In Australia, Sony has been defeated in a legal battle over the modifying of its PlayStation by chipping. The High Court there has ruled that chipping the console (so that imported games can be played) does not break copyright law. This particular battle, which has now been raging for four years between Sony and a supplier of mod chips, has now drawn to a close. Things are different in the UK, though, where modding a PS is illegal, and has been for some time. The issue at the heart of this is that the modding can be used to make the PS play pirated games as well as imported ones.
"There is no copyright reason why the purchaser should not be entitled to copy the CD-Rom and modify the console in such a way as to enjoy his or her lawfully acquired property without inhibition," said the court ruling.
"Sony sought to impose restrictions on the ordinary rights of owners, respectively of the CD-Roms and consoles, beyond those relevant to any copyright infringements."
"In effect, and apparently intentionally, those restrictions reduce global market competition," said the judgement.