Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Korean "Chipping" hurts XBox

The Korea Times reports on "chipping" of XBoxes (altering the game console to play illegal games and such). I chucked at this line:

"Microsoft has warned the people who try to spread the knowledge that they will be subjected to the law,'' said Do Jung-han, Xbox's local product manager.

"Spread the knowledge"? Does this means that Microsoft will start suing the Korea Times for the article explaining that its possible, and that you can do it at Yongsan Electronics Market?

That barb aside, I would be interested in knowing what MS plans to prosecute "knowledge spreaders" under, or even chippers. While there is a law against counterfeiting, there is no law against circumventing digital protections (al a the DMCA in the US). Contributory infringement laws are very weak here. I remember talking to a glum importer a while ago wishing the recent Chinese cases of holding landlords responsible for knowingly allowing the sales of fake goods could apply to Korea (the short answer, doubtful, and good luck trying to get a lawyer to take the case!)

The article reminds me of somebody I have respect for. I saw the president of Atari Korea, Scott Millard, at an anti-counterfeiting conference a few months ago. While everyone else was rather sedate and business like, you could see the passion he had for anti-counterfeiting in Korea. I wish him luck, and wish I could help him.


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