​A £36k Fine Or Even Jail Time Awaits Japanese Console Modders

In order to prevent unfair profiting from a company's product or software, and unfair competition in online games, game save and console modding services are now illegal in Japan.

According to Siliconera, this is thanks to an update in the country's Unfair Competition Prevention Law, passed in December 2018.

It means that if you're caught distributing mod tools or selling product keys without permission, the maximum punishment is a 5 million yen (£36,000) fine and/or five years in prison.

A Japanese save editor. Credit: Amazon
A Japanese save editor. Credit: Amazon

In the space of a month, sales of popular save editor tools, which enable users to access cheats through patch codes in a number of popular games, have come to an end.

And the selling of cheat cartridges, such as Action Replay, as GameSpot found, have been forcibly discontinued.

Downloading extra games onto preloaded micro-consoles, which many a PlayStation Classic user did since its disappointing release in December, is now deemed illegal under these new laws.

Here's a detailed translation, courtesy of Siliconera, of the actions Japan's new law will punish:

- Distribution of game save data editors and programs

- Distribution, selling, auctioning serial codes and product keys without the software maker's permission

- Services that offer the editing/hacking of save data, and/or modifying/hacking game consoles

What do you think about this news? Make sure you let us know.

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Matthew McGladdery

Matthew McGladdery graduated with a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Salford University, where he worked at Revolution 96.2, Global Radio, and Fleetwood F.C. When he left university, he took on the role of co-editor for the Salfordian and worked as freelancer for the likes of BBC Sport. He continues to work in sport but loves talking all things Xbox, PS4, and PC just as much.

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