Efforts to Block Pioneer Xbox Hacker from Chip Modding Trial


Matthew Crippen

If you wish to get a tutorial on hacking your Xbox and that too live by the man who has actually published a book on it, consider watching the mod chip trial of Matthew Crippen, who is charged with jail breaking the Xbox 360’s series. Recently, Andrew Huang has announced that he will be testifying for the defendent who is also indicted for infringements of the anti-circumvention requirements of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Matthew, who is 28 years old and from Anaheim, California, is indicted on charges of mod chip installations that provided the use of pirated games and applications. He purportedly ran a business off  of this, charging around $60 to $80 per job. The charges came after Entertainment Software Association had an undercover investigator get a silicon surgery performed by the defendant, and later doing the same for an agent of the ICE. If convicted he can face around 3 years of prison time.

Andrew, the author of an Xbox hacking tutorial book of sorts and the man behind the Chumby says that mod-chipping does not breach the DMCA, and that come trial, he will prove that no law was violated by a literal tutorial for the jurors. He further argued that the DMCA provisions should allow fair use exceptions, which would mean that console chipping for a valid purpose, although it may be circumventing some regulations, should be acceptable.

He explained that since the DMCA has been allowed to exempt the jail breaking of mobile phones such as the iPhone, which now enables users to run application that are not authorized by Apple, why can’t mod chipping of game consoles be dealt with similarly. He added salt to the urgencies by saying that he is hoping to see changed in the DMCA provision providing statutes that appropriately respect fair use and customary rights.

Considering Andrews’ knowledge, experience as well as determination, his testimony can be the making or breaking of the case, however federal prosecutors have filed a motion to have Andrew excluded from the November thirtieth trial, claiming that his testimony is lawfully unrelated to the case.

While prosecutors say that a fair use defense does not counter a DMCA charge, it is obvious that there is a problem with the DMCA. The director of Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cindy Chon elaborated that after a period of 3 years, Library of Congress permits an exclusion from the law, the immunity from the law for iPhone jail breaking is an example of this. It is entirely unfair and kind of a slap in the face, as if to say, we decide how the laws should be. Whatever the ruling is on the testimony of Andrew, he says that he hopes that Matthew is cleared.

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