Judge Hacks Prosecution To Pieces In Xbox 360 Modding Trial

The Xbox 360 criminal hacking trial began in Los Angeles with a bang. "I really don't understand what we're doing here," said U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez.

According to Wired blog Threat Level, the judge's open court "tirade" was directed at prosecutors and lasted 30 minutes.

The judge was upset about a whole host of issues, including the fact that two witnesses (Tony Rosario and Ken McGrail) for the prosecution might have broken the law. Entertainment Software Association investigator Tony Rosario could have broken California privacy law when he videotaped defendant Matthew Crippen modding his console at his home, and Microsoft security employee Ken McGrail says he also modded consoles while in college.

The prosecution, led by Allen Chiu, did not want this information shared with the jury, but Gutierrez said, "I think it is relevant and the jury is going to hear about it –- both crimes."

Matthew Crippen is facing three years in prison if convicted of servicing Xbox 360 consoles and installing mod chips on them, offenses which violate the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Crippen, who is a student at California State University, was arrested after an investigation by the Electronic Software Association.

For the rest of the tirade, Gutierrez let the prosecution have it over the issue of not need to prove that Crippen "willfully" broke the law and fair use. Chiu ended up apologizing after the judge finished, and the trial was put on hold.

Nominated by President George W. Bush, Gutierrez joined the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 2007. Back in 2008, Gutierrez extended a restraining order against former Britney Spears manager Sam Lufti.

Xbox-Modding Judge Berates Prosecution, Puts Trial on Hold [Wired.com] [Pic]