Microsoft has taken legal action against exponents of the Enigmah mod-chip, a device that bypasses the security protection of the Xbox console, enabling it to play games from regions other than intended and, more importantly, copied, illegal software.
The site supplying the devices issued the following statement. "After speaking to lawyers we feel that we must not do this project anymore. There are many other chips and methods for guys to play with anyway so have fun and good luck to everyone out there. The software guys of Enigmah team will still be doing free software titles for everyone - and as far as we know China is making Enigmah chips for you to buy - just not us any more." Defiant in the face of defeat to say the least…
Microsoft has also turned its intellectual property protecting attentions towards the creators of Xbox MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). MAME is free software that enables gamers to play emulated versions of old classic arcade machines. The people behind the project issued this statement: "For clarification: The binaries built with an illegally obtained XDK (Xbox development kit) contain information and/or code that is copyrighted by Microsoft, and redistributing said binaries would be illegal. The sources are not inherently illegal, but to divert any unwanted attention away from MAME, they are no longer hosted here.”
Attitudes towards emulated gaming vary hugely between companies. It would appear that Microsoft do not feel it acceptable to have the software distributed for Xbox.