Canada: Modifying a video game console punishable by 10 years in jail
Date: Friday, April 09 @ 16:40:55 UTC
Topic: Xbox Hacking
Attention Canadian gamers: be careful if you decide to modify your video game console. The decision to do so could land you in prison.
Modifying a video game console such as a PlayStation3 or Xbox 360 is a crime in Canada and could result in a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, according to a recent release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
On March 31, RCMP officers from the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Detachment (with assistance of the Surete du Quebec) searched a residence in Roberval, Que., which led to the discovery and seizure of "hundreds of counterfeit video games and the arrest of one suspect," according to an RCMP statement.
In addition to the 300 counterfeit games which were seized as part of the raid, officers also discovered "materials used to modify consoles and illegally reproduce video games."
Some console owners have been known to modify their game systems with larger hard drives or alternate operating systems while others install so-called "mod chips" which allow the system to play counterfeit and unlicensed games. In many cases, such modifications void the manufacturer's warranty on the system.
In the case of Sony's PlayStation3, some mod chips allow gamers to play PlayStation 2 games on the system.
"Modifying a console and computer is considered an illegal act under section 342.1 of the Criminal Code and is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years," the RCMP said in the statement.
"The RCMP takes this opportunity to promote public awareness of the scourge of counterfeiting. The modification of game consoles and illegal production and sale of counterfeit video games account for losses of several million dollars annually."