven't yet come out but at this stage it appears that Crippen is looking at a longer stretch than some killers for the crime of modding game consoles. Maybe I don't grasp the full complexity of the situation (or maybe I'm just Canadian [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_208/6209-Pirates-of-the-Frozen-Wastes]) but that seems more than a bit harsh to me.

(photo [http://www.flickr.com/photos/timpearcelosgatos/3557791151/])


Permalink
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
So, how did he mod them? Was it to get free DLC and shit like that, or some binary mod just to improve performance?
 

Sgt. Dante

New member
Jul 30, 2008
702
0
0
I agree with the last statement, to be facing 10 years for modding a bloody console just seems completely ridiculous.

The police should really work on catching real criminals rather than chasing up cases like this, which is a best a stretch of the DMCA.

I mean if he were trying to sell tehm on at profit its one thing but Modding isn't a new fad.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Holy crap i just transferred out of that school lol. Well i doubt they will throw the maximum penalty at him, so strange that this is a local story and i havent heard a single thing about it...
 

IxionIndustries

New member
Mar 18, 2009
2,238
0
0
NoMoreSanity said:
So, how did he mod them? Was it to get free DLC and shit like that, or some binary mod just to improve performance?
Agreed. I'd like some full details for clarification.
 

Aac18

New member
Mar 21, 2009
246
0
0
While piracy (I'm assuming that that's what the mod allowed him to do) is wrong, 10 years (when as the article says some murderers get less jail time) is a totally over the top punishment. Talk about not matching the punishment to the crime.
 

Xvito

New member
Aug 16, 2008
2,114
0
0
What be this prison tomfoolery? Robbing people of their freedom... Bah! Before you know it; they'll be taking away our lives as well. Crazy, crazy kids...

--Xvito, keeping it excellent.
 

zauxz

New member
Mar 8, 2009
1,403
0
0
They got the'yr money for it, so why the fuck would they care what the man does with it.
 

Kriptonite

New member
Jul 3, 2009
1,049
0
0
Xvito said:
What be this prison tomfoolery? Robbing people of their freedom... Bah! Before you know it; they'll be taking away our lives as well. Crazy, crazy kids...

--Xvito, keeping it excellent.
You won't let signatures die will you...?

Anyway, this is very retarded. If he was selling them ok, but if it was for him and he wasn't stealing=retarded. People can rape and/or kill someone and not face anything like this. 10 YEARS IN JAIL?? How dumb can you get. It's all over GAME consoles. NOTHING IMPORTANT!! AT ALL! *continues going on but is too profane for this site*
 

HentMas

The Loneliest Jedi
Apr 17, 2009
2,650
0
0
the modding almost always is to be able to run pirated games, which in most cases are copies of original discs, i had a chip installed in my ps2 for a few years, the bad thing is that the console will most probably have a life time much shorter that an unmoded console.

also, if you check the net, you can download games for almost any console, burn that in a disk and you can play it in a modded console

i have to get in the side of the law with this one, here in mexico pricess have gone over the top because those dam pirates have a full market and no one cares, i dont like to buy pirated games (because they sell the discs too) i remember that after my ps2 died of early and i wasnt able to check the warranty i had to buy a new one, unmodded of course, and i never had problems with that console, the quality of the original games is amazing compared to the pirated ones, i hate pirates, but anywhay, a pirate market will surelly make pricess higer in any country that doenst have full support from the company so i side with the authorities.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
The thing I find really interesting about this topic is if the OP is against piracy, generally most of the posters will be dead set against it too. Saying how 10 years for piracy is a just, fair punishment.
As the OP said he thinks it is a joke to get 10 years when murderers get less, all of a sudden most posters are agreeing with that.

On Topic: I have always said these anti piracy laws are a joke. No matter if it is movies, music or gaming. You could walk up and punch britney spears in the face a few times (something I imagine a lot of us would want to do) and face a lesser maximum punishment than if you downloaded all of her music (something none of us want to do) so the guy has modded hardware which he paid for. That in itself (outside the US) is not illegal. So at most they should just confiscate items and be on their way. Maybe check on him now and then.
 

Flionk

New member
Nov 5, 2007
54
0
0
Sgt. Dante said:
I mean if he were trying to sell tehm on at profit its one thing but Modding isn't a new fad.
Malygris said:
"modifying for personal financial gain technology affecting control or access to a copyrighted work."
He was in fact doing it for financial gain. Sounds like he ran a modding service, where people would send him their consoles and pay him to get them modded. If it were just some guy modding his own console, nobody would care - why would they even be investigating that, and for that matter, how? - it's the fact that he was actively spreading these mods for profit. Like someone who manufactures and sells mod chips.

As for the sentence length, you have to realize that the US is above all a capitalist nation. Murder is no big deal, but when you steal money from American Businesses, they won't go easy on you.
 

HentMas

The Loneliest Jedi
Apr 17, 2009
2,650
0
0
Kriptonite said:
Xvito said:
What be this prison tomfoolery? Robbing people of their freedom... Bah! Before you know it; they'll be taking away our lives as well. Crazy, crazy kids...

--Xvito, keeping it excellent.
You won't let signatures die will you...?

Anyway, this is very retarded. If he was selling them ok, but if it was for him and he wasn't stealing=retarded. People can rape and/or kill someone and not face anything like this. 10 YEARS IN JAIL?? How dumb can you get. It's all over GAME consoles. NOTHING IMPORTANT!! AT ALL! *continues going on but is too profane for this site*
he had over a dosen consoles, believe me, it wasn´t for his personal use.
 

Aardvark

New member
Sep 9, 2008
1,721
0
0
Customs officials aren't the brightest tools in the shed. He'd have to have done something really stupid, like put a big ad in the local paper for his services. Which means he was asking to get caught.
 

Sgt. Dante

New member
Jul 30, 2008
702
0
0
Flionk said:
Sgt. Dante said:
I mean if he were trying to sell tehm on at profit its one thing but Modding isn't a new fad.
Malygris said:
"modifying for personal financial gain technology affecting control or access to a copyrighted work."
He was in fact doing it for financial gain. Sounds like he ran a modding service, where people would send him their consoles and pay him to get them modded. If it were just some guy modding his own console, nobody would care - it's the fact that he was actively spreading these mods for profit. Like someone who manufactures and sells mod chips.

As for the sentence length, you have to realize that the US is above all a capitalist nation. Murder is no big deal, but when you steal money from American Businesses, they won't go easy on you.
Sad state of affairs really isn't it?

But it's not like any of the companies lost any business on these products, they were still bought and were anything to go wrong the owner is shit outta luck cause they'd have void the warranty.

I just think there's such a thing as taking it too far.
 

IrrelevantTangent

New member
Oct 4, 2008
2,424
0
0
How is it that the DS Pirate Guy got a 2-and-a-half year sentence for pirating DS games, but this guy gets a 10 year sentence for modding consoles? I'd always thought the two offenses were pretty much equal on the proverbial Crime Scale.
 

Jumplion

New member
Mar 10, 2008
7,873
0
0
Malygris said:
"Playing with games in this way is not a game - it is criminal," said I.C.E. agent Robert Schoch.
Oh Mai Gawd, I'm sure we was just oozing to make that pun all his life!

If Flionk is to be believed, I don't sympathize with him going to jail. However I do agree that 10 is so overboard that you're in a shark nest. Maybe 2, but then again I'm sure people would claim that would be too much :S
 

Samurai Goomba

New member
Oct 7, 2008
3,679
0
0
Bah, it's a good time to move against anyone in the gaming community is all. This crime is convenient for the anti-gaming media and political people. They make an example of this guy and everyone goes along with it, they know they can keep pushing their Thompsonesque agendas.

Don't get me wrong-I'm not saying what he did was awesome (modding *for profit* is the thing I don't approve of). But usually when someone copies something illegally (books, magazines, movies), they don't get slapped with 10 years in jail. There are countries that have an entire economy based around illegal copying. Why not go after them? Oh wait, people won't tolerate that. Way to go guys-continue to pick on the little person.