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UK man convicted for chipping

ELSPA glee over piracy landmark.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The first ever conviction for modifying a games console has been secured in the UK, with an 22 year-old Cambridge graduate receiving 140 hours community service and a bill for £750 costs from a court in Wales.

The man, who is yet to be named, was found guilty under the EU Copyright Directive which was taken up by the UK in October 2003, which makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection systems on hardware such as games consoles.

The crime in question was selling modded Xboxes fitted with larger hard drives and pre-installed games. To be precise, 80 pre-installed games on a chipped Xbox with a 200Gb hard drive for £380, for sale via his own website.

Trade body ELSPA – who’s investigator found the chap in question and brought him to justice couldn't hide its delight.

"This case sets a major precedent which marks a milestone in the fight against piracy," said Michael Rawlinson, ELSPAs deputy director general. "It sends a clear message to anyone tempted to become involved in chipping consoles that this is a criminal offence and will be dealt with accordingly.

"The modification of consoles is an activity that ELSPA’s anti-piracy team is prioritising. It is encouraging to see the UKcourts do the same."

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