• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Featured, News - Written by on Monday, August 30, 2010 8:53 - 31 Comments

    Federal Court halts PS3 modchip sales

    Australia’s Federal Court has slapped a temporary ban on a handful of local retailers selling or importing hardware — commonly known as “mod chips” — that allows unauthorised software to run on Sony’s PlayStation 3.

    The ban applies until 31 August while court action initiated by Sony Computer Entertainment’s Australian and European arms against three local retailers goes ahead — although the ban will be lifted if the gaming giant’s lawsuit is not successful. We first saw this story reported by the BBC.

    According to court documents filed late last week, the four Australian retailers banned from selling the device are OzModChips and an individual who appears to be involved with the business — Ryan Caruana, Global Solutions International (trading as Quantronics) and Ken Tolcher (trading as Mod Supplier).

    Furthermore, the court has required that the four parties actually hand over to Sony any PlayStation modchip devices they have, until the 31 August date.

    OzModChips has responded to the lawsuit in a message posted on its site. “This is not OzModChips versus Sony,” the company wrote. “This is not OzModChips, Quantronics, Modsupplier versus Sony. We would go as far as saying that it is not even everyone in Australia versus Sony.”

    “This will affect everyone that plans to buy such a device worldwide. It already sets a dangerous precedent. Everyone that was using OtherOS, everyone that has had a faulty PS3 laser … and those interested in PS3 custom firmware and homebrew applications.

    “We cannot do it alone, we need the support of everyone in the homebrew community, the media, engineers that understand the inner workings and anyone else that can provide support.”

    OzModChips also linked to a forum posting which the company said was by Quantronics, responding to the temporary injunction slapped on the three retailers.

    Quantronics wrote that the injunction was “baseless”, and it was very unlikely that it would be continued or become permanent. “OzModChips, Modsupplier and myself are all close friends, share lawyers and have sought senior counsel for this matter,” wrote Quantronics.

    The retailer added that the trio started in the gaming industry as kids with an ideal of changing Australia’s views on copyright law, fair use and “freedom”. “To this day, we stand for the same beliefs, values and will at any cost fight for what we believe in, the rights we should have, and in a David versus Goliath battle, we will give it our best,” they said.

    Comment is being sought from Sony Computer Entertainment.

    Image credit: włodi, Creative Commons

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Pete
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      And when Apple made it OK to root their devices in the US, folks were telling me that Modchips were fine in Australia despite recent rulings. What a crock.

    2. Posted 30/08/2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      Given that you can mod the PS3 with a USB stick and a file downloaded online, surely these sorts of chips are superfluous anyway?

      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure of the technical situation, but certainly there is a freedom of speech issue here. It’s my opinion that once you buy a product (ie, a PlayStation 3), you should be able to do what you damn like with that product (as long as you’re not killing, murdering people etc).

        If Sony can prove that an individual is using a mod chip to pirate games, then go after the individual and prove that. But attacking mod chips — which can be used for legitimate purposes — is not the way to go about enforcing its rights.

      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink | Reply

        You can’t “mod” the PS3 with a “USB stick and a file downloaded online”. psjailbreak is a custom piece of hardware (that connects via USB), and OtherOS support is long gone.

    3. Pete
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      I suppose the issue is that Apple have given the go-ahead for this kinda thing, where DS and Sony continue to contend they can control a product’s usage patterns after it’s been purchased. Still smells an awful lot like the car company complaints against Repco et al.

    4. PointZeroOne
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thought there was a ruling for ps2 mid chips allowing them in aus and few years back

      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink | Reply

        I think there was … but you know how the law tends to *change* now and then :( particularly due to certain annoying US copyright treaties …

      • PointZeroOne
        Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink | Reply


        • Posted 30/08/2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink | Reply

          Is a “mid” chip like a medium-sized version of a “mod” chip?

    5. wickedproxy
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Everyone has rights, but don’t forget Sony’s right to protect it’s products from piracy. It is obvious that this would be used for stealing games. I hope Sony puts some of these functions in the console as long as they can prevent stealing games, but I won’t hold my breath.

      • Pete
        Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

        I wouldn’t be tempted to support the chippers if Sony still had the ‘Other OS’ option.

      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

        The chip doesn’t allow you steal games, it allows you to play backups of games and homebrew

        • Posted 30/08/2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

          It allows you to play backups of games, which includes backups of games you don’t own.

          Currently, the only way to create “homebrew” requires use of Sony’s proprietary tools.

        • wickedproxy
          Posted 30/08/2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          It does indeed allow piracy. You could simply borrow your friend’s games and copy them to your hdd. Then give them their games back and continue to play from your hdd. This is stealing!

          • Posted 30/08/2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Actually its not stealing, its copyright infringement……

            And so its actually how people are using the mod chips that are the issue?

            A car can go above the speed limit, but its not the car manufactures fault or the road authorities fault. (or the mechanic that moded the car)

            • wickedproxy
              Posted 30/08/2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Really? You think it’s not stealing to make a copy of a game you DID NOT BUY and play the game without paying for it? That is stealing in every sence of the word. It is no different then going to a store and taking a game and leaving without paying for it. You have NOT purchased the game. Therefore it does not belong to you.

              • wickedproxy
                Posted 30/08/2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

                You can make mods to cars as long as the car is still road legal after. Some mods are illegal on cars. btw if you mod your PS3 you can still use it you just can’t use the PSN.

              • Posted 30/08/2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

                No, if you take the physical copy from a shop you are stealing that physical copy.

                If you make a copy or download a soft version of the game. You have breached copyright infringement and it isn’t theft, it isn’t a criminal matter it is a civil matter

                • wickedproxy
                  Posted 30/08/2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  It is still taking content without paying for it. That is theft. wether in a criminal court or a civil court it’s still wrong. You can argue what to call it all you want. It’s still taking something that does not belong to you.

                  • Posted 30/08/2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    I do believe in the eyes of the law it is copyright infringement and not theft.

                    All them ads about “you wouldn’t steal a car” etc when talking about downloading movies, are wrong and are using scare tactics. Copyright infringement isn’t theft.

                    You are not stealing the original copy. You are duplicating it, copying it, making a backup, etc etc. The original copy is still where you left it and isn’t stolen.

                    Yes you are taking something you haven’t paid for, but its copyright infringement, not theft.

                    • wickedproxy
                      Posted 30/08/2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      STEAL v. stole (st l), sto·len (st l n), steal·ing, steals. v.tr. 1. To take without right or permission dishonestly . This is what I’m talking about when I say steal or theft.

                      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

                        But since its a copy, who actually owns the copy?

                        The company that produced the Original content don’t own the original once its sold on a media format.

                        So if you copy the original (that someone bought) don’t you become the owner of the copy?

                        The law states you can’t make a copy of something as you will breach copyright.

                        You are not stealing something.

                        What if the copy you made was from a mate who gave you permission to copy it. You are not stealing it from your mate as he has authorised you to make a copy.
                        But you are infringing copyright.

                      • Posted 30/08/2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink |

                        And if we are playing the dictionary game.

                           /ˈkɒpiˌraɪt/ Show Spelled[kop-ee-rahyt] Show IPA
                        the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.


                           /ɪnˈfrɪndʒ/ Show Spelled [in-frinj] Show IPA verb,-fringed, -fring·ing.
                        –verb (used with object)
                        to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.

                        So when you make a copy of something that you don’t have authorisation from the copyright holders. You are infringing copyright.

                        If you stole the game, you would be taking the original.

                    • wickedproxy
                      Posted 30/08/2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      Unfortunately the only people that will come out of this happy are the well paid lawyers. Well was a good debate, but I am tired and am going to bed.

    6. Tobias
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      As long as media companies insist on shipping devices with anti-competetive regional locks that prevent consumers from taking their purchased media between countries, there will be a good case for the legal availability of mod chips. The PS3 is remarkably progressive in that it doesn’t use region locks for games, but it still has region locks for Blu-ray discs and DVD video.

    7. djkrugger
      Posted 30/08/2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The problem is that Sony is like a leech, they have done the same scheme since day 0 create a device that uses a revolutionary format which coincidentally is proprietary and whoever wants to sell in that format has to pay Sony a slice, but that scheme is dead, and so will their company if they don’t change their politics people it’s not stupid like 20years ago ipod blew because you can put any mp3 onto it. It’s like EXXON manufacturing cars that only runs with their gas that costs twice as much. Sony needs to decide its future, devices or content.
      And…if the modders are not using any part of Sony’s code i don’t see why they should stop selling the mod after i paid for my system i can do whatever i want with it as long as i do not duplicate it. The mod has many legitimate purposes like increasing load speed, prevent premature wearing of BD laser, conservation of physical media, convenience (not having to change discs to change game) are a few.

    8. Sneakn
      Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Alright so plain and simple this is one he’ll of a creation no matter how he did it :) and yes it is wrong to do this! But in the end if you purchase a product say a ps3 and do jailbreak it yourself it should b alright as you buy consumer products and often modify them to suit, just like making additional holes in ur jeans or painting your shoes once purchased this doesn’t seem to get you in trouble once u do it! The only thing I see wrong with this whole jailbreaking issue on today’s society is that it gets spread world wide! But if you are smart enough to jailbreak it urself for your own use GOODLUCK to you, if you want to stay out of trouble just keep it away From the public and are out of any harm :)

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights