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The end of mod-chips as we know it?

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Just a few days ago, mod-chip sellers were raided by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Because of this, even Team-Xecuter, leader in XBOX and XBOX 360 mod-chips, have thrown in the towel and will no longer be making products for the industry. This could only be the beginning.


Federal agents have carried out a series of raids against individuals and businesses in 16 states as part of an investigation into the distribution and sale of mod chips. Dubbed "Operation Tangled Web", the 32 search warrants were executed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from 22 offices, with assistance from the gaming industry.

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Those targeted by Operation Tangled Web are accused of direct involvement with the console-modding community, including those engaging in the import, distribution, sale, and installation of mod chips for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The ICE was the lead agency in the raids due to its responsibility for keeping counterfeit and pirated goods off of US store shelves.


The raids come in the wake of the arrest of a San Diego resident for selling pirated games and modded consoles. Frederick Brown was arrested in late June by the San Diego Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Unit after advertising his services on Craigslist and other web sites.


"Illicit devices like the ones targeted today are created with one purpose in mind, subverting copyright protections," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in a statement. "These crimes cost legitimate businesses billions of dollars annually and facilitate multiple other layers of criminality, such as smuggling, software piracy and money laundering."


Despite Myers' assertion that mod chips are created for the sole purpose of subverting copyright, the truth is that they are popular with gamers for a number of reasons—some of which arise from frustrations related to fair use. Mod chips extend the functionality of the consoles, allowing gamers to load full games onto hard drives (making it easier to lug one's favorite games to a friend's house), use the consoles as media centers, and play homebrew content. In contrast, the hardware companies and the Entertainment Software Association can't stand them because they can also be used to play pirated discs; that's the rationale given by the ICE for the raids.


In a statement released this afternoon, the ESA applauded the crackdown. "Enforcement initiatives of this scope send a clear message to both the public and pirate community that this illegal activity will not be tolerated," said ESA president Michael Gallagher. The ESA estimates its total worldwide losses due to piracy at $3 billion annually. Those numbers should be taken with a large grain of sodium chloride, as actual losses from piracy are notoriously hard to assess, and the software industry is not above inflating its piracy-related losses.


Those arrested could be charged with violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, specifically its provisions dealing with the circumvention of copy-protection controls. Although the raids won't wipe out the modding community, it is likely to drive sales of mod chips further underground—especially since some storefront retail operations were targeted in the raids.

Source: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070...wide-raids.html

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Assholes, they don't even know why mod-chips are really important, they just care that companies 'loose' moneys (Which are 'legit') companies somehow added into their calculations yet never really received.

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I found some more information,


Here are some of the resellers that were hit by the bust:


otbmods, norcalmods, micromods, teammodders, and appleguru


Also, you can see pictures of the items taken straight from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement:



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This raises the argument that we should be able to do whatever we want to the consoles we buy yet again. :)


But hey, now I know which modchips are the best. I mean, if the government is grabbing them, they MUST be good! ;)

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to bad you won't be able to buy em anymore eh mooney?

Hopefully some online shops will still have them... :)

Order from Canada :V

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Yeah, these aren't the mod-chips of the old days... they come with flashy instructions and boast being really easy to install even for morons. Some don't even require soldering, etc. etc. -- so yeah, that's going to be a problem because more people can pirate games easier and that's going to set off f*ckloads of alarms... and it has.

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I find this to be rediculous and unfair. As mooney mentioned we should have the right to do whatever we want to our own consoles. I find it to be more unfair that people who buy modchips within the US have something to worry about now and that would be getting raid...

Edited by Gabriel
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