Mod chips soon to be illegal in Australia

New laws starting on 1st of January 2007 will make it illegal to sell or own a modded videogame console. Owners are susceptible to a $6600 fine, and those that distribute, sell or install mod chips or modded consoles can be hit with a $60,500 fine and/or up to five years in jail.

Minter Ellison law firm released the following statement.

AUSFTA requires Australia to prohibit the use of devices and services to circumvent technological protection measures (TPM)”.

“The exposure draft prohibits the use of devices and services to circumvent access control TPMs. It is an offence to circumvent access control TPMs punishable by a fine of up to AU$6,600.”

“The exposure draft also prohibits dealings with devices and services to circumvent all types of TPMs (including access control TPMs). Dealing in circumvention devices and services will be punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to AU$60,500. The concept of ‘dealings’ has been expanded and will include distribution, offering, provision and communication. There will no longer be a requirement for a dealing to be ‘in the course of trade’.”

There will be exemptions to the law for people doing computer security testing, law enforcement and library use.

Well this plain sucks because as it has been pointed out many times that mod chips have other uses apart for piracy; including by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission who support mod chips due to there ability to get around region coding which is widely seen as a method of constricting the competitive market.

  • ForgottenSin

    Wii is region code free. So no problems here.

  • Unfortunately that statement by Nintendo America was proven to be wrong. The Wii will be region coded, check it out here and here.