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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sony Loses Right to Sue Non-Pirate Modders

[Media: Article]

The Australian Courts have decided that it is not illegal to circumvent copyright protection on consoles to allow customers to play imported games.

Of course, it's still illegal to duplicate PlayStation games - that's never been in question, and continues to fall under the same regulations about piracy and copyright protection which have always been in place. But the simple act of playing an "unauthorised" disc - which can, remember, also include an imported game - is not illegal.

"It's a victory for consumers, but also for business people," a lawyer for Stevens commented after the judgement. "It will likely increase competition in the market and possibly reduce the prices in the market for gaming."

This is great news, and slightly ironic since that Sony also lost another important court case called the "Betamax Case", which allowed users to use their VCRs in legal manners. This is also important because it might open the doors to other DRM (Digital Rights Management) cases such as making backups of purchased music and software. A lot of the "protection" that content producers use, actually hinders the customer from accomplishing legal activities. So it is great that the courts have decided that DRM outsteps copyright holders copy rights. I hope this decision moves to other countries such as Canada, the US and Europe because it really is getting entirely out of hand.