The first day of The Pirate Bay’s trial has concluded. The prosecution, representing many large media companies, is attempting to prove that the defendants are directly responsible for copyright infringement. The members of The Pirate Bay are treating the trial as a reality TV farce. From TorrentFreak’s coverage, it sounds like it’s off to a great start: “For several minutes, listeners of the live audio could hear mouse-clicks as Roswall [the prosecutor -Ed.], who earlier claimed to be an expert on computer crimes, tried to get his PowerPoint presentation on the screen.”
South Wales Police raided a store in Cardiff seizing 1,800 Nintendo DS flash carts. The devices can be used for playing pirated games or running homebrew software. In the UK, the carts are illegal under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts. The 21-year-old suspect had imported the devices and was selling them both online and in-store. He had over 1,000 devices in his home. Many of them packed and ready to ship. Official statements by the Entertainment and Leisure Publishers Association claim that the hardware irreparably damages the DS handhelds.
In an unexpected development, [Neil Stanley Higgs], aka Mr. Modchips, was cleared of his previous convictions in British courts for selling modchips for the Xbox 360 as well as modded consoles.
Notably, the prosecution did not argue that he infringed copyrights, but merely facilitated copyright infringement by selling modchips that circumvent the Xbox’s ETM. Since the copyright infringement argument was not made, existing law continues to hold sellers of pirated games and owners of modded consoles responsible for infringing the copyrights of game developers, as they are the ones who illegally copy the software. Pirated game sellers’ violation of the law is plain to see, but owners are still held responsible the moment they place the pirated disc into the loading tray and boot it up. The infringement in these cases occurs exactly when any part of the pirated game is loaded onto the console’s RAM, as this is considered another illegal copy.
[Higgs]’s charges hinged on whether the Xbox’s piracy prevention methods were intended to completely prevent pirated games from being played or merely act as a hindrance. The court felt it was the latter, and so they reversed the charges.
[via Xbox-Scene via Team Xecuter]