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MS won't sue Kinect 'hackers'

Those who've tampered with Kinect so far are safe

Microsoft has said it will not seek legal action against those who've managed to get its Kinect device working with PC because, it says, it has not been hacked.

Keen tech heads will have seen videos of those who've managed to work their programming magic on Kinect and get the camera device talking to Windows PCs, releasing open-source drivers for it in the process. These people, says MS, are safe from the lawyers.

Reiterating its original stance on the matter, director of incubation for Xbox Alex Kipman said: "The first thing to talk about is Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit on the side of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn't happened. Or it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened.

"That's what we call hacking, and that's why we have put a ton of work and effort to make sure it doesn't actually occur," he told NPR.

He goes on to reveal that MS made no effort to stop people making drivers, and thus expected it. "What has happened is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection, which we didn't protect by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor," he said.

When asked if MS knew people would be able to access the USB connect, he replied: "Yeah. Correct."

NPR asked if this meant no one would get into trouble for what's been done so far. Kipman replied: "Nope. Absolutely not."

Shannon Loftis, studio manager at Microsoft Games Studios, chimed in: "As an experienced creator, I'm very excited to see that people are so inspired that it was less than a week after the Kinect came out before they had started creating and thinking about what they could do."