As a (not-so) friendly reminder that Uncle Sam still dislikes those that dance around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, federal customs agents went to town on over 30 businesses and private residences on Wednesday, citing what they view as cracking down on purveyors of illegal devices hell-bent on circumventing copyright protections. The raids followed a yearlong investigation crossing 16 state lines, and involving 32 separate search warrants.
According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division's Secretary of Homeland Security Julie L. Myers, raids such as this are part of a plan to stifle the illegal/counterfeit gaming market that is said to cost the gaming industry about $3 billion a year, globally.
"Illicit devices like the ones targeted today are created with one purpose in mind, subverting copyright protections. These crimes cost legitimate businesses billions of dollars annually and facilitate multiple other layers of criminality, such as smuggling, software piracy and money laundering."
As the Entertainment Software Association likes point out, using mod-chips can be a risky endeavor. However, if you do a quick search on the Internet -- the endless pages of hyperlinks that show up might lead some to believe otherwise. Do mod-chips serve a legitimate purpose, or are people just trying to rationalize their wrongdoing? For a lot of people, Australia must be looking better and better all the time.
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