An Italian court has dealt a major blow to the efforts of
the platform holders to crack down on mod chips, ruling that
PS2 mod chip devices are designed to "avoid monopolistic
The case was brought over a seizure of modded PlayStation 2s
by the Italian authorities some days previously, with the
court deciding that this seizure was illegal and that
modding consoles is a legitimate practice.
The chips "avoid monopolistic positions and improve the
possibilities for use of the PlayStation," according to the
ruling, which described Sony's attempts to limit the uses of
the PS2 as "absurd," pointing out that the console cannot
play titles from other geographic regions or home-made
The decision was focused on an interpretation of Italian law
relating to a company's right to limit the use of its
products once they have been sold, with the final conclusion
being that "the product's owner can use it as they see fit."
That's not what the console manufacturers will have wanted
to hear, given that their business model is largely based on
the idea of selling console hardware at a loss (at least in
the early parts of its lifespan) and restricting its use to
playing licensed software only so that the money can be
recouped through licensing fees.
The report into the case was published by the Association
pour la Liberte dans les Communications Electroniques
Interactives, a similar body to the United States'
Electronic Frontier Foundation.