Game modding is now illegal in Japan

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And can be punished with fines and jail time.

Recent changes to Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law make game modding illegal, with punishments including up to five years of jail time and fines of up to 5 million yen (or approximately $64,709 AUD).

Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software site (via Kotaku) says that the modification of both games and consoles are violations of the law. Selling modified items on online auction sites like eBay is also illegal under the amendments to the law.

As a result, Japanese site Hachima Kikou reports that peripheral manufacturer Cyber Gadget has stopped sale of a product called Save Editor, which allowed players to use cheats like the western Game Shark product.

The changes to the Unfair Competition Prevention Law went into effect in early December.