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Sony sued for dropping Linux from PS3

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Linux

If you don't update

You lose the ability to play future PS3 games and Blu-Ray discs.

Whichever you chose, you are losing a feature that you paid for, and could reasonably expect to maintain until your console died a natural death.

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FAIL

re: Sony does't ethics much do they....

Seems you have the Microsoft version of history there matey..

Sony BMG distributed it, but First4Internet created it (and created the subsequent Rootkit backdoor)..

You might want to check your facts before you make youself look like a drooling idiot.

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Unhappy

Re: Microsoft version of history

It seems you have a mordern revisionist version of history as well, or simply incomplete.

First4Internet created it at the *behest and specification* of Sony BMG (http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2005/11/69601). The programmers do share a bit of the blame, but they were simply the Dr. DRM that hypocondriatic Sony ended up with to finally give them what they wanted... uh... were certifiably in need of.

It is also interesting to note that Sony attempted to foster off attention from this by suing Amergence (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/16/sony_bmg_sues_amergence/), its previous Dealer... uh... Dr. DRM for simliar, though less sophisticated, results.

Oddly enough, if I may add, Microsoft has nothing to do with any of this... MS has its own yoke of blame to carry, mind. Sony is just ensuring its is getting to a comfortable tonnage.

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FAIL

sony baloney

Root - Kit Anyone?

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"George Hotz, aka geohot"=Sony employees

And that's it. Isn't it enough to explain it all?

It's kinda obvious. It's 2010 and people are still so naive and ignorant about anything involving IT that still believe that hacking and cracking complex DRM protection schemes and decrypting encrypted codes would be so easily that either a bunch or a single teenager or little kid would be able to do it... Yeah, sure.. in your urban myth dreams maybe...

Reverse Engineering of DRM protected and encrypted codes it's one of the most difficult and expensive things to do and it would usually require a team of talented, very well paid professional designers,programmers and engineers with many years of experience in the field.

But people nowadays still believe that hacked/cracked/jailbroken firmwares and such for PSP, iPhone and now PS3 would be made by so called "hackers".. the marketeers myth of teenagers computers wiz to hide the viral marketing tactics of Companies/Corporations spreading cracked firmwares and modchips to let their customers and potential customers play "pirated" copies in order to just sell more hardware=higher profits.

This is the only truth. But you can keep believing the myth dreams and see pink cows flying around if you wish...

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Wow!

Pretty good for a twenty year old kid: lead hacker for Sony.

The fact is, a large number of these exploits are developed by individuals, usually with a small network of like minded friends to bounce ideas off. These are guys who can read machine code like you or I read a Dick and Jane primer.

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FAIL

bought and paid for

Seems like you paid for this feature,

and to take it back is sort of like

"a car dealer taking back your radio, after the lease is up...

"Did'nt you read the fine print?"

It Is THEFT!

Pure and Simple.

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I'll have £50 please

Whoever all the way up there said it was to do with import duty is spot on.

Also, you can decide not to upgrade at the cost of not being able to log into the PSN. Now, whether that is fair or not is a another question!

And thirdly, if the chap wins I'll happily accept a cheque for £50 or so for the loss of the ability to install another OS!

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Go those 40 people

That actually use Linux on the system....

It'll fail, no chance... you didn't have to upgrade to the system, you could have stayed where you were, but yes, there would have been other functionality losses - so you have to make a choice.

*pats Xbox 360*

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Linux

That is what I did.

But I should I lose functionality I paid for whichever I chose? When they announced the Slim wasn going to have the option, I went out of my way to get a Fat PS3 because I wanted to have it.

Sony at the time said the option would continue to be available on older models.

Less than six months later, they changed their minds.

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FAIL

bought and paid for

Seems like you paid for this feature,

and to take it back is sort of like

"a car dealer taking back your radio, after the lease is up...

"Did'nt you read the fine print?"

It Is THEFT!

Pure and Simple.

PS: THIS Changed my mind about that $ony Net TV too!

VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET, SHOW THEM THEY SUCK!

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Anonymous Coward

Done that already

We had a chat with our friends. So far, this stunt has diverted the purchase of 5 LCD TVs, 3 high end laptops* and a video camera on the personal side. No data on the companies we work with.

(*) it triggered a decision to switch to Macs, which I can agree with on one side, but OTOH makes this switch less "Sony" and more "Windows".

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Thumb Down

Sony in panic mode on their forum too

Now they have started deleting entire threads of complaints on the EU PS3 forum..... They make sure the fanbois troll the discussions and flame left and right and then Sony moderators use that as an excuse to close and DELETE threads.

I really really hope Sony is going to pay £££ in damages. But unfortunately the reality is that they have probably weighed the impact of pirated games against out of court settlement for this thing and set aside a bugdet to deal with the problem.

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Big Brother

Yes, but you can't budget for reputational damage

The whole reason we struck Sony off the list of approves sources is simply trust. If I buy a car with all the accessories, I don't want to walk to my car and find they swapped the alloys I paid for with steel rims. I took a decision based on a feature set, and instead of having two features I now have to choose between not using the other OS option or not being able to watch later Bluray movies.

Screw that - it's a clear case of what happens if someone else has control over your purchases..

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Anonymous Coward

IANAL but...

....I believe that the law in the EU regarding EULA's state that often they are an "unfair imposition of terms" as you only 'agree' to them once you have already bought the product. There are no signatories or agreement prior to purchase and therefore EULA's hold little to no weight under contractual law, much the same as any other post-purchase disclaimer.

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Stop

re: IANAL but...

That's where it gets interesting...

PSN feature has it's own seperate Terms of Service, that people agreed to when the decided to use PSN.

You can buy a PS3 and use it for games, movies and the features advertised on the box. You also have the OPTION of agreeing to PSN terms, and using it online...

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WRONG!!!

"You can buy a PS3 and use it for games, movies and the features advertised on the box."

Games will refuse to play unless you have the correct (at time of release) firmware installed. That's why updates are included on the game disks. It won't be long before the choice to keep "Other OS" means just playing old games.

I bought a PS3 to play games both on and offline as well as run linux from time to time. That was how it was sold to me. That is what I expect it to do.

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FAIL

re: Wake up to the real world

There are such things as "unfair terms and conditions". Suddenly disabling functionality that the end user paid for may be regarded as unreasonable whether or not it was permitted by the EULA.

Anyway perhaps someone will come up with a crack that allows gaming without disabling OtherOS.

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Alert

A user shoulnd't have to hack to keep a PS3 "as bought"

Excuse me, there is no way I am going to work around a problem Sony has (IMHO) illegally removed. That's like being OK with the fact that two years after purchase they'll take the doors out of your car and you're OK with some plastic sheets to keep the rain out.

I deliberately haven't upgraded yet because I want to watch this for a few more weeks. If Sony remains stupid I will get together with a few people while an investigative judge is watching (or someone from a consumer organisation) so that charges can be brought properly.

Retroactively changing the features of something you buy is by no means acceptable, and there isn't a contract model in the world that makes that reasonable. As far as I can tell I didn't agree to retrospectively inflicted damage to my console, and you can't call the EULA a reasonable and balanced contract if it blackmails me into agreeing because otherwise OTHER features won't work (by now the collection includes playing bluray, games and networked games).

Sony ought to hang for this properly, this is unacceptable. What's next, disable the gaming facility because someone killed themselves playing too long? Stop the console from working until I pay them money again? Enforced en camera karaoke to Hail Hitler before it starts up? Don't forget that if they get away with this one you've set the precedent for worse.

No . friggin^. way. This has seriously pissed me off. It's not a world shocking event, but this is part of the creeping death of control the likes of Jobs' are also trying to impose, and there is just no way I'm going to nod and let it pass without a fight.

And I intend to fight *VERY* dirty.

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FAIL

@AC talking about First4Internet

oh dear.. you have been trolling the Sony forum with the same argument (and the same offensive remarks).... People pointed out several times that if Sony commissioned the rootkit to a third party and then sold it bundled in a Sony product, that doesn't mean that the Sony has nothing to do with the rootkit. Once again: if I buy a Dell (or Sony) laptop and the battery explodes, the fact that the battery has been manufactured by another company makes no difference; it's still a part of a Dell or Sony product and they are liable. You have been explained this simple concept several times but your only reply is that people are "idiots". Is Sony paying you to post this non-sense?

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Screw Em

Sick & tired of this phrase..

"..reserve the right to change the rules at any time without telling you."

You see this in practically every EULA nowadays, I've even found the above wording in Shorthold Tennacy Agreement!

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Alert

Re "Take them to small claims court."

Reasonable idea, but not quite correct. If the buyer is in the UK, it is only the SELLER, not Sony, that you might have a legal claim against.

But the seller might reasonably be able to claim that the device *did* have the capability when he sold it and I'm not sure you can hold the seller responsible for the unexpected subsequent action of a third party (Sony).

Nevertheless, the buyer only has a contract with the seller and not with Sony. So unless you bought the item direct from Sony the UK small claims court probably isn't a viable option.

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Alert

No need for the civil courts

In the UK, there would be no need to use the civil courts.

What Sony have done is straightforward vandalism towards other people's property, in breach of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, section 1.

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Anonymous Coward

I like that one, thanks

You're right. The only challenge in the UK is to convince a cop to actually act on it. Come to think of it, if their EULA doesn't explain they're about to nuke a feature you could probably club them with the Computer Misuse Act as well..

Whatever, the deserve a large tonne of bricks for this one. As I've said before, this destroyed trust in Sony as a supplier so I will never buy from Sony again, and we took them of our sourcing list. Most of our friends have taken that decision too, because even after push back they seem to not get the idea that you now cannot predict what's going to disappear next. This is backstabbing the customer and there is only one viable response to that.

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Linux

VAT myth

As no one has already pointed out this, the VAT loophole applied to PS3 was and is a myth. Although Sony might have thought of trying to claim PS3 was a computer (as they did with PS2) they never bothered to follow through. It was already clear from the PS2 judgement that they could not get away with advertising it as a games machine and then selling it as a computer.

Off topic: No idea how that applies to Alienware PCs though - maybe that is why they are so over-priced?

As a PS3 owner am slightly miffed about the removal of Linux. I was waiting for a long weekend without wife and any decent new games to try the install so I can do proper web browsing on my PS3. Have to find something else to do now; probably install it on my PC.

Can I sue Sony for wasting PC disc space and resources <troll>?

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Go

letters and/or digits.

OtherOS came in at 1.60 and out at 3.21 and only for specific PS3 hardware, also in the instructions they state "Sony does not......directly support a version of Linux for the PS3", regardless of how cool it is to do and even if it's the reason you bought a PS3 it's not a feature integral to the PS3 and trying to sue for $5m is likely to fail, I can't see a judge being sympathetic and when the legal position isn't clear that's what you need.

For me it's cut and dried, the same as M33 firmware for a PSP, some people will use it to run homebrew/custom apps but;

1. Sony won't make any money out of it (PSx hardware is usually sold at a loss)

2. Custom firmware/OS is often used to avoid paying for software

It's a bitter pill, but Sony is just protecting it's revenue stream, like it or not but this is what will be considered in court.

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Linux

Sony put the option in

And you could install Linux on all Fat models that had 1.60 or higher (until 3.21 came out).

Thatś probably what kept the PS3 from being hacked for so long anyway.

And this is not going to protect their revenue stream, as now there is greater interest in hacking the PS3 than there was before this came out.

Someone at the PS3 forums pointed out that the PS2 was the most hacked console, and yet the game sales were great (and still are reasonable, 3.5 years after the "replacement" came out).

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Stop

Title Required

While I agree Sony are fools for removing it, do you actually think you will see a penny out of them if this fella wins his case?

Will you fuck, Sony will just reinstate the feature!

I wish they would pay out a bit for removing it, I have a Fat PS3 and wouldn't mind £50 or so back, but it ain't going to happen!

And all this Xbox vs Playstation Fanboi stuff is just pathetic. Get a grip.

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That's my desired outcome

I don't want money from Sony (although I wouldn't mind them having to pay a fine to the FTC or something).

I want to be able to go on the PSN, play new PS3 games and maybe play Blu-Rays without losing my OtherOS.

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Gold badge

It's the principle

You took a purchase decision based on a feature set. Maybe yours didn't include "other OS", but mine did, and not only that, I put the time in to make that work.

Now I find a classic double glazed selling is going on: I didn't get a system as described, only they delayed that change until after the time I could go after them under the original contract laws. There should be no way ANYONE finds that acceptable, because you're setting a very dangerous precedent. I buy goods because they have a feature set I want - if that set of capabilities can be changed after purchase I consider that deception, vandalism and possibly theft and will act on it as such.

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Stop

Title Required

A lot of people are saying its the principle, whilst perhaps true, most people are just kicking off because they are under some illusion that they are owed a partial refund.

Most of the real whiners never touched the feature, they are just jumping on the 'I want a partial refund wagon'.

As always though, sucks for those who did use the feature for legit reasons. Its always a hand full of dicks that ruin it for everyone else.

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No real insight required

"Sony claimed it was neutering the devices for "security reasons," but a more transparent explanation would have been they didn't want to face the wrath of game makers and film studios who were worried their content would be much easier to copy."

Both the reason Sony gave, and the "more transparent explanation" your insight attained, seem to be pretty nearly equivalent.

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FAIL

Sorry - Different point of view

When most of us around here say "security", we mean the ability to enjoy our machines free from unwanted interference, whether that be from malicious individuals attempting to commandeer our information or hardware for nefarious use, or if it is the original manufacturer attempting to do the same.

Not the idea of "security" being a tight reign on a revenue stream at the sacrifice of the users, especially when it has no bearing or hiderance to media pirates.

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Grenade

Sounds like the villain

Is George Hotz...he is the one that screwed up the Other OS feature by effectively making it a cracker OS, not a hacker OS.

But funny enough, I don't see a single person here actually criticizing him for screwing it up for the rest of us by perverting what was a cool option into a method of stealing software...funny that. Instead, in a model of irony, you all jump on SONY, as if somehow they were complicit.

What did you expect them to do, see the market for PS3 software be blown out by unrestricted copying (as happened to the PSP), and have the stream of titles dry up (as happened to the PSP)? Somehow, is THAT a better fate for you PS3 owners than the loss of Other OS? For 99.99% of the users, I highly suspect not....

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Sounds like the villain

No, I expect them to patch the bug properly.

If someone finds a bug in the media player or the USB ports which can be taken advantage of, would that also make sense to disable those features?

I hope the system is well designed, otherwise you could be left with a brick in about a year.

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You're wrong

Why should he be critisised for breaking a system whose sole purpose is to prevent the user from controlling the machine as he wants?

DRMs don't protect from copying. In fact, it seems that DRMs actually promote unauthorised copying and that software products do not need to be protected beyond the basic unlock key, if at all.

DRMs are there to prevent the use of the product in ways that were originally not anticipated/foreseen by the vendor (which he has no moral right to do) and to enforce uncompetitive pricing and charging practices (which is outright illegal in any other industry).

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Pirate

Yeah

You have a valid point, but there is still no effective method to copy PS3 games or even access the GPU, so removing OtherOS does seem premature.

You may agree with Sony's rather paranoid stance over this, through your view of the big picture, but that still doesn't make it right to remove an advertised feature. There's no reason to play apologist for a huge multinational company who are acting within the letter, but not the spirit, of a law which was made before this kind of stunt was even possible.

In summary, you're right, it is better for PS3 to remain secure, but Sony are still cunts.

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Flame

Give it up...

You freetards are a lost cause, and a losing cause. "Uncompetitive pricing and charging practices" according to WHOM? Sony PS3 games cost no more than for any other console, or even the PC version.

The fact is you are just too much of a loser to actually buy the games and software you want. Tough titties. Go and get a life, be productive, and buy what you want like MEN, not criminals. I am TIRED of freetards whinging about how anything that costs anything is the result of 1) illegal pricing or 2) anticompetitive markets. How about 3) - people DESERVE TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK. They have families to raise, kids to school, retirements to plan for. They do that by actually charging for the products of their minds and their time, not giving it away to losers like you that can't be bothered to contribute to society to actually pay for anything.

And YES the vendor has every freakin' right to limit whatever they want, because he (or his staff) had the brains, guts, and balls to actually build it, not spend their time wanking to downloaded porn or whatever it is you do rather than actually earning money to actually function as a viable economic unit in a modern society. Man up.

Broken Blu-Ray DRM yet? As I said, a losing cause...

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Troll

Fair-rights use

Copying for personal purposes is legal - there was a huge battle over this back in the 80's. That's the main reason you can tape Dr. House or whatever show you want from TV without being a "copyright infringer". This is supposed to apply to all media, even DVDs and Blu-Ray, so you can have personal copies for, say, your mp3 player or watching on your mobile device. Some DRM schemes have actually enabled features like this.

Sony PS3 games are overpriced, but then *all* the frickin' games are overpriced, not just the PS3 ones. I've bought every single game, and the PS3 games are uncrackable because of technical limitations; we don't have the "special hardware" to write the encryption keys for BD. Get it? it is FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE to make a workable ISO for a Blu-Ray disc. There are not going to be pirate games for a long time. OtherOS isn't going to "break" the protection scheme, and those of us who want to use it aren't "freetards" wanting everything for nothing. All I want is to use the CellBE processor to do experimental stuff, I don't want to run shady ISOs of pirated games (which don't exist) or cracking Blu-Rays (which is useless, AACS changes keys and you should know this).

Stop trolling dude. Not every guy who knows how to program more than your average PC/Mac user is an "evil hacker" or a "freetard".

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Anonymous Coward

Thank you..

.. for showing how completely off the planet you can be.

I do not pirate, nor do I encourage it. However, if I buy a feature set I damn well want to keep that feature set. The criminal act here is actually Sony's, because they are remotely stealing something I paid for, that was in the formal product description when I bought it, and was an important part of my decision to buy it instead of another device (I have no previous investment, so I bought the console and then Bluray videos and games afterwards). I also invested time in setting up the Other OS, so that time becomes chargeable at the full rate twice (1x installation, and 1x doing it again to recover) if they remove that feature.

I haven't upgraded yet because I will do so with an investigative judge observing - the advantages of working a lot with people that know what real theft looks like.

If you're so keen to wail about lost income you should start reading a bit more stuff from Cory Doctorov, maybe that will give you a clue. So far, you and Sony share the fact that you have none.

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Thumb Down

Misplaced 'Freetard' flame made you look silly

I agree with your post, and with your point that people should have a right to charge money for software... but fail to see how it is relevant to the topic.

I actually think you've dived in, all guns blazing, without realising what this is about. Do you really think that Playstation users who are upset about OtherOS removal, feel that way because they were hoping to use it to copy games? Not at all, its a legitimate feature enabling you to use the PS3 as a Desktop PC... pretty cool huh? Yeah, I used it and I am very annoyed Sony just took away a part of my system. Doesn't make me a 'Freetard' as you put it.

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Linux

No guarantees

I spoke to Sony head office in the UK and had a long and drawn-out 'discussion' with them over losing my Ubuntu install on the PS3.

My disk space is still set to 10Gb Other OS so therefore I've lost 1/6 of my HDD space. Sony's answer was for me to reformat and reinstall/download all my games. Fine, if you have the time. Not if you have a throttled ISP connection.

Secondly, I asked if Sony could guarantee they wouldn't remove further functionality in future system updates, and the answer was no. Particularly telling, that one.

A great way to shaft early adopters like myself.

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Gold badge
Thumb Up

Cool, thanks

That's good evidence gathering, because the "what's next" question is interesting. Taken to extremes, it would be entirely legal to kill of the ability to play games, and play bluray as well, leaving it just a very expensive room heater..

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FAIL

root kit mongers

Why are you guys buying anything at all from Sony since the root kit business?

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Flame

I'd sign into this

this is a class action lawsuit I would sign into...not sure if I can as a UK citizen though... if I can I will.. if not, then perhaps we need a similar UK action.

these companies cannot just strip out features from their devices post sale. its unlawful and would provide a very interesting precedent for other devices/gadgets/equipment.

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Flame

Not just consumer but universities as well!

What will become of the PS3 consoles used as server farms or used as a

super computer? those will have their linux/unix software removed as well.

Times do not bode well for these universities.

Sony is on the wrong path.

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no one using it

still no comments from anyone actually using the feature? I for one dont give a flying. and no it doesnt effect the prime purpose. to play games. its not like removing touch screen from ipod. its like a new iphone having a slightly different shape destroying the existing clip on accessory market - until they redesign them.

I for one - dont care - nor support the waste of resource allowing it to become a lawsuit.

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FAIL

Look closer.

I use it. I've commented.

For most people, the "prime purpose" of the PS3 may well be to play games. But that isn't its only purpose. Would you be happy to find after taking your car in for a service that the stereo would no longer work while the engine was running? It still fulfils its "prime purpose" but you're no longer getting what you paid for.

For someone who doesn't care, you've invested a fair bit of time reading the original article, the various comments and written a comment of your own. That's a pretty active kind of apathy...

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Linux

I use it as well.

What do you want to know?

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FAIL

re: Not just consumer but universities as well!

erm... They don't apply the update and continue to use OtherOS. Server farms any anyone using PS3 in a computational workhorse role don't need to log onto PSN.

Some of the replies here, like this one, are embarrassingly naive, and clearly written by either 13yr olds, or morons..

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