Australia halts PS3 mod chip sales

UPDATE: Judge unable to attend today's hearing date; temporary ban postponed to Friday, September 3.


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Australia’s federal court has slapped a temporary ban on a handful of local retailers selling or importing hardware, commonly known as “mod chips” that allows unauthorised software to run on Sony’s PlayStation 3.

First reported by the BBC, the ban applies until August 31 while court action initiated by Sony Computer Entertainment’s Australian and European arms against three local retailers goes ahead, although the ban will be lifted if the gaming giant’s lawsuit is not successful.

According to court documents filed late last week, the four Australian retailers banned from selling the device are OzModChips and an individual who appears to be involved with the business--Ryan Caruana, Global Solutions International (trading as Quantronics), and Ken Tolcher (trading as Mod Supplier).

Once the last bastion of legal gaming, now after three years the PS3 has finally been cracked.
Once the last bastion of legal gaming, now after three years the PS3 has finally been cracked.

Furthermore, the court has required that the four parties actually hand over to Sony any PlayStation mod-chip devices they have, until the August 31 date.

OzModChips has responded to the lawsuit in a message posted on its site. “This is not OzModChips versus Sony,” the company wrote. “This is not OzModChips, Quantronics, Modsupplier versus Sony. We would go as far as saying that it is not even everyone in Australia versus Sony.”

“This will affect everyone that plans to buy such a device worldwide. It already sets a dangerous precedent. Everyone that was using OtherOS, everyone that has had a faulty PS3 laser … and those interested in PS3 custom firmware and homebrew applications.

“We cannot do it alone; we need the support of everyone in the homebrew community, the media, engineers that understand the inner workings and anyone else that can provide support.”

OzModChips also linked to a forum posting, which the company said was by Quantronics, responding to the temporary injunction slapped on the three retailers.

Quantronics wrote that the injunction was “baseless,” and it was very unlikely that it would be continued or become permanent. “OzModChips, Modsupplier and myself are all close friends, share lawyers and have sought senior counsel for this matter,” wrote Quantronics.

The retailer added that the trio started in the gaming industry as kids with an ideal of changing Australia’s views on copyright law, fair use and “freedom.” “To this day, we stand for the same beliefs, values and will at any cost fight for what we believe in, the rights we should have, and in a David versus Goliath battle, we will give it our best,” they said.

Comment is being sought from Sony Computer Entertainment.

UPDATE: According to Kotaku Australia, the hearing due to take place today in Australia's Federal Court has been postponed until Friday, September 3. This also applies to the temporary ban on the sale of mod chips. Justice Kenny, who was scheduled to preside over the case, was unable to attend today, causing the delay.

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