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View Full Version : ""Illegal"" mod chips?!?!



omnedon
01-04-2003, 10:22 PM
I noticed a locked thread in the buying and selling section of this forum, when a member asked about buying a modded PS1, so he could play imports and backups.

It was locked with a note that said "Mod Chips are illegal".

Huh? Is this true? I know for a fact that as of right now, in the Great White North anyway, they are NOT illegal. Are you telling me that in the supposedly free-est country in the world (the USA) that modifying your personal property is illegal? You can't change the chips in your cars to improve horsepower? You can't increase the fuel efficiency of your own lawn mowers? You can't put a GE compressor into your Kelvinator Fridge? You can't modify your US Saturn to play Japanese imports? Are you allowed to paint your house?

If this is the case, who runs the US? It's citizens, or the companies that profit from them?

The mere phrase, ""Illegal Modification"" makes my blood boil. Now I'm being told what I can and can't do with property I own free and clear? It's mine dammit, and I can f*ck it up if I want to. >:(

This rant brought to you by your local Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian, and Caricature.

Kid Fenris
01-05-2003, 01:10 AM
As I understand it, the Saturn can house two separate types of mod chip: one that enables the playing of imports and one that allows you to use "backups." I'm not sure why the first kind of chip would be illegal, though I understand the case for the second variety, as well as the all-permitting chips used for the PSOne and such.

omnedon
01-05-2003, 08:09 AM
I'm not sure why the first kind of chip would be illegal, though I understand the case for the second variety, as well as the all-permitting chips used for the PSOne and such.


Please explain to me why the technology should be illegal that allows the use of backups. Preserving your originals is a GOOD thing (as anyone with kids will attest), and is allowed under fair use laws.

It's like saying technology that makes your house more energy efficient should be illegal because it costs the power company profits.

Pirating software should be illegal - yes. Strapping my PSOne to the hood of my car to enhance it's speed holes should not be illegal.

The term "Illegal Modification" smacks of a EULA on hardware. Great.. soon the car companies will try to tell you that you need to buy an additional license to carry a passenger in your car.

Is the hardware yours or not?

punkoffgirl
01-05-2003, 09:39 AM
Because you and I know that mod chips weren't "invented" so people could make backups of their PS2 games. That's ridiculous! :P
And by illegal, it meant something that we do not discuss in the emulation forum.

omnedon
01-05-2003, 09:53 AM
Well, the thread in question was talking PSOne.

Why were tape decks invented? To pirate music? I'm discussing an important point of law. To brand someone a criminal, don't you have to prove wrongdoing, or is that simply assumed in this instance?

How is it any different if I run Chase the Chuckwagon ROM into my Supercharger, and then into my 2600? Emu is no different.

As collectors, you'd think every one of us would NEED a modded PSOne. It's a virtually dead system, with a a very fragile media format. It's about preserving your collection, and playing imports on a dead system.

Happy_Dude
01-05-2003, 09:54 AM
Because you and I know that mod chips weren't "invented" so people could make backups of their PS2 games. That's ridiculous! :P

It's that kind of thinking that "makes" it illegal. I'm sick and tiered
of walking on eggshells whenever little kids want to play my dreamcast
(don't have a PS/2 sorry) I have a "LEGAL" right to make a "BACKUP"
of "MY" property.

This is the same as the DVD encryption "Bullshit".
I paid FULL retail price for the right to own a Game/DVD etc...
I have the legal right to make 1 back up.
________________
'If freedom is outlawed, only the outlaws will be free'
________________

p.s
D.C games should have come with a backup due to
the nature of backing up a Proprietry (sp?) disk. And the cases had
space for 2 disks too ;) same for PS/2 DVD games

crivit
01-05-2003, 04:09 PM
I'm no expert, but I would guess that modchips were technically made illegal in the US by the DMCA. The way I understand it is that while we are allowed to make backups for personal use, any technology that would allow us to actually use those backups is now illegal. Ain't government great? :roll:

omnedon
01-05-2003, 04:32 PM
I beleiev you are right, your DMCA makes modchips illegal in he USA.

Not as free a country as one might think, or at least your property rights are less robust.

In the USA, Sony - 1, citizens - 0

Innocent until proven a criminal my arse. >:(

Captain Wrong
01-05-2003, 05:36 PM
Edit: Sorry guys, I jumped the gun on this one. I still don't think that this is the forum to hash out the right vs. wrong of the mod chip issue, but as the discussion stands there was no reason to lock it.

CrazyImpmon
01-06-2003, 04:17 AM
I still think mod chip shouldn't be permitted. While its original intent was to allow import to play, too many people have taken advantage of mod chip to play pirated games for free.

punkoffgirl
01-06-2003, 04:42 AM
I still think mod chip shouldn't be permitted. While its original intent was to allow import to play, too many people have taken advantage of mod chip to play pirated games for free.

Exactly what I was saying! The mod chips were NOT invented for "backups" and it's funny how people get very defensive when you say that.. Napster would have been a terrific thing too, letting musicians swap their music out with other people so they could have their songs heard all over the place, but too many people took advantage of it to download & burn recorded/copywritten songs for free rather than buying albums, and thus it was outlawed. What's wrong with the company wanting to protect its investment in the games?

YoshiM
01-06-2003, 08:54 AM
Man, when the Lik-Sang thing went down, there was a LOT of complaining. Then when Microsoft changed hardware on the XBox to prevent the hacking that allows other software (namely Linux) to be run on the system. Now they also check to see if the box is hacked before you hop onto XBox Live.

This is an issue that's going round and round for some time and to peg a mod chip as illegal or not is more of a point of view (even though the DMCA says such things are). To use omnedon's question about tape decks: the same issue came up years back when cassette tape decks and VCRs reached the public. The music and movie industry screamed that they would lose money because of these things and begged to make them illegal. The courts decided to make the devices legal because even though they CAN be used to pirate movies/music doesn't mean they WILL be used for that. And thus came Fair Use, allowing you to record your TV shows, music off of radio, copy music from store bought tapes to your own blank for personal use, etc.

With the Information Age the idea of Fair Use is coming under fire again. Especially with music and the ability to download them rather easily and quickly. Those business models have to change. As for mod chips, well, that's going to be a tougher pill to swallow. CDs, DVDs, and what not don't really wear out when playing unlike video tapes, audio tapes, vinyl records, and floppy disks. Other than your hands, the game case and the disc tray, nothing else touches the CD/DVD. The only way it could get damaged is by negligence (dropping it, using it to wash your dishes, or loaning it to the neighbor's kid with the chewing fixation) so, in the eyes of Big Business, you shouldn't need to back up your game. In a broader sense (and playing devil's advocate) a backup may not have copied properly (bad copy media, disc copier not functioning right, software issues, etc.) so if the game company ever gets a warranty issue with a game not running right a tech's time is wasted on a problem that may not be the game itself but a slightly bad copy of the game. They can't guarantee that a copied game will work as they had no control over the making of it even if they didn't have copy protection on the disc, so such things as warranty work can create a potentially expensive warranty nightmare. Speaking of warranty: having mod chips implanted into a system (ie not a factory install) may void the warranty, but that doesn't mean the console company isn't going to get requests for repairs and even bombarded with negative press from people because they wouldn't repair it under warranty (even though the customer was probably informed that it would).

Personally, I'm all for getting imports as long as I don't have to rip my console apart. A plug in device or a special boot disc would work fine. I don't do backups as I try and take care of my stuff (not saying those who advocate backups don't) and have never seen or had the need for a backup. Its no more fragile than any other media (sans carts): tapes can wrinkle, twist, melt in heat, and wear out. Floppys can get scratched, warped, and older floppies can be bent easily. Vinyl can be scratched, melted from heat, and worn out through use. CDs are no different (although I admit it sucks when you buy a used disc and there's a funky mosaic pattern on the data side you didn't get to see before you bought. Oh well). As for making mods illegal...well, I can't say on that. I'm not calling someone who does use the mods for illegitimate uses a scum sucker or anything (not that it would make a difference with the price of games anyway, they would be that expensive even IF there was no piracy) but if mod chips went away I wouldn't shed a tear.

My 3.5 zenny on this.

buttasuperb
01-06-2003, 09:05 AM
hmm, I finally noticed my thread was locked in buying and selling (yea I'm slow), what the fuck is up with that. mod chips aren't illegal, and I don't want a modded system to play burned games. CAN"T I JUST PLAY SOME FUCKING IMPORTS.

fuck this shit.

Raedon
01-06-2003, 09:22 AM
I've already said my say about my post being altered. >:(
http://www.digitpress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2255

omnedon
01-06-2003, 10:06 AM
This thread was unlocked for a reason. Lets keep it unlocked. Piracy is software theft, and I do not endorse it in any way.

I do however have an mp3 player in my truck, and only keep CDR's in it. My CD's get bought, ripped, and then put away. No chance of theft from my truck, and my CD collection is in fantastic shape. Are mp3's "BAD"?

I'm saying there is a strong case for collector's doing this with their disc media. A Very Strong case. Especially for Dead systems (no new software being developed or sold new).

The technology exists do do this. Outlawing a technology that is beneficial to the consumer is wrong.

Do you realize that the invention of the printing press put a great many monks out of work, and increased literacy?

Change is good, and in a free market economy, any stifling of technology change violates the precepts of freedom. Onward and forward!

buttasuperb
01-06-2003, 10:19 AM
This thread was unlocked for a reason. Lets keep it unlocked. Piracy is software theft, and I do not endorse it in any way.

I don't think anyone mentioned pirating games at all. I just want to play my imports, esecially my new Samurai Deeper Kyo. And I would like to do it without having to swap discs all the time. What's wrong with that?

Buyatari
01-06-2003, 10:42 AM
I am the one who locked that thread.

Mod chips are illegal believe it or not and this forum has always had an anti-piracy stance. If left unattended it stands a chance to become a haven for piracy as many other web sites have.

If you want to buy one thats your business. You just can't buy one here.

Adam

punkoffgirl
01-06-2003, 12:33 PM
I'm sure you can all read the rules listed in the emulation forum. Those rules go for the rest of the forums, as well. The sale of mod chips or "backups" is not allowed on these forums, especially in buying & selling (I know you've all seen threads with "copies" or "backups" locked in the past, especially on EZBoard); it goes to follow that modded systems shouldn't be, either.

omnedon
01-06-2003, 12:49 PM
it goes to follow that modded systems shouldn't be, either.


Still don't understand the logic.

Following your logic, kitchen knives should be banned because Lorena Bobbit used one to cut off her husbands penis (a violent crime). Therefore knives are wrong and bad.

Buyatari
01-06-2003, 01:10 PM
Still don't understand the logic.

Following your logic, kitchen knives should be banned because Lorena bobbit used on to cut off her husbands penis (a violent crime). Therefore knives are wrong and bad.

Three FACTS that should (but won't) put this to rest.

1. This board does not condone the sale of mod chips or backups. It never has. If this changes someone will let you know.

2. The header of the emulation forum specifically points out that PSX emulation discussion is forbidden in these forums. Again when this changes someone will let you know.

3. Modchips are in fact illegal. They circumvent encryption and that believe it or not is illegal at least here in the US.

We couldn't care less that you have mod chips and backups at home. Do what you want we are not here to judge you. However, you CAN NOT sell them here. I don't think that should be too hard to swallow.

I own a retail store and while I couldn't care less if you smoke pot or not I don't want you to smoke it in my store. Its kinda the same thing.

We never said it was wrong or evil only illegal and not welcome here.

Adam

buttasuperb
01-06-2003, 01:40 PM
Ok then, by that logic, roms are illegal as well, yet links for where to get them are shared freely in the emu forum. :hmm:

Buyatari
01-06-2003, 01:52 PM
Ok then, by that logic, roms are illegal as well, yet links for where to get them are shared freely in the emu forum

If you are unclear as to what is permitted in the emu forum you can check out the rules outlined at the top by Zektor and DP. If you still have a question you better ask one of them.

All I know is that you can't post mod chips,modded systems or backups in the Buying and Selling forum.

I don't think ROMs are illegal unless they are bought and sold. However anything that circumvents encryption (ie a mod chip) is.
Remember this isn't JUST about whats illegal and whats not. Its about whats permitted on this site and what is not.

To answer your question (I think) the selling of ROMs in the Buying and Selling forum will get you a LOCK as well.

Adam

omnedon
01-06-2003, 02:01 PM
However, you CAN NOT sell them here.

To be perfectly clear on this issue, I have never, EVER tried to do that on this site or any other site. The way you put it hints that maybe I have, or would like to.

That is not the case. This thread is about tools to maintain your game collection. It is too bad that the modchip tool is illegal in the US. CD jewel boxes protect your CD's too. Hopefully they won't try to ban those as well! ;) Wouldn't want you to have to buy only one copy or anything....

I fully realize Joe's right to effectively "ban" certain topics. I see this as a political thread, with a collecting slant. I sincerely hope that even political discussion of the issue and the DMCA are not "banned" topics. That very idea frightens me. In this instance, I am definitely glad to not be American.

Buyatari
01-06-2003, 02:20 PM
No no we DO welcome discussion of the DCMA and whether or not it should be. While it can erupt into a battlezone fight at times its not something we try to sweep under the rug. Don't expect us to change the law for you though. Our politicial favors are all used up after the famous DP mod party fiasco.

So while one's views on the DCMA are welcome one's expertice on modding a PSX is not.

This isn't about censorship of views its just about conducting a "clean" operation.

Adam

Achika
01-06-2003, 08:47 PM
I'm with Butta on the issue. I need something to play my Ore No Ryouri on my PSX/PS One. Unfortunately the mod-chip I have allows me to play Vibribbon, but not ONR. I'm just wondering, without disc swapping all the time, and one step short of buying a JP PS One, what's the middle option?

All I get is the anti-mod warning when I boot up my ONR.

kainemaxwell
01-06-2003, 09:13 PM
[quote]CD jewel boxes protect your CD's too. Hopefully they won't try to ban those as well! ;)

So why or how would CD jewel cases be illegal to ban?

omnedon
01-06-2003, 09:36 PM
So why or how would CD jewel cases be illegal to ban?


Well, perhaps I could use one to commit a crime? I could make a "shiv" out of one and stab someone with it. That would be assault at the very least, and a crime.

This is very pertininent, considering we are discussing the banning of a tool that can be used as a benefit to consumer, but could also be used to commit a crime.

Do you think we should ban all things that potentially could be used to commit a crime, or is technology somehow "special" and Ok to ban?

I don't understand how some just don't get it. You are giving up your rights to access to knowledge and technology. Willfully. Or at least your lawmakers are.

Some governments think forums like this are subversive, and should be banned too. Why do the ones in power always fear empowering the citizens?

CrazyImpmon
01-07-2003, 08:00 AM
So why or how would CD jewel cases be illegal to ban?


Well, perhaps I could use one to commit a crime? I could make a "shiv" out of one and stab someone with it. That would be assault at the very least, and a crime.

This is very pertininent, considering we are discussing the banning of a tool that can be used as a benefit to consumer, but could also be used to commit a crime.

Well, if they start banning everything that could be used in crimes, we'd have to give up everything and head back to stone ago. A pen, for example, could be used to stab victims or a $0.99 marker could bypass the anti-copy security on certain audio CD. A car could be used to kill someone and a DVD-ROM could be used to make illegal rip of a movie that would be distributed on the internet.

There's a zillion ways a common everyday object could be used to commit a crime. But the real solution is not banning or restricting anything, it's getting people to use common sense. >:( >:(

omnedon
01-07-2003, 04:10 PM
Well, if they start banning everything that could be used in crimes, we'd have to give up everything and head back to stone ago.

Couldn't have said it better myself. For some reason the powers that be consider modchips different.

I am all for copy protection. They should make games difficult and expensive to copy. They should void all warranty and service agreements if the equipment has been tampered with.

Making it illegal for me to do what I will with property I own, is a nasty precedent. And bad for collector's to boot, IMO.

Happy_Dude
01-07-2003, 10:02 PM
What company actually produces mod chips?

Are they custom chips or just a buch of regulation chips on a board?

How much dose it cost to produce them?


I find it interesting that these so called Illegal chips could make it onto the market.

omnedon
01-08-2003, 08:54 AM
They are simply an Integrated circuit.
I will not go into any detail.

When you look at the finished modded product on the inside, it is obviously an "out of spec" addition, that looks almost homemade when installed.

I sincerely doubt it enhances reliability in any way.

Tetsu
01-13-2003, 03:48 PM
I'm just wondering, without disc swapping all the time, and one step short of buying a JP PS One, what's the middle option?



PSX emulator on your PC is a middle option.

Raedon
01-13-2003, 05:32 PM
last post on the subject..
I honestly don't think anyone here has a problem with psx mod chips. I might see being upset if you had a lot invested in used psx games and didn't want your market ruined but for the end user why wouldn't you consider it? If for nothing else then Emports. I think the Board rules should be adjusted on this subject the second the last psx game is taken off the market...

That will be in.. 4 years? :D

RJ
01-14-2003, 08:22 AM
I recently posted an auction selling a Japanese game that, in my auction description, simply MENTIONED may work on a "modded" PSX. The auction was quickly cancelled & I got notified about my "mistake" (though I can repost w/ a modified description). I thought it was really stupid...

It's like saying I can't sell a lighter since it could be usd to light a joint, or burn down a house... >:(