QUOTE(appleguru @ Aug 2 2007, 10:52 AM)
The applicable law here (The USC 17 § 1201 and § 1204) says that it's illegal to "manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in" devices and services whose primary function is to circumvent a copy protection measure on a digital work.
And so, if you consider a modchip as falling under that definition (and I do NOT; clearly others think otherwise...), then it's illegal to make, sell, or offer to anyone else. But buying them (at least domestically where no importing is involved) is not covered, and is therefore (technically anyways) legal.
really it depends what constitutes "primary use" is that YOUR primary use or the "primary use" of people who own that device.
The problem is that the DMCA is just too damn broad. under the DMCA you could very easily shut down microchip and Atmel, and if you're crafty enough you could stretch it to Dell and other computer manufacturers as they're "manufactured" and constitute "part" of the copyright circumvention system, but then we come back to primary use.
Really what it comes down to is that the DMCA is broad enough to cover everything under the sun allowing ICE and DHS or whoever to to just pick who they want to raid with little or no real foundation.
I forget who said it but I rember someone saying that the US had a system of for boxes: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the ammo box... use in that order.
It's pretty clear that the soap box and the ballot box have failed to deliver a copyright law that actually works in the interest of the creative individuals who actually create copyrighted materials or even the interests of the American citizens.
The next step is the Jury box...
Most people don't really understand this concept but the idea of a jury isn't just to determine whether or not a person broke the law but to question if the law is actually lawfull and worth having. It's part of our check and balance system and a major reason why most copyright issues are settled out of court. The ESA/RIAA/MPAA all propose ridiculous lawsuits and then make what looks like a sweet settlement deal to get people to settle, because if it ever went to court and they LOST it would set a presidence that future cases could use to win in the same fashion.
If you go back through all of the major RIAA cases you'll see that 99% of the time they never made it to court due to a settlement, and in the few times it did go to court the RIAA either dropped the case or modified the charges.
I realize this is your life we're talking about here but if we really want to see a difference we need a solid legal showing in the courts to correct the evil media spin and expose the ridiculousness that is the DMCA as well as set a presidence for future DMCA issues in the courts.