has anyone ever approached you in disgust after you had an xbox 360 modded? did they look down on you from their moral high ground? was your response “well make a federal case out of it why don’t ya?” for your sake i hope it wasn’t, because you’re about to read some pretty groundbreaking stuff here. this is about the first federal case in the united states about modding an xbox 360 that will see a jury. the defendant: matthew crippen, 28, of anaheim, california. he is accused of running an video game console chop shop – a home business where he would mod customer’s xbox 360 consoles for no less than a hefty profit to be sure. he was arrested by homeland security (after some undercover work) for breach of the digital millennium copyright act of 1998. and why would one be so bold as to do this? and customers willing to pay? because modded consoles allow play of downloaded and burned games, be it backups of your own (technically legal in my opinion) or to fly the pirate colors and download/burn the games of your choosing. the indictment (thanks, wired magazine!) shows that he is charged with 2 counts, and as a result can see up to 10 years, the max sentence, in prison.
but the prosecutors aren’t having it. huang’s had his own brushes with the law, and specifically the DMCA for his xbox modding expertise. with that in conjunction with their claim that “fair use” isn’t a valid defense, the prosecution is trying to block huang from testifying on crippen’s behalf. whether or not huang is able to testify, the outcome of this case is going could prove to be interesting.