The antics of the Entertainment Software Association in filming a person it suspected of Xbox modding have been called into question.
A California man is on trial on accusations he made a business of modifying the Xbox to play pirated games.
According to Wired, defence attorneys claim that the charges are based around a film made by a private investigator working for the Entertainment Software Association.
They claim that he broke the law when he made the secret video recording of 28-year-old defendant Matthew Crippen modifying an Xbox 360 .
The California Privacy Act, the defence maintains, made the covert video-recording illegal, because the investigator was not a copper.
The ESA claims that Crippen ran a business modding Xbox 360s for between $60 and $80. He has been charged with violating the anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The case is the first mod-chip case to go to jury trial and is being looked at closely from those who think that they have a right to tinker with gear they own.
Prosecutors, who did not respond for comment, said the videotaped evidence of the 2008 meeting in question was obtained lawfully. Part of this defence of the tape was because it did not have sound. Apparently it would be illegal if you taped anyone talking but not if you saw them doing it.
The defence is not objecting to a similar video made, in Crippen’s residence, by the federal undercover agent who allegedly paid Crippen about $60 to modify an Xbox.