From the article at Gameindustry.biz:
A court in Italy has dealt a major blow to the efforts of the platform holders to crack down on mod chips, ruling that PS2 mod chip devices are designed to “avoid monopolistic positions.”
The case was brought over a seizure of modded PlayStation 2s by the Italian authorities some days previously, with the court deciding that this seizure was illegal and that modding consoles is a legitimate practice.
The chips “avoid monopolistic positions and improve the possibilities for use of the PlayStation,” according to the ruling, which described Sony’s attempts to limit the uses of the PS2 as “absurd,” pointing out that the console cannot play titles from other geographic regions or home-made software products.
The decision was focused on an interpretation of Italian law relating to a company’s right to limit the use of its products once they have been sold, with the final conclusion being that “the product’s owner can use it as they see fit.”