Is against the law to mod or even to open a xbox360?
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I don't think its illegal, but it will void the warranty. There are a lot of how-to articles out there that show how to mod or even upgrade the hard drive to a bigger one. Opening the case on most any electronic gadget will void the warranty.
I was told by Best Buy that opening the case on my brand new Acer would void the warranty. I needed to install a second optical drive as well as a floppy drive. I did it anyway, and that's been almost 4 years ago.
Does the XBox have an EULA? If so, does the EULA prohibit opening the case? If so, is that provision enforceable in your jurisdiction?
The first two are easy enough to check. The third one would need a lawyer to answer, and indeed may not have a definite answer, being instead the kind of thing that would need to be established by a court.
I agree with cantab, if you really want to know, talk to a lawyer.
For my xbox360, I did open it after the red ring of death, I even took pictures of what I found, it's on my blog here. I tried to fix it using various methods on the net, then I threw it in the garbage (except for fans, heat sinks, and HDD). And I also dismantled the DVD player and threw that away. No cop saw me, so I can't be changed, and I wasn't in the US at the time.
It's yours to modify but if the modifications attempts to circumvent xbox, xbox.com or xbox-Live then problems could be a resultant. Of course warranty would be violated unless work is performed by a certified technician or repair shop. To hack anything to circumvent subscriptions, protected software is against the laws here in the U.S.A.
It is in violation of the LQ Rules for us to participate in any action(s) that are unlawful when discussed here. Anything of the sort would be put to a stop & deleted.
I don't own a Xbox of any kind, don't plan to invest in one for me either. Grand-kids already have to many game boxes so why should I purchase one here. I bought the Xbox as gifts to the kids but not for me. Heck, WII is bad enough when the wife had to have it, sitting in the rec room an used when the kids come here. She does play games with the kids on WII.
I have opened and even modified my xbox 360 and fixed ring of death. It is not illegal, it just voids your warranty. Also, any modifications, i.e. adding linux, may be detected by the server and your box can be banned from xbox live.