could some one please clear up if it is illegal to own one of these china mb star c3,i mean would i get into trouble if i was "caught" with one?
I do not know the tool or the source SPECIFICALLY, but would like to address this issue in general terms, as I encounter and clean up after some messes that may have occurred due to cloned service tools.
There are many online traps that the legitimate makers of tools set, in order to catch those using or selling such stolen technology. One is through tech support, when you contact, they will want S/N and log-in pass-codes etc.
The earlier equipment was easy to clone, and will often bear the logos and screen shots of the stolen product. They do not even change the graphics around.... so even if one argues the techniques are not owned by the legit source ( I believe they are ), then the very trademarks are being looted to sell the false product as a legit one.
On a technical level, and this will vary by tool itself, many cloned products are earlier software releases. All the fixes, updates and other patches will not be available. The ability to deal with updated firmware created after that early clone was made may create further issues.
This is because as the legit tools got cloned, the makers added in safeguards. One particular LEGITIMATE tool City Lock uses to program keys, pull pin numbers etc; has been outfitted with an out-code/in-code encrypted system. We have to use a calculator and smart card that is serial number tied to our scan-tool, enter the challenge out-code, we get a response code display to enter back into scan-tool, then proceed. It is the same calculator used in Europe for credit card verification.
If you were to use an illicit tool for only your own car, I believe you have the right to potentially mess up your vehicle. I doubt any mfr would do anything about the guy doing this for himself only. But look what SONY did to make examples of some kids downloading then sharing a song or two.
So, there is an ethics as well as a viability issue. My position is very unpopular in the "hacker communities", but should fair well in the professional arena.
Buy/Borrow/Rent the REAL tool, pay the price and get the latest updates, tech support and a machine that is not from a questionable source.