Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

November 24, 2008 -

A 2007 investigation by Homeland Security agents led them to conclude that a Texas company was raking in as much as $2.5 million per year through the importing and reselling of mod chips obtained from a supplier in China, GamePolitics has learned.

When installed in video game consoles, mod chips allow for the playing of pirated copies of games, but have other more legitimate uses as well. Although they are legal in some countries (Canada, Australia, UK), mod chips are prohibited in the United States under terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

To date, federal law enforcement officials have kept a tight lid on "Operation Tangled Web," their code name for a wide-ranging investigation into mod chip distribution in the United States which culminated in a series of raids in August, 2007. However, a detailed search of publicly-accessible court records by GamePolitics has turned up signed copies of warrants authorizing investigators from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to seize two accounts controlled by a Texas man, identified by investigators as Manuel S. Diaz-Marta of Dallas. The warrants were sworn to by ICE Agent Vaughn Johnson, an asset seizure specialist.

GamePolitics readers may recall that on August 1, 2007, ICE agents raided 32 locations in 16 states, seeking evidence of mod chip distribution. Federal agents received technical assistance in the case from video game publishers trade group the Entertainment Software Association.

According to the documents obtained by GamePolitics, the investigation into Diaz-Marta began in November, 2006 when ICE Agent William Engel of the agency's Cleveland Field Office made undercover purchases of PlayStation 2 mod chips from www.modchipstore.com. An ICE check of domain registration records showed that the URL was registered to a Dallas company, NonStop Technologies. Feds then traced a money order used to make their undercover purchase and found that it had been deposited into a Wells Fargo Bank account registered to NonStop Technologies and Diaz-Marta. ICE alleges that Diaz-Marta listed his gross annual sales as $1,800,000 on Wells Fargo account application forms. When investigators seized the Wells Fargo account on August 1, 2007 it contained $109,100.55.

ICE also alleges that, between August, 2006 and February, 2007, the Wells Fargo account was used to make forty wire transfers totalling more than $500,000 to Supreme Factory, a Chinese company which federal investigators say is known to them as a distributor of mod chips. During the same time period, more than $1.2 million was deposited into the Wells Fargo account, presumably from mod chip sales within the United States. At that rate, federal investigators calculated that modchipstore.com would have been generating roughly $2.5 million per year in sales.

During the August 1, 2007 raid, investigators searched Diaz-Marta's residence, according to one of the affidavits signed by Agent Johnson. At that time agents discovered more than 100 mod chips as well as invoices from Supreme Factory for additional devices. Agent Johnson estimated that 80% of NonStop Technologies' business derived from mod chip sales, writing in a seizure affidavit:

The business cycle for NonStop Technologies more closely resembles that of a drug dealer than that of a provider of legitimate consumer goods. The sales volume and turnover being conducted by NonStop Technologies is indicative of the sale of a highly sought after and scarce product...

As a result of the search of Diaz-Marta's residence, agents also moved to seize a Scottrade account. No funds were contained in that account, however.

GP: Today's GamePolitics exclusive coverage is the first public indication that 2007's Operation Tangled Web was a major investigative success for the feds, as well as something of a coup for the ESA's anti-piracy team. Heretofore, the only publicly available information on the case has consisted of scattered, largely unofficial reports concerning apparent small-fry who were caught up in the sweep. Now, with evidence of NonStop Technologies' impressive revenue stream and large wire transfers to China, the picture of the investigation has changed considerably.

It is important to point out, however, that no information has been released by the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding potential indictments of anyone involved in the case, including Diaz-Marta. ICE declined GP's request to comment for this story. We should also point out that 31 other places were raided on August 1, 2007. Very little is known so far about what was found at most of those locations.

Document dump:

1.) seizure warrant for Wells Fargo Bank account

2.) seizure warrant for Scottrade account


Comments

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

2.5 million dollars...probably just barely a scratch on the piracy industry. And I wonder if the fed's cracking down on piracy is just as "serious" as the DEA cracking down on drugs- and they're actully allowing some of that crime to happen, in order to keep people in the government from losing jobs. So they keep their work of confiscating the golden eggs from the pirates, but not killing the whole goose.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

As one involved in this whole mess, I can tell you that mum has been the word on this whole case as far as the Feds are concerned. I think I have gotten more info from this site than anywhere else. Even my attorney has yet to have contact since the day of the warrant serving.


Keep on chugging

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

My question is how they think pirates that are willing to jump through hoops to steal games won't just grab the components to make a modchip from radioshack and download the image to flash to the chip. They're simple enough to be handmade, and EEPROM writers are cheap these days.

They shot themselves in the foot on this one. They could have profited off of this, seen a demand for unlocked media, and themselves opened up an online store that let people import the games. They charge retail prices, have no overhead, and can charge S/H.

But no, their knee-jerk was punitive, and just spurrs projects like openpandora (google it) on.

The "Fall of modern gaming" is something every gamer should look forward to. It means we get games that have easily moddable engines, can be ran however we want, and the company can still release part of it as proprietary and charge off of it.

Anyone here remember dark forces II:jedi knight?

ALL mod tools and mods were user made because lucasarts left teh door open. the level editor, the mod manager, everything. The game was released 1997-ish and still has an active mapping community to the tune of two new maps a month.

Those modders and coders haven't poofed,t hey're still out there, what's gone is the time when companies valued their programmers.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

I've made this point before, but it is worth making again.

Mod Chips are NOT lawful in the UK.

The fact the the Higgs prosecution turned out to be flawed on appeal doesn't mean that the chips are lawful; just that Higg's conviction was overturned. The Court of Appeal made it clear that while the argument made by the prosectution at his trial was outside the terms of the Act, there was another argument, that they specifically approved, which would allow future prosecutins to proceed.

Now it is, sadly, clear why Mod Chips are unlawful in the UK.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

 UK's turning into one big nanny state; poor bastards.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Not sure where you're from, but many countries have the same law.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

I suppose the thing that concerns me is that I own a DVD Recorder, I also own a tape deck of yore.

If the ESA can pull this kind of stunt, then how long before things like DVD Recorders become illegal because it is possible to use them for illegal purposes?

There was a furor in the 80's about tape decks for the same reason, where the RIAA tried to imply that simply owning musical recording equipment made you a pirate, but they didn't get away with it.

 

After things like this, how long, do you think, before they try again?

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

When DVD and VHS recorders are sold, they are not promoted as a way to circumvent buying actual movies and music. Most mod chips are advertised in a way that suggests that both the buyer and the consumer understand that the primary use is playing copied games.

Take a look at some craigslist postings from Orange County:

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/916727062.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/916808325.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/923685638.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/931764052.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/932524979.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/932560740.html

Some of the keywords and phrases used to promote modding or modded consoles:

"I HAVE Over 300 PSP GAMES & PSX GAMES, GBA, NES, SNES, ATARI, SEGA ROMS & EMULATORS and i will fill your memory card with games once im done modding your psp"

• "If you don’t have the time to download Games & Roms I have them
• Dvd full of games $5
"

"WE HAVE PSP & PSX GAMES, GBA, NES, SNES, ATARI, SEGA ROMS & EMULATOR"

"One Xbox gaming console with mod chip, IR mod, and XBMC installed. Lots of games installed on the upgraded hardrive."

"I have over 575 PSP games!!"

"700 plus NDS games: $100"

"it also has a modded MS25 Drive so you can play burn games if you can fix it."

 

I'm not one to side with absolutes here, but the people who claim that mod chips are perfectly fine and legal are ignoring reality. Most modders and mod chip installers don't use homebrew, region free, and back-up discs as primary selling points. They always say "never pay another dollar again", "download games from the net", and "back-ups included". Those are the primary selling point.

I understand that there are a contingent of gamers who simply want to test the limits of their console, but they do not make up the majority of people using mod chips.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

That's still about the people selling the devices, not the devices themselves. If I sold DVD's, it would not be illegal, if I sold DVD's packed with pirated films, it would be, it's the pirating that is illegal, not the Media or Device that is used.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

So your saying that I coudl advert a BR burner as "copy your BR moives save moneies!!!" Your missing the point its the sale of illict software is the problem not the hardware itself. 

 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Intent does play a role in this. In most of the cases I've seen, modders offer games in addition to the mod as part of a bundle.

Here's a solution, sell mod chips that don't allow copied games to be played. Why don't mod chip sellers do this? They probably wouldn't sell nearly enought to make the mod chip profitable since they'd lose the sales from people buying only to play copied games.

All I'm saying is that this is one giant gray area, and to suggest that it's clear cut on either side is ignorant. I'm all for protecting the legallity of mods in general (as someone mentioned earlier, we're not leasing the consoles), but the fact of the matter is that a very large majority of mod chips are being used to play copied games. To deny that is being shortsighted.

 

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

I'd have to see actual advertisements used by the people selling these mod chips, but it is entirely possible that they may have been pushing sales by claiming that mod chips allow people to play copied games. They may also have been supplying the copied games themselves. In that situation, they are selling mod chips with the intent to infringe copyright.

I know that there is a contingent of people on GP who firmly adhere to the opinion that mod chips are legally protected in the same vein that other modifications are. However, almost every mod chip I've seen advertised is being sold under the assumption that playing copied games is the primary use. Installing a turbocharger in your new Dodge is not primarily going to be used to break the law. To quickly dismiss the questionable legallity of mod chips (especially mod chips available for wholesale) just because your personal opinion is that mod chips are only being used for legal purposes is crass and arrogant.

This is coming from someone who, despite not being a heavy user of homebrew, supports the development of modifications and homebrew for legal uses.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

"The business cycle for NonStop Technologies more closely resembles that of a drug dealer than that of a provider of legitimate consumer goods."

Yea. Just like drug dealers.

Give me a f***ing break.

By that logic I could compare the USCIS SWAT team to the mob. Both organizations bust their enemies heavily armed by midnight raids.

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Mod chip companies should all be DESTROYED.

Just because you paid for the 360/xbox/PS2, it doesn't give you the right to mod/reverse engineer it so your cheap ass can skip paying for games. (Please, if you're a modder, don't call yourself a gamer. You're NOT)

There's a sheet of paper that came with your console that explains your rights and limitations, and that by USING the console, you're AGREEING with its terms.

Just quit being an asshat and buy your games like normal people do.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Tell me how I can play English games on my US Xbox without a mod chip.

I've never pirated a game in my life, and I don't appreciate being called a pirate by someone who is clearly ignorant of the issue he's blathering about.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Ignorance is bliss.

Apply the same business model to lockpicks and maybe you'll begin to understand the absurdity of the situation.

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Funny you speak about lockpicks you do know in some states its illegal to have lockpicks unless you are licensed. They assume you having them means you are breaking or going to break the law. Funny isn't it. The state I live in its a class 5 felony just to carry them no matter your intentions.

BTW most states has some weird laws regarding lockpicks that follow this modchip stuff.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Yah, funny isn't it that "carrying on your person" and "possession" are two completely different legal concepts. Funny isn't it that some states and cities have laws against carrying a concealed knife in public? They assume that having it means you are planning to break the law. Funny isn't it?

Gorram muppet.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

 You speaking from first hand experience?

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

The problem with your logic is that some of those people only pirate to make the games available for those who can't pay for the actual thing. It gets more people to play it and thus if they like it that's one more good opinion for the game.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

This is one of those, "I don't really care one way or the other" issues.  Yeah, some people get all worked up about the "thought police," but I just don't see it.  Mod chips may very well have a few legitimate uses, but not many.  Besides piracy, there's imports.  Yet when you buy the system, you know full well that it's only for one region only.  If you are an avid importer, import a system to go along with those games.  "Blah, blah, I can do whatever I want with my system, I payed for it!"  I just can't get worked up about this one.

If the law is bullshit, then the law needs to be changed.  I'll accept that, I already said I don't care either way.  But since it is illegal, I see no fault in them taking action against this guy's company.  Just doing their job.  /shrug

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Mod chips have one legitimate use that almost everyone needs them for - playing foreign games.  If I want to play a cricket or rugby game on my Xbox I can't, because cricket and rugby games aren't made for the US market.  I have to buy cricket games from England.  There may not be many legitimate uses for mod chips, but of the few that exist, many people are using mod chips for those legitimate reasons.  If I didn't play most of my games on my PC I would have a mod chip for my Xbox because I like English sports.  Apparently, in the US, liking English sports makes me a pirate.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Yeah, I hope you don't work in the electronic industry at all; the DCMA won't affect you then. If you do, then you probably will care, when a lawyer explains to you why you're getting sued for your research or from blogging about something...

It does need to be changed but lobbyists lobby against it and this law has been screwing people over for 10 years, there's just much more noise about other issues than the DCMA.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Sheeple get raped when they do not care, you have to care for change to happen other wise things will only get worse because no one cares.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

That's precisely my point.  I don't expect things to get "worse" because I don't see the problem to begin with.  I don't follow blindly, I speak out against real bullshit, so I'm not a sheeple.  Yet when I think of this issue, I see nothing to get bent out of shape about.  I don't care, because I don't see a reason to care.

Besides, whining on forums isn't going to change things, either.  You can bellow all you want about supposed injustices, but unless you take actual action, you're just as "impotent" as I am. 

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Ah its nice to see the media mafia get such nice assitance from law enforcement  to walk all over consumer rights, modchips are still a right under fair use despite the what the illegal DMCA says. The industry needs to go after illicit profit(the sell of unlicensed software) not modchips and after market industry nor the consumer....

 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

If you mod your console, you are a pirate.

If you want to play imports, buy the console from another region.  If you want to play games, buy them.  If you want to make and play homebrew, Microsoft has already gave you stuff to make it with.

In 20 years if I wanted to get an old Xbox 360, I'd want an actual Xbox 360, not some modded mess.

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Considering those who mod consoles do so to keep it. The chances of you buying a "modded mess" are rather slim. In twenty years you will not even haveto buy an original 360 as all the tech for it will be open to the public since all the patents will have expired. So you will be able to buy after market boxes that will not only play your 360 games, but also your PS3 and Wii games as well.

Isn't technology grand?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

If you want to play imports, buy the console from another region..

 

sorry.. what?... um... WHY are consoles different to anything else on the planet?

And If you were to apply that logic equally how far do you extend it? If you moved from say the USA to the UK, would it be fair to force that person to buy a british car to drive on british roads, even if they had aperfectly good car already?

Or how aboutcClothes? Force them to dump all their existing belongings and make them buy british clothes?

Or books? Should they only be able to buy books that are printed in the uk? And if a book isnt printed in the UK, well... tough .. outta luck.

Or the internet. Lets adopt a system like china, whereby we can only access websites local to our country.

 

N what right does the manufacturer have to tell me what i can do with something ive paid for? its then legally my posession!. Would you deem it ok for a car manufacturer to tell you that you could only use accessories that they had specifically made, even if they cost roughly 10x the competitors price? Hell, if i wanted to paint my car pink and yellow, and make it play ice cream truck music, then thats up to me!. If i want to smash my car with a hammer. Thats up to me. NOT the manufacturer. Who i have already entered into a contract with, and fulfilled my obligations by handing him the cash.

at least give some reason for your argument.

 

 

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

But you don't have to mod car or a shirt or a book if you get it from overseas.  Besides, I think it would be cool to get a boxed console from Japan or somewhere, rather than mess up a console from here.

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Sadly my fiar use rights trumps thier paid for laws in the DMCA ans wil be repealed in time becuse it violates OUR RIGHTS.

I do not take to the fascist direction the corporate state is going in and will rail agisnt it all I can...

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

What type of mod chips are we talking about here?

Something along the lines of a Magic Memory Stick or Pandora (for PSP), or perhaps maybe the R4 (Nintendo DS)?

For whatever consoles they may be, is there any type of blacklist for such chips (to differentiate from those that use them for homebrew)?

Whatever the case, I wouldn't want to consficate my PSP, just under certain assumptions that because the XMB (home screen) looks pimped out, that I will possibly use it for piracy.

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

The modchips are any that can do the following:

1.Play imports

2.Play copies

3.Load homebrew

Basically, if it modifies the console to add functionality they restricted, it's illegal.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

I'm confused... so... we're always for the pirates and against law enforcement?

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Nope, you see a report about people actually selling pirated software and getting caught, and you'll pretty much see unanimous support for the act of arresting them. Piracy we are against, but, to be honest, I haven't seen any evidence of actual piracy here, just evidence of a company selling Mod Chips, which, whilst illegal (thanks to the very organisations doing the arresting), are not 'piracy' in any shape or form.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

OMFG, don’t these clowns have better things to do, like trying to get f-ing Osama bin laden dead or alive already. Great use of tax payers money, have the f-ing homeland security go and raid a modding chip business worth a few million a year, and ignore the f-ing terrorists inside and outside of the country, that killed a couple thousand americans, misson completed. Good job, president George W. Bush and Homeland Security, that’s way to bring those terrorist modders to justice…lol. America is stuck on piracy like it’s stuck on oil, Big Oil can rob us blind and we’ll still coming back for more, our dirty little secret, it’s quite sad, but oh so ironic.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

 Osama isn't stealing hard earned $$$ from big business and forcing them to NOT get their 6 figure Christmas bonuses. Who is the real terrorist here?

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

If anything the modchips help the companies. I haven't bought next gen consoles because of all this bullsh**


Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Osama isn't stealing hard earned $$$ from big business

To be fair.. neither is the modchip seller.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

 Not so, if MGM Studios wants to release Get Smart in China for $0.25, and someone in North America buys it, ships it over and mods his game console to play Asia-encoded movies, he has now saved $20.95 - $0.25 = $20.70 - shipping/blah blah blah.

 Now MGM is up in arms because their little anti-piracy tactic of not fucking over consumers in China has drifted to North America and blown up in their face.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Well thats all well and fine....but...how many people read Chinese?

The low cost localizations are generally in a few local languages , if not tis really the companies own fault for doing it incorrectly in the market they made.....
Instead of locking regions in a anti consumer scheme to price gouge focus on the world wide market sell at a smaller cost but at a higher volume, the world wide sales will make up for any issues poorer regions and if you do not cover some localities you'll sale tot hat region by proxy making more money than by fussing over every last detail.... much like the music industry has learned you can not burdon the populace with screwy DRM the media industry will learn you can not screw with the populace with screwy inept price gouging schemes...

The media mafia needs to focus on saleing to the public at a volume not policing media and nickeling and dimming them....

 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

still.. not the modchip seller 'stealing' anything from the businesses, thatd be the end user.

And even then, with regard to the end user the term 'stealing' is highly debatable.  If they can release Get Smart for $0.25, and still make a profit, then they are still making a profit, when the end user buys it for $0.25 and ships it over. 

In this case its their own fault they are selling the game for roughly 45 times the price in the american market.  If somebody wants to buy it cheaper elsewhere, more power to them, and quite frankly we should protect the rights of the consumer. If we cant shop elsewhere then companies could charge us extortionate amounts for products, and we would have little choice. Imagine this in relation to more essential purchases.

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

God, they would seem to value money more then the lifes of other people, sad, very sad. Also, I would fight the rationale for this mission, if they base wrong doing on "The business cycle for NonStop Technologies more closely resembles that of a drug dealer than that of a provider of legitimate consumer goods. The sales volume and turnover being conducted by NonStop Technologies is indicative of the sale of a highly sought after and scarce product...", then just by swapping out "NonStop Technologies" with "OPEC", one could say this also "The business cycle for OPEC more closely resembles that of a drug dealer than that of a provider of legitimate consumer goods. The sales volume and turnover being conducted by OPEC is indicative of the sale of a highly sought after and scarce product...", the so called specialist isn't so smart to use such a broad and generalization of a business, that can so easily be used for any other target they deem worthy of being a suspect of whatever they can come up with, hilarious. Also, the wording that the specialist used, smarter people would call a "FREE MARKET ECONOMY", "Supply and Demand", and etc. I guess those modders didn't donate enough to the republican and President George W. Bush's piggie bank to get a get out of jail free card like so many others do, sad, isn't it. "Mod Here! Mod Now!"

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

Now it is time to pose a new question.

Did this guy/business knowingly sell these mod chips to pirates? For all he knew he was providing them to the homebrew community or to people whe play imports. How is he supposed to know they would pirate.

This should be something protected under the safe harbor clause of the DMCA, but unfortunately no it is not.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

I notice that unlike other modchip busts there is no mention (yet) of selling/giving games on the side. I doubt they would go after him solely on DMCA -- I don't think it's ever been done before. Maybe try to tie it to tax evasion?

Re: Feds' Mod Chip Raid Ended a $2.5 Million Piracy Operation

 I believe that the companies backing these raids saw a man making 6+ figures a year, with no kickback to them, and they saw red. How dare he make money off their IP in a way they couldn't exploit. How dare he?

*facepalm*

Idiots, all of them...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: *facepalm*

 Keep up the facepalm and you'll be the first double emo-listed person in the history of the list.

Re: *facepalm*

*FACEPALM* x 0VER 9 THOUSANDS!!!!!!!

 

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Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

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Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
 

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