Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Media Backlash Hits Homeland Security Mod Chip Raids

The oppressive, unjust raids last week by Homeland Security on a few people who used Mod Chips on their video game consoles, is getting a mini-backlash from the media. This media is reduced to a small-town paper and a few noteworthy tech blogs, but they're better than nothing. Wired puts it nicely: "Ahh, DMCA, let us count the ways that you suck." The DMCA is a law passed by Congress and the corporate media, including the big video game companies. The DMCA says that even after you buy, say, a DVD or a Nintendo Wii, the product still isn't really yours. If you make a backup copy of your Matrix or South Park DVD's, the DMCA says that you're breaking the law and can have your doors busted down by the federal government, at the behest of Big Media. If you want to install a Mod Chip to play a game that hasn't (and might not ever) been released in the U.S., or play a homebrewed game, the Big N can throw you in prison for a long time, or fine you into a cardboard box.

Can't the manufacturers of game consoles (Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft) simply get rid of the practice of region-locking? This would make consoles able to play games made for that console the world over, rather than just for a particular territory. It'd pretty much kill the demand for mod chips among legitimate gamers. That would leave the pirates, whose persecution wouldn't bother me nearly as much.

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