Courts strike modchip blow

In a move that could prove an important milestone in the battle against console modding, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Worcestershire-based modchip seller Christopher Gilham.

Gilham was found guilty of selling modchips in late 2008 but later challenged the assumption that playing copied games on a modified console infringed copyright.

The appeal was dismissed, with the Court concluding: It is not necessary in future to show that a substantial copy of the game is made in RAM. All that needs to be shown is that some copyright work contained within the videogame is substantially copied e.g. the image of a game character.”

ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson said of the verdict: We welcome the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Mr Gilham’s case. Protecting IP theft is an important issue for the country’s video games industry.

This judgment strengthens copyright law and will be a significant step in helping us protect the industry. One behalf of the team in ELSPA’s IP Crime Unit, I would like to thank Worcestershire Trading Standards Office, which originally prosecuted Gilham, for their resolute efforts in this case.”

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