While I was browsing http://support.necsam.com/oem/downloads/flashfirmware/
I observed their warning:
Q: What would happen if illegal Firmware copies were used?
A: Optical drives are high-precision products. Usage environment and dispersion of parts characteristics will dramatically change performance. To absorb these dispersions and maintain the best performance, unique parameters are set up on every drive at each stage of production. Using illegal F/W copies may change these parameters. In such case, writing and reading performance could deteriorate, even though your drive works normally. We at NEC strongly urge you not to use such illegal copies.
So NEC has taken the position that: each drive gets unique parameters (ya right) and that modded firmware is 'illegal'. Well NEC, technically while it is true that your work is under copyright as-is, but modded stuff is derivative and is not marketed as 'the original'. In addition to that, I think I forgot to sign the paper at the screwdriver shop that says I am renting the drive, and that I don't own it.
Give the customers what they want, and these problems that you perceive as 'illegal' will go poof.
You know? Like how capitalism works?