Spanish judge rules X-Box mods 'legal'

Intellectual property loophole


A Spanish judge has ruled that modifications to games consoles to allow them to play DVDs and games from other countries "are not illegal".

According to El País, the ruling comes after the Guardia Civil charged Barcelona video games shop Innovagames with offering its clients "alteration of Play Station 2 and X-Box games consoles to allow them to read games from other parts of the world or downloaded directly from the Internet... by carrying out modification of their components as per diagrams found on the premises".

The judge noted that such modifications "might constitute a crime against the intellectual property of the equipment manufacturers", but he concluded that there is a legal loophole in the "Ley de Propiedad Intelectual" (Intellectual Property Law) which means that they are, by default, legal.

The loophole exists in article 270 of the penal code, which mentions "the manufacture, distribution or possession of means to crack computer programme security codes". It does not, however, cover "components of video games players nor, in general, equipment designed to run image or sound software".

The judge concluded, therefore, that he must reject the Guardia Civil's case. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Carlos Fernandez Sanz for the Iberian tip-off

Related stories

If consumers want to copy games, let them
Scots police in £10m bootleg raid
Nokia N-Gage cracked
Hacker group releases software-only Xbox mod details


Other stories you might like

  • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language

    Assemblers unite

    Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

    REPL stands for "read-evaluate-print loop", and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they're a standard feature of most scripting languages.

    Patterson has previously offered ground-breaking developer productivity enhancements such as an analogue terminal bell and performance-enhancing firmware for the Stack Overflow keyboard. This only has Ctrl, C, and V keys for extra-easy copy-pasting, but Patterson's firmware removes the tedious need to hold control.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft adds Buy Now, Pay Later financing option to Edge – and everyone hates it

    There's always Use Another Browser

    As the festive season approaches, Microsoft has decided to add "Buy Now, Pay Later" financing options to its Edge browser in the US.

    The feature turned up in recent weeks, first in beta and canary before it was made available "by default" to all users of Microsoft Edge version 96.

    The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option pops up at the browser level (rather than on checkout at an ecommerce site) and permits users to split any purchase between $35 and $1,000 made via Edge into four instalments spread over six weeks.

    Continue reading
  • Visiting a booby-trapped webpage could give attackers code execution privileges on HP network printers

    Patches available for 150 affected products

    Tricking users into visiting a malicious webpage could allow malicious people to compromise 150 models of HP multi-function printers, according to F-Secure researchers.

    The Finland-headquartered infosec firm said it had found "exploitable" flaws in the HP printers that allowed attackers to "seize control of vulnerable devices, steal information, and further infiltrate networks in pursuit of other objectives such as stealing or changing other data" – and, inevitably, "spreading ransomware."

    "In all likelihood, a lot of companies are using these vulnerable devices," said F-Secure researchers Alexander Bolshev and Timo Hirvonen.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021