Ars Technica's Eric Bangeman reports that one Frederick Brown has been arrested for installing mod chips and selling pirated games in the San Diego, California area. After being charged with 10 felonies, Brown was freed after posting a $100,000 bail. The arrest came after he was caught by, uh, CATCH -- the San Diego Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Unit raided his house earlier and discovered over a thousand copies of counterfeit games and numerous mod chips. The unit, in cooperation with the Entertainment Software Association, had followed the trail to the man's home from advertisement posts on Craigslist and other websites.
Though it is unfortunate that the "modder" label is appended to the likes of an accused counterfeiter, modding consoles to run pirated games was very much a part of Brown's reportedly thriving and highly illegal business. The power of mod can be used for less insidious purposes such as homebrew, but its close relationship to piracy will always net it a bad reputation amongst publishers and manufacturers.