Australian court rules ‘mod chips’ legal

Australia’s High Court ruled unanimously Thursday that modifying Sony PlayStation consoles so that they can play cheaper overseas versions of the company’s games does not violate Australian copyright laws.

The decision ends a four-year legal battle between entertainment and Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. and Sydney-based business owner Eddy Stevens, who supplied and installed “mod chips” in PlayStation devices.

Sony divides the global gaming market into regions and programs its PlayStation consoles so that games sold in the United States or Asia cannot be played on consoles sold in Australia. The so-called mod chips bypass Sony’s regional coding and allow users to run cheaper games made for markets outside Australia on their PlayStation machines.

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