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EFF stands behind Datel in Microsoft suit over third-party 360 memory cards

Tuesday, 21st June 2011 14:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has spoken out against Microsoft due to its suit with Datel over the UK firm’s third-party memory cards for Xbox 360.

The suit, has Microsoft accusing Datel of selling cards which it claims causes Xbox users to violate the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and US federal law should they use the third-party cards in their system.

However, the EFF said the DMCA was instilled to prevent “access to copyrighted material by non-paying customers,”not created to block “competitors or policing users’ behavior in regards to their own property.”

“Letting Xbox owners use a third-party memory card does not put Microsoft at risk of copyright infringement,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. “Microsoft is misusing the law in order to sell more accessories and control customers’ use of the Xbox. The DMCA is supposed to be a shield against piracy, not a weapon to smash competition and consumer choice.

“If Microsoft were to prevail on this point, it could give the software giant the ability to use the DMCA to prevent competitors from selling Xbox-compatible accessories, like memory cards, controllers, and headsets. Such a ruling would have wide-ranging ramifications for hundreds of other consumer products where content such as computer code or users’ game play progress is involved.”

“Congress did not intend to grant manufacturers the power to eliminate competition for replacement parts, accessories, or repair services,” added EFF Senior Staff Attorney Abigail Phillips. “That’s bad for consumers and bad for innovation.”

You can read the full EFF statement here, and look over the court documents here.

Thanks, Spong.

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6 Comments

  1. ultramega

    Wow, Microsoft. Just wow.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Blerk

    Of course, none of this even matters now. Memory cards are obsolete, first-party or otherwise. Microsoft basically cock-blocked them while they undermined the whole thing.

    Tut tut.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    I hope Microsoft get seriously fucked up on this one. The way they’ve treated the 3rd party peripheral market while failing to provide products of any sort of superior quality is complete money grubbing bullshit.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. IL DUCE

    @2 yeah totally agree dude…who the hell uses memory cards these days, just pony up and get a god damn HDD…

    And even though Microsoft may be trying to maximize their profits on selling accessories at least memory cards (good business) they are saving the customer money since third party accessories are usually total shit anyway besides Turtle Beach headsets, everything made by MadCatz and everyone else blows horrendously…memory cards, controllers, headsets, they totally suck and I refuse to purchase shitty third party products to save a buck short term but have to replace it when it breaks since it is a lot shittier than the first party product…case in point, when I caved and bought a ps3 (regret it except for bluray capability and heavy rain) I bought the MadCatz wireless headset (only since the GameStop employee suggested that and threw it in and did not mention they also had a Sony one) and I could not get it to work for days and therefore had to make the trip to bring it back and when I came back with the Sony wireless headset it worked perfectly, no problems whatsoever…so the lesson: don’t buy cheap third party shit, because that it exactly what you will get…cheap shit

    #4 3 years ago
  5. rainer

    The problem for Datel which is the claim underpinning Microsoft’s case is that Datel copied Microsofts code in how the memory card works, they didn’t just develop their own version.

    If that were true then Datel is in trouble.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DaveDogg

    The other problem for datel is that the memory cards in question came with a gameshark disc and a micro sd card which alowed you to alter the code on the game saves and auto gain achievements

    #6 3 years ago

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