Australia challenges Sony over PlayStation mod-chips

Out-Law News | 11 Feb 2002 | 12:00 am |

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is intervening in a copyright case launched by Sony. The ACCC is arguing for the right of consumers to convert their Sony PlayStation consoles to enable them to play games purchased overseas at cheaper prices.

Sony is seeking in the Australian Federal Court to have new provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 applied in such a manner as to prevent consumers from having the region coding in their PlayStation consoles modified. The device which permits region coding modification is called a mod-chip which, once installed, permits the use of imported Playstation games and back-up copies.

The ACCC is claiming that Sony is trying to exploit the provisions of the copyright law to “prevent Australian consumers from reaping the benefits of globalisation."

In the UK last month, Sony won a case on similar issues, successfully stopping an importer of mod-chips.