Japan Arrests First Console Modder


Japan’s controversial new law criminalising mod chips and DVD ripping has been applied for the first time, resulting in the arrest of a man for modding several Nintendo Wiis.

According to Fukuoka police, in December the 41-year-old unemployed man modded the Wii consoles of 3 men for ¥1,000 each, so as to allow them to run pirated games. In addition, he is accused of copying 5 games to their new hard-drives for ¥5,000.

The incident came to light when he rather unwisely advertised his services on Yahoo! Auctions, offering to provide Wii mods for a modest fee just after the new laws came into effect. He admits all the charges.

Although copying games was already a crime, actually modifying the consoles themselves was legal until recently, and this is the first such prosecution.

Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law was revised in December to make “circumventing technological access control measures” a crime, with the law specifically targeting both console chipping and DVD ripping and carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years and 3 million yen in fines.

Private use of modified consoles is apparently still allowed, but private ripping and format shifting of copy protected material is now a crime – although as with many Japanese “crimes,” one without any fixed penalties.

As with similar laws in other countries, the principle objections raised against the law are that it criminalises format shifting of media consumers have legitimately bought, and prevents open source development of hardware incorporating copy-protection.

The law was prompted by industry complaints about damage to their sales, although why it took the government so long to finally do their bidding is not clear, as such bans and their consequences are by now very old news in a number of other countries.

    Post Comment »
    Sort by: Date | Score
    Avatar of cuppatea@yahoo.co.jp
    21:34 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    >DVD ripping and carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years and 3 million yen in fines.

    Lol what? If I buy a movie, I rip it and store the ISO on one of my arrays so I can watch it on all my devices. I save the original disk and put it in storage. Having to always use the master copy is dumb.

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    21:57 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You should download the copy instead so you wouldn't have to open the wrapping and rip it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:50 03/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I agree, master copies are overpriced, opening them lowers the value.

    Avatar of cuppatea@yahoo.co.jp
    01:47 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Good point! They'd probably remove all the copyright warnings so I could just press play and watch the movie.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:17 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    or the 2 fucking minutes of unskipable ads, fucking fumoffu... bought it because i liked it so much... not happening again i can say that at least.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:56 06/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @11:17 yet another reason I HATE Faggimation. Their unskippable previews can suck my dick dry.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    17:11 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well in the US at least, we are legally allowed one copy of our purchased works last I was aware of. They may have changed that or something, but I think everyone's forgotten about that. As long as stuff is in storage or receipts can prove purchase, then you can torrent any version of the movie you wish and quite honestly they would have no legal recourse, because technically it is still your legal second copy with which you have modified for easier viewing on your systems, nothing more. You still paid them the money they requested, so courts couldn't really go very far with that.

    Avatar of ntbxp
    Comment by ntbxp
    03:25 06/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dia:- "You should download the copy instead so you wouldn't have to open the wrapping and rip it."

    Japanese consumer(Otaku): Buy twice. Use one and preserve another.

    Avatar of Canadane
    Comment by Canadane
    01:09 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, you can't ruin the packaging. Only watch digital copies. Keep the physical copy in the best possible condition!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:47 07/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    so buy it original, but still pirate it, and watch only the pirate and dont even break open the plastic on the original? actually i HAVE done that witout wanting to do it with the metal gear 1-3 colecctio, and the god or war 1-2 colecction theyr there still in theyr plastic collecting dust in my cover, i played them pirated when they originally came out i was young and broke, now i have money so i bought them out of impulso only to not use them

    Avatar of Gradius
    Comment by Gradius
    06:19 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)


    Comment by Anonymous
    22:43 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    All I can say is, if governments are prioritizing piracy/copyright infringement rather than *ahem* more serious matters...we know who they work for.

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    13:11 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still have a full head of hair for a 40 something hikikomori

    Avatar of HKE
    Comment by HKE
    21:40 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    congratulations you have find out how the companies want us to be

    Avatar of Assassinister
    Comment by Assassinister
    02:23 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So how about psp vita? You mean If I hacked(even void its warranty)my newly brought unit even for back up purposes only I'll be charge and go to jail?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:56 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Wii has a hard drive? This is news to me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:01 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    USB hard drives work fine with Wii, after softmod is installed

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 07/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yep the wii works like a charm whit a usb external hard drive, you can have all your games installed in it and never have to swap discs

    Avatar of ArrowInTheKnee
    Comment by ArrowInTheKnee
    23:40 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    >DVD ripping and carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years and 3 million yen in fines.

    and girls who sell their bodies get away with only warnings. Way to go Japan....

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:36 04/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Nah see Japanese investigators just usually come to the conclusion that prostitution is actually attempted suicide via penis.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:46 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh You~

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:40 04/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    What you have to realize is that girls selling themselves benefits everybody, even though it's illegal. Their clients get the obvious benefits, the police get the benefits of easy arrests which help to finance their district, the girls benefit by having spending money, and businesses benefit when the girls buy their overpriced clothes.

    And that's why they get off with warnings.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    its not that they don't want you to rip movies off of dvds its that they want you to pay for it again for each device you use it on but they can't just like they haven't yet made it ilegal to sell preowned movies

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    01:12 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I want to mod my Wii to play imported games. Region lock's a bitch.

    Avatar of ntbxp
    Comment by ntbxp
    03:33 06/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese would buy the USA Wii and USA game to play it.

    Japan is the only country I know what you get a load of haters in internet (what tries to discover the pirate's identity and report to police.) when pirates some games.

    01:50 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I agree it is extremely stupid.
    I myself almost never use the original master copy it gets stored some where safe after I rip it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:27 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Loading is faster when you just play the game from a usb Harddrive as well then if you played from the master copy !

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:35 03/02/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    Japan's recognition of copyright law is like from the 1960s. Japan is turning back the clock as if it were a socialist country.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:18 04/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You'r showing tremendous ignorance by trying to classify that act as a result of socialism. It's the result of extreme capitalism hand in hand with corporatism. They succeeded in this case to actual criminalize people to modify their bought property. Which apparently isn't bought and you don't own to do whatever you wish with it. Its new complex era of modern feudalism, except of having a lords of the land, you have a group of corporations of the economy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:55 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    you do realize that corps just want your money, they aren't your friends and will never be it, even if you really really wish for it in your tiny tiny forever alone heart...
    KEEPING rights you have because your forefathers fought and died for them isn't socialist, you know.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:17 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Achiuakuna you really need to stop watching fox news bro, it fries your brain cells.

    Avatar of Red
    Comment by Red
    01:05 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh man what I wouldn't do for a joint right now...

    Avatar of Achiuakuna
    Comment by Achiuakuna
    00:25 04/02/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Corporation corporation blah blah blah blame everything on big corporations. As if your own failures have nothing to do with anything. Fat ass Michael Moore gives birth to a new generation of fat ass douchebags who can't put down the fork because they blame it on big corporations and George Bush. Time travel back to the 60's and smoke some pot you fucking pothead.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    21:54 03/02/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Anybody else think that buying things in today's world is just like getting a license for something?

    Soon, we'll need a strict license to play games! License for reading books, listening to music! Movie license so that we are cleared to watch! Maybe they should license how people eat and play sports!

    Corporations are so nice.

    Avatar of cuppatea@yahoo.co.jp
    01:50 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That reminds me. I own the copyright on skulls. You can rent your skull from me for a reasonable annual fee.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:29 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Soon, we'll need a strict license to play games!"

    Most game companies ALREADY claim that you're not buying a product from them, but rather just purchasing a license to use the game code.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:39 03/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    To be honest, I'm a bit of a goodfag and I try to support stuff I think is worth supporting, as long as I can afford it, but this bullshit about "licenses" really ticks me off.

    I do understand why they would be upset about piracy, though I do think that it is overstated, but as long as you aren't harming anyone, I don't see the problem with ripping, altering or doing whatever else with stuff you've paid money for.

    Before long, they'll have it so our movies and games only work on one player, which means no sharing/trading, and we'll have to pay for another "license" if we want to play it on another. Christ.

    Avatar of Techeese
    Comment by Techeese
    22:05 03/02/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    if you got the devices to play them on that's pretty much your license...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:55 03/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You don't "got" a device, you have the licence to use a device. If you actually owned the damn thing, then you could mod it as you please.

    Oh, what a nice future we have; you don't own the shit you buy and companies can later remove features as they will ( Sony with PS3 for example ).

    Comment by GK
    23:06 03/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If none of my stuff is mine to mod as I wish then I demand lifetime warranties on all of these "rentals".

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:07 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    you know I had that exact same thought just now.
    maybe I will sue Sony when my PS3 breaks since I got this lifetime rental.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 03/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Effect of ACTA, and thus begins ... ...
    2012 a perfect year to become a lawyer and profiting from the misfortune of others!!
    Still insists on not to blame Obama and the u.s. Government :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:54 03/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I doubt this is the effect of ACTA per se. Modchips for example were in most cases already illegal in the US (DMCA) and Europe (EUCP) since they allow for circumvention of the DRM on the discs (even if that isn't their primary purpose).
    It is also wrong to focus too much on one treaty (ACTA in this case) being bad when what we're facing is a continued pressure of media lobbyists and the politicians they bought. It makes us forget the other treaties and laws that are being cooked up, the bad laws already passed that need to be struck down, and the corrupt political system that needs to change.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:20 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    But opened a precedent and other countries will want to take advantage too!!
    And countries that sign the Treaty will be pressured to take action.(including Japan)

    And ACTA not comprises only entertainment but any type of falsification or modification without notification the manufacturer of the original product..

    Stricter laws against smuggling are included to!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    ofc it's ACTA 27-5
    "Each Party shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies
    against the circumvention of effective technological measures14 that are used by authors,
    performers or producers of phonograms in connection with the exercise of their rights in, and that restrict acts in respect of, their works, performances, and phonograms, which are not authorized by the authors, the performers or the producers of phonograms concerned or permitted by law."

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:57 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nintendo has been lobbying Japan for years to block any form of piracy on their hardware. This is nothing new.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:25 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And people will just download Desmume or something else and still pirate if they DON'T HAVE THE FUCKING MONEY TO BUY THE ACTUAL LEGITIMATE PRODUCT IN THE FUCKING FIRST PLACE!

    Excuse my french, but I am seriously getting tired of this bullcrap.

    We shouldn't be protecting DRM, we should be making it in A N Y form illegal as an unjust restriction on things you have legally bought.

    If they want to go after people who sell pirated stuff FOR PROFIT... that's fine, that's acceptable...... this faggotry isn't.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:02 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree. They need to reprioritize, go after the assholes profiting at their expense and not the nobodies who can't afford their shit.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    00:26 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    So modding a Wii will get you more jail time than a school teacher molesting loli's gets. Interesting. Guess you know who really runs Japan and the world for that matter.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:19 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    To be fair, he never molested those children.
    He made love to them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:05 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    nothing new here, bro. big business rules the government and all they care about is their self. it matters no if someone is raped or killed, long as the pirates effecting their bottom dollar are persecuted to the maximum extent. hell, lax rape & murder laws benefit them because those are the only ones they'll ever be charged with.

    Post Comment »


Recent News

Recent Galleries

Recent Comments