DMCA sends man to jail for 5 months


An article on BBC News describes the sentence (5 months in Jail, 5 months house arrest, and $28,500 fine) for a man convicted of violating the DMCA by importing and selling mod chips for the X Box.

For those regular readers, it will be no surprise to hear that I'm concerned by this ruling. As the EFF's representative said: "It's troubling that people are being sent to prison for selling a device that may have uses that may not be infringing to copyright at all."

Can you say "chilling effect"? I don't condone piracy in any form, however, the idea that copy protection should be enforced by the goverment is just repugnant. I see no problem with civil, and possibly even criminal, judgements for cases of actual piracy, but this technology can be used to allow the running of software such as Linux on an XBox, which wouldn't seem to violate anybodys rights. Except perhaps those who bought the device.