ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency in charge of, among other things, keeping illegal immigrants out of the country raided 32 mod chipping “operators” earlier this week in 16 states. The operation was a cooperative effort with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESA, unsurprisingly, applauded the raids wholeheartedly.
The rest of the country, however, aren’t seeing things quite in the same light ICE and ESA are. Especially gamers. The reaction to the raids has been overwhelming and 100% negative. Even the venerable John Dvorak felt compelled to speak out against the raids.
One of the best written counterpoints to ICE’s and ESA’s black-and-white view of the world is a forum post on Xbox Scene by twistedsymphony titled The Legality Of Modding, and how everyone is a criminal according to the DMCA. It raises several questions about ESA’s motivations, the PR spin put on the raids and modding video game consoles in general.
Technically speaking the people raided might all be guilty of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The raids are, however, yet another sign of how utterly ridiculous the DMCA is.