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Sony to get nailed for removing OtherOS feature from PS3?

qubit

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#1
japanese conglomerate sony is facing accusations of breaching the us computer fraud and abuse act for removing the otheros feature from playstation 3s it had sold that saw linux able to run on the console.

The japanese technology and media giant has been fighting a class action lawsuit filed by 20 plaintiffs while simultaneously going after alleged ps3 hackers. While sony has so far succeeded in getting a judge to accept that it can sue one george holz for computer fraud and abuse, because he allegedly distributed advice on how to hack the ps3, the japanese mega-corporation itself has been unsuccessful in getting all of the plaintiffs' allegations against it dismissed in the same jurisdiction.

It now faces one allegation of breaking the us computer fraud and abuse act because of its removal of the otheros capability in the ps3. It also faces a likely refiling of several other allegations by the plaintiffs.

Set out in detail at the blog groklaw, a posting states that sony managed to have allegations dismissed that it is in "breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, a california consumer legal remedies act claim, a magnuson-moss warranty act claim, and claims alleging conversion, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment."

both cases are going to be heard in the us district court for the northern district of california in san francisco, however the two lawsuits will be presided over by different judges. µ
I sure hope they get nailed for this dirty trick.

The Inquirer
 
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#2
Man I hope they get nailed for it.

"Oh? One man published a way to get an insignificant elevated privilege via a current feature? This elevated privilege has no impact on anything at all, whatsoever? Well let's not patch it, or release a hardware revision making it impossible, let's remove a feature that hundreds or thousands are using completely within their rights."

I don't care if the percentage of users of OtherOs was 100% or 0.01% of all ps3 owners. Dick move Sony. Dick move.

PSFreedom uses a usb trick to boot into service mode from USB? what next, patch out support for anything but charging controllers from USB?
 
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#3
Here's the tl;dr from Groklaw.

Sony is being charged with violating § 1030(a)(5)(A)(i):
(i) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
Pursuant to subsection (B) that damage must also result in:
(i) loss to 1 or more persons during any 1-year period (and, for purposes of an investigation, prosecution, or other proceeding brought by the United States only, loss resulting from a related course of conduct affecting 1 or more other protected computers) aggregating at least $5,000 in value;
The court's ruling states:
Plaintiffs contend that Sony violated the CFAA by “knowingly caus[ing] the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally caus[ing] damage without authorization, to a protected computer.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A)(i). Sony argues that it did not act “without authorization” either because the terms of the software license permitted it to take the actions it did, or because plaintiffs’ “voluntarily” downloaded Update 3.21, knowing the effect it would have. At this juncture, Sony has not conclusively established that disabling a PS3 capability of the nature of the Other OS feature is within the scope of the license agreement provisions on which it relies, nor has it shown that those plaintiffs who downloaded the Update thereby necessarily “authorized” the removal of the feature within the meaning of the statute. Accordingly, this prong of the motion will be denied, without prejudice to Sony’s ability to challenge any CFAA claim in an amended complaint, based on the same or expanded arguments.
Sony then made a motion to strike because they did not believe plaintiff defined an appropriate class (AKA the group of people negatively effected by 3.21 firmware). The motion will not be granted.

I did a quick google search and the statue of limitations is either 2 or 5 years for the section of the CFAA in question.
 
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#4
i sat there for five minutes figuring out what otheros was... other-os.. they should get smacked for making up words
 
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#5
They deserve it, I'd be pissed if I bought something and one of it's features was removed. It's like if I updated my iPod and they removed the ability to update apps over the air or something.
 
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T

twilyth

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#7
Here's the tl;dr from Groklaw.

Sony is being charged with violating § 1030(a)(5)(A)(i):

Pursuant to subsection (B) that damage must also result in:


The court's ruling states:


Sony then made a motion to strike because they did not believe plaintiff defined an appropriate class (AKA the group of people negatively effected by 3.21 firmware). The motion will not be granted.

I did a quick google search and the statue of limitations is either 2 or 5 years for the section of the CFAA in question.
Even if it turns out that removing a feature from PS3 WAS in fact covered by the license agreement, I think there are still limits on what sorts of provisions can be enforced.

IIRC, you can put pretty much whatever you want in a contract's "boilerplate" language (what most would call the fine print). However what provisions are enforceable is another matter - especially when you have a so-called agreement that is for all intents and purposes one-sided. It's one thing to enforce a provision in a negotiated contract and quite another to enforce one in a consumer contract that is really a take it or leave offer. I know that in NJ this makes a difference (on due process grounds IIRC) but not so sure about the feds.
 
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#8
Did they fire their public relations team? They just keep fucking up left and right. I mean the idiocy alone of them going after everyone who even saw a post about the keys... it's just insanity.
 

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#9
I don't understand why Sony can't remove functions/features they provided that weren't apart of the feature list as advertised.

And I bet the only reason they're facing these allegations was because they targeted a single "hacker" trying to prove a point...
They purchased your product, why the hell do you care what they do to gain "advantages"?
 

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#10
I always found the ps3 interesting as its the only consumer product i have ever seen steadily lose features through revisions and updates. Its also amusing to note that legions of fans defend sonys actions every step of the way as their console regresses to an empty shell of what it used to be.
 

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#11
I always found the ps3 interesting as its the only consumer product i have ever seen steadily lose features through revisions and updates. Its also amusing to note that legions of fans defend sonys actions every step of the way as their console regresses to an empty shell of what it used to be.
Great post, love it. :D I especially like the bit about the fans. Sounds just like Apple fans and their reality distortion field, doesn't it?
 
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#12
I was actually considering a PS3..... This makes me not sho shure....
 

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#13
Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

This is bad news for the little guy, once again. Expect to see more underhand dirty tricks now from tech companies. :nutkick:

Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

A federal judge has dismissed all but one of the claims leveled against Sony for dropping Linux support from its PlayStation 3 game console, but gave the plaintiffs permission to refile an amended complaint that fixes the deficiencies.

A complaint seeking class-action status on behalf of all PS3 owners was filed in April and claimed that the disabling of the so-called OtherOS violated a raft of civil laws, including those for breach of warranty, unfair competition and computer fraud. Sony had touted the feature, which allowed users to run Linux and other software on their consoles, in interviews and presentations, but later dropped it after a well-known hacker figured out how to exploit OtherOS to jailbreak the PS3.

In court documents Sony attorneys said those statements didn't constitute promises and that even if they did, the written warranty and the software license agreement that accompany the PS3 system gave the company every right to disable OtherOS. The change, they reasoned, was effected only when users upgraded the system's firmware, which the users were free to accept or reject.

Last week, the federal judge hearing the case largely agreed.
Read the rest at The Register
 
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#14
some dude got $100 out of it though
 
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#15
Yay, that'll pay for 1/3 of his console.
 

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#16
I always found the ps3 interesting as its the only consumer product i have ever seen steadily lose features through revisions and updates. Its also amusing to note that legions of fans defend sonys actions every step of the way as their console regresses to an empty shell of what it used to be.
i admit im a bit of a ps3 fanboy but i will be the first to say that removing OtherOS was pathetic and i will not buy another sony product. that being said, it is an incredible blu-ray player, native trueHD and DTS-MAHD, so you don't need a $1000 receiver to get the best sound so long as you are using HDMI. also, the addition of netflix is a huge positive. the streaming hd 5.1 shows/movies are incredible. so i dont have a list in front of me but i can say for sure sony has added more features to the ps3 than they have removed. after all, the only functionality they removed is OtherOS.
 

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#17
i admit im a bit of a ps3 fanboy but i will be the first to say that removing OtherOS was pathetic and i will not buy another sony product.
There's that old saying that it takes a long time to build up a reputation, but only an instant to destroy it. Your boycott of Sony is a fine illustration of the balls-up they made. And they deserve it.

To be honest, I've found it very easy to boycott them, because I've never found their products all that compelling anyway, especially compared to Panasonic.
 

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#18
There's that old saying that it takes a long time to build up a reputation, but only an instant to destroy it. Your boycott of Sony is a fine illustration of the balls-up they made. And they deserve it.

To be honest, I've found it very easy to boycott them, because I've never found their products all that compelling anyway, especially compared to Panasonic.
yea, i am a loyal customer and a bit of a fan of their corporate strategy, but taking away otherOS was pathetic. even if i understand why they did it and i agree that legally and ethically they are correct in doing so i will still not buy their branded products again.
 
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#20
they wouldnt be in the sh~t storm their now in with hackers if they had of left it in,considering what a samll minority used it,was it really worth the effort
and it was fully not right imagine the uproar if microsoft or apple decided the "W" key was superflouse to common use lol yet it is the same

ps yes is still fold with my ps3
 

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#21
So does this mean you can't fold on the PS3 anymore?
as far as i know i can still fold although i have not in a long time since it uses a lot of energy and does not fold all that well.
 
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#22
lot of energy and does not fold all that well.
i thought it quite good at 100watts tho ppd isnt gr8 but for the power?, i am fairly new to folding tho so if theirs a reason you think this ,why so?
 

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#23
i never used OtherOS so no big deal for me kinda sucks that they took it off for some people for me its whatever my HTPC is less than 2ft away
 
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#24
This is making people not want to buy anymore sony products? This? Did everyone forget the whole let's install a rootkit on ever customers pc! Then get sued by every state, but it's ok cause we'll just re-purpose the tech into an utterly ineffective DRM that we can charges loads to license. And we won't even bother to standardize it, so the 20 different rootkits heavy gamers end up installing can all fight over control of your dvd drive. Genius I tell you!
 

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Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
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Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#25
This is making people not want to buy anymore sony products? This? Did everyone forget the whole let's install a rootkit on ever customers pc! Then get sued by every state, but it's ok cause we'll just re-purpose the tech into an utterly ineffective DRM that we can charges loads to license. And we won't even bother to standardize it, so the 20 different rootkits heavy gamers end up installing can all fight over control of your dvd drive. Genius I tell you!
Oh yeah, that made me boycott them, I promise you! What a nasty, pathetic thing to do.