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bandit
August 2nd, 2007, 21:17
Federal customs agents Wednesday raided more than 30 businesses and homes in 16 states, looking for devices that allow pirated video games to play on Wiis, PlayStation 2s and Xboxes.

The alleged sale and distribution of illegal modification chips and copyright circumvention devices for the popular consoles and others included 32 search warrants in 16 states, said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE declined to release the names of those targeted but said they are allegedly responsible for importing, installing, selling and distributing foreign-made devices smuggled into the U.S.

Illegal chips and other devices used on gaming consoles violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Sales of counterfeit or illegally obtained games costs the industry about $3 billion a year globally, not including Internet piracy, estimates the Entertainment Software Association trade group.

Piracy losses for Nintendo and its game developers and publishers likely totaled $762 million last year alone, said Jodi Daugherty, senior director of anti-piracy at Redmond, Wash.-based Nintendo America.

Daugherty's five-person team coordinates global anti-piracy efforts for Nintendo's Japan-based parent company. Since April, the company has helped law enforcement agencies worldwide seize 61,000 counterfeit Wii modification chips, she said.

Wednesday's federal raids came after a yearlong investigation conducted by ICE's Office of the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in Cleveland, which coordinated with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio and the Department of Justice's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section. ICE said it also received assistance from companies and industry trade groups.

"Illicit devices like the ones targeted today are created with one purpose in mind, subverting copyright protections," Julie L. Myers, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for ICE, said in a release. "These crimes cost legitimate businesses billions of dollars annually and facilitate multiple other layers of criminality, such as smuggling, software piracy and money laundering."

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. issued a statement applauding ICE's efforts to reduce piracy and protect the gaming industry's intellectual property. A company spokeswoman would not divulge Microsoft's individual piracy losses.

The raids were conducted in: California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

Appleguru of OTBmods (www.otbmods.com) is one site to be raided (read here (http://forums.slickdeals.net/showpost.php?p=7468780&postcount=542) and read here (http://slickdeals.net/?sduid=115918&t=479852&u2=http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=580937)). Theres also word that Modchipman (http://www.modchipman.com/index.php?ref=100), ModchipStore, Foundmy were also raided (you'll notice that modchips were removed from their online store).

Source: Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070801/ap_on_hi_te/customs_gaming_raids)

r2works
August 2nd, 2007, 22:43
this raid had to cost a lot of money, and it probably didnt even put a dent into the world of piracy. it doesnt take much for someone to order a chip outside the US.

DimensionT
August 2nd, 2007, 23:04
I love how they go on the impression that the pirates would of actually bought the games otherwise when comming up with their figures.

Aren't they more inclined to pirate crap games if they're free?

SSaxdude
August 2nd, 2007, 23:54
"These crimes cost legitimate businesses billions of dollars annually and facilitate multiple other layers of criminality, such as smuggling, software piracy and money laundering."

I've never contributed to crime when I've pirated games.

SnoopKatt
August 3rd, 2007, 00:59
I love how they go on the impression that the pirates would of actually bought the games otherwise when comming up with their figures.
Definately true, and the number is probably exagerrated too.

acn010
August 3rd, 2007, 01:00
meh.....mexico,china and many other countries are doing it

VampDude
August 3rd, 2007, 01:42
this raid had to cost a lot of money, and it probably didnt even put a dent into the world of piracy. it doesnt take much for someone to order a chip outside the US.

Or purchase some SWAP MAGIC discs (available everywhere online), I have a flip lid and SWAP MAGIC for my (slim) PS2 much better than a mod chip (no wires) I'm in the UK so I don't have to worry about whats going on in America lol (hopefully they don't do this here) :D