Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA Trial

October 23, 2010 -

28-year-old Matthew Crippen will be on trial in late November for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by allegedly running a business modding Xbox 360 consoles.

Andrew Huang, who literally wrote the book on Xbox modding, wants to testify at Crippen’s trial that mod-chipping is not a violation of the DMCA, a law which makes it illegal to circumvent technology designed to prevent copyright infringement.  Huang’s strategy is to give jurors a step-by-step tutorial on console modding to show that “what [Crippen] did was insufficient on his own to violate anything.”

Unsurprisingly, federal prosecutors have asked the judge presiding over the case to deny Huang’s testimony on the grounds that it would be “legally irrelevant.”  A ruling is still pending.

As we all know, mod-chipping consoles has legitimate uses and Huang says he wants the DMCA to allow for fair use exemptions.

“The U.S. Copyright Office just granted an exception to the DMCA to allow the jailbreaking of cellphones, and the iPhone in particular, allowing the iPhone to run third-party apps not approved by Apple.  Modding a game console should be treated the same way.

The bottom line, I would like to see the scope of the DMCA limited to an appropriate statute that respects fair use, one that respects traditional rights.”

Crippen’s trial begins Nov. 30 in Los Angeles.

Via: Wired

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Unfortunately I can't see the fair use defense working even if he's allowed to testify.  The DMCA is unambiguous; circumventing copy protection is illegal, whether or not you actually use it to make illegal copies.

And there's legal precedent too: in the RealNetworks verdict, the judge as much as stated that even though copyright law allows you to make a backup copy for personal use, the DMCA prohibits you from designing software that allows you to make that backup.  Pretty much the textbook definition of Catch-22.

The one thing working in favor of fair use on this one is the recent decision to add a DMCA exemption for jailbreaking phones.  Unfortunately, it applies specifically and only to phones.  The judge would have to interpret it pretty broadly to say it applies to jailbreaking game consoles.

It's not out of the question, though, and if the judge DID rule in favor of modding it would be a major victory for fair use.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Have you read it?

"is primarily designed or produced " Is used alot and frankly that leaves interpretation big enough to drive a mac truck fleet through. IMO they have to prove that X is "only for" circumvention and that takes us back to pre DMCA days.

 

If we go back to pre DMCA days as far as circumvention and mod chips go we are better off than being spoon fed our rights filtered through the lop sided system...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

I'm afraid you're cherry-picking.  Yes, there's the "primarily designed or produced" language, but there's also "only limited commercially significant purpose".

And there are a hell of a lot more people who watch movies on their computers than run homebrew software on their Xboxes.  It's hard for me to see Xbox modding get a pass when DVD backups didn't.

I'd love to be wrong, but we've heard this song before.

(But I'll grant you one thing: I shouldn't have said the DMCA is unambiguous.  There IS wiggle room in the language -- I just think don't think legal precedents give us much room to be optimistic.)

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

No cherry picking at all, alot of the clauses have the "IF/OR/BUT" flaw now the majority of them do lean harshly to no circumvention under any circumstance. But and thats the thing, but there is that simple flaw of not out right banning it all under any circumstance. What we have is a law that needs to be brought to court across the nation and the flaws be made apparent but sadly there are not enough people with time and money to do it so it remains one of those scoff laws thats barely enforced and when it is it is more for show than "justice" or mitigation of chaos(IE mitigation or true harm/evil).

 The best one can hope for in this case is that it sparks the discussion throughout the court system about whether circumvention as a whole is allowable or not and my guess it it is there is jsut not enough people thinking about it.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

We really need to get back illict copies and not anythign that might use them.... then again copy right is tighting up any lose ends so when the authoritarian switch is flipped you can't decent because vague copy right rules allow them to take anythign down....


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

I don't understand how his testimony would be legally irrelevant, considering he will be arguing for the legality of modding consoles. That sounds pretty relevant to me.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Because people on one side want everyone to think that console modding is for pirating only and has no legitimate use.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

The Wired article links to the Plaintiff's argument if you want to read it.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Read? bu that hurts my brainz!!! :P

 

It comes down to modchips being inane like firmware jailbreaks, its practically the same damn thing and thus should be unbaned, hell there are a few things that need to be unbaned from the DMCA...

 

But anyway the law can be argued either way if you read it..and re read it a few times LOL 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems

So it starts off limiting copy circumvention to nothing but then limits it to legitimate uses(which makes me wonder why even put this crappy law in place if it dose nothing other than reafrim what was in play only is worded so the system can ban things more easily).

Anyway then it goes into trying to prevent any type of circumvention only its relying on if it is only for circumvention/infringement. So we should still be under the old rules as this changes nothing and yet our collective freedoms  have been infringed on by just focusing a bit on circumvention. Sad eh?


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

The problem is between the raped and warped laws on the book there is legality anymore, you have no rights so bend over.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Apologies Mr Eisen, I withdraw my previous comment. GamePolitics really did report on this case and, more importantly, have managed to do so objectively, despite the ESA's involvement in the case. I congratulate both you and GamePolitics.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

 

Somehow, I suspect that the prosecution's request will be denied...

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Unless he had signs posted that the consoles were only to be used for legal purposes, he can't really use that as a defense, because he was making money off the venture.  Hell, in Federal court, you don't even get the benefit of legal protection in that particular case sometimes.  Look at pot growers in California.  Medical marijuana is legal there, but if a distributor isn't absolutely one-hundred percent in the right - as in, they make ONE mistake and sell to someone without a prescription - they shut you down.  That's most likely what'll happen here.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Dose not matter modding is legal no matter what the DMCA says, whats illegal is running copies you did not make on it, DMCA=scoff law.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Law doesn't work that way.

If the law says something is illegal, it's illegal.  That's what "illegal" means.

I disagree with the DMCA, strongly.  But failing a court overturning it, it's the law.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

And if a law is unjust, it is the duty of every citizen to disobey that law.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

"And if a law is unjust, it is the duty of every citizen to disobey that law."

That's a pithy maxim and all, but it's pretty easy to poke holes in.

I think it's unjust that same-sex marriages are illegal.  Your aphorism would have it that it is then my duty to marry a man.  I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

*sigh* We have rural and city police over looking pot and alcohol offensives because they can not handle the load, there comes a time where a rule has to be fictional otherwise it's just excess baggage and not worth the cost to society.

 

Laws are made to function not have the appearance of functioning and sadly most laws and rules of government these days are made for the appearance of and little else.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

That's nice.

What the hell does it have to do with anything I said in my post?

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

...... you post a translation, ZOMG NARF!!! Its the law it must enver be brokenz or the world will end!!!11111.

 

Laws are borken all the time , the more laws you have the more broken laws you have becuse you can not create a rule for every little thing.

 

 


 I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

To true, law is ment to mitigate chaos in society not bury man in inane rules and process's.

 

Is there a chaotic problem with ranges of copy right infringement, yes but it is to a point hardware has to be sold in such a fashion that opening the device is illegal? No the device is neutral and can and should not be legislated in any bill or law unless it is a hacking tool meant to break into servers/remote PCs and even then it should be legal as we are a free people until we harm others(IE shoot someone or hack into a server,ect).

Copyright owners have a ton of options and power they do not need more as they only abuse it. In the end only the copy righted item should be protected but only as far as making unlicensed profit off that copy anything else is an abuse of power and position IMO.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Which is swell and all, but that's not what you said.  You said modding IS not illegal, not that it SHOULDN'T be illegal.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Its both and not both it all depends on if the spotlight hits you or not and I am talking either being sued by corpate or being harassed by the FBI or ICE(who should be more interested in illegal immigrants than modchips BTW) becuse some legislator thought it be fun to pass a law his corpate fuck buddies ramned through his ass.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

In other words, "It's only illegal if you get caught."

Which is a fun turn of phrase and all, but it's not actually true.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Its very true depending on the offense, the more inane and silly it is the more likely it will be ignored until soemone with some power whines about it and trumps up J waking to a felony.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

Prosecution: "I object your honor!"

Judge: "On what grounds?"

Prosecutor: "It's devastating to my case!"

Judge: "Objection overruled."

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

So nice to know I wasn't the only one that had that pop into my mind when I read it.

Re: Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA ...

"Competent judges? NOT IN MY COURTHOUSE!!!"

Man, I love the Ace Attorney series.

 
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