The opening statements for the first Xbox 360 modding jury trial have been delayed. The overseeing judge stopped proceedings to spew a tirade of anger and confusion stating he had “serious concerns about the government’s case.” The defendant, Matthew Crippen, is accused of hacking and modding Xbox 360s.
It seems that U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez was quite upset by the case. “I really don’t understand what we’re doing here,” he reportedly yelled from his bench. He went on to accuse the prosecution of unlawful behavior by government witnesses and proposed jury instructions that are harmful to the defense. When he finished his rant, federal prosecutors asked for a recess to decide if they wanted to continue with the case at all.
One of Judge Gutierrez's main concerns was two of the prosecution's witnesses had committed crimes. One, a member of the ESA, illegally recorded the defendant. The other witness, an employee of Microsoft, admitted to modding Xboxes while in college. The prosecution was trying to keep these crimes a secret from the jury.
Matthew Crippen has been charged with two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If convicted he faces up to five years in prison for each count. He is accused of running his own modding side-business, allowing Xbox 360s to play pirated games.