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[ArsTechnica] "OtherOS" class-action lawsuit: GeoHot, Sony now share same charge

post #1 of 172
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The claims against Sony in the ongoing class-action lawsuit dealing with the removal of the "OtherOS" functionality in the PlayStation 3 hardware have all been dropped, save for one: a claim that Sony violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by removing the ability to run Linux. This is the same law under which Sony is suing George Hotz for hacking the PS3, in fact.
Quote:
Sony is arguing that your system needs to keep all the features it was sold with for the length of its warranty, and then after that time, removal of any function is fair game. "I think the problem is that in order to accept the notion that Sony made an unauthorized intrusion onto the plaintiffs' PS3s, you have to start with the assumption that what was 'disabled' was something that the plaintiffs had an ownership interest in..." Sony's laywer argued.

He continued, saying that gamers had a choice. "We're talking about if you are so interested in keeping this one feature, then you're not going to be able to access the PSN anymore. You may not be able to play some games. But that is not hacking into somebody's computer, which is the essence of the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]."

This isn't a matter of accepting or declining a software update, it's the problem of Sony placing consumers in a position where they lose functionality no matter what they do. That may be a tough sell to the court.
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post #2 of 172
Interesting, very interesting indeed. I wonder what the decision will be.
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post #3 of 172
It's a clear cut matter of "Sony placing consumers in a position where they lose functionality no matter what they do" because you either don't update and lose PSN, or update and lose Linux. I think there's a case.
    
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post #4 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
It's a clear cut matter of "Sony placing consumers in a position where they lose functionality no matter what they do" because you either don't update and lose PSN, or update and lose Linux. I think there's a case.
But surely there is something in the EULA that gives Sony the right to modify their OS any time they please?

Obviously the EULA doesn't hold as much weight as a written law, but it may be enough for a dismissal. Especially considering the removal of the software feature didn't encroach upon the primary (or even secondary) function of the device, respectively being a gaming and media centre. Nor was the system advertised as a Linux box to begin with.

Who knows, but I think Sony's lawyers are good enough to get them out of this one. I personally don't care about 'OtherOS' but my opinion in this matter is irrelevant.
Edited by IcedEarth - 2/21/11 at 3:08pm
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post #5 of 172
This is hilarious.
post #6 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedEarth View Post
But surely there is something in the EULA that gives Sony the right to modify their OS any time they please?

Obviously the EULA doesn't hold as much weight as a written law, but it may be enough for a dismissal. Especially considering the removal of the software feature didn't encroach upon the primary (or even secondary) function of the device, respectively being a gaming and media centre. Nor was the system advertised as a Linux box to begin with.

Who knows, but I think Sony's lawyers are good enough to get them out of this one. I personally don't care about 'OtherOS' but my opinion in this matter is irrelevant.
Any in place laws override any EULA always...
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post #7 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFL Replica View Post
This is hilarious.
Yeah, Sony will be looking pretty stOOpid if they lose.. lol
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post #8 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by _GTech View Post
Any in place laws override any EULA always...
I'm in agreeance, but laws also have loop holes.

As much as we would want this to come to fruition, I honestly don't think we (as a community) should hold out much hope.
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post #9 of 172
Wow, it sounds like Geohot might actually have a case. Here's a fantastic comment that I copy/pasted from the article, I think it sums up the situation very well.

They pointed out that, should an owner make that "choice" and not update they'd lose the ability to use PSN, and thus immediately lose the ability to play many games and additionally lose the ability to play future games requiring said updates. Thus, it was a Morton's Fork: your "free choices" were

A) Lose OtherOS, a core advertised feature that some people specifically purchased a PS3 to take advantage of
-OR-
B) Lose the ability to play games, with game playing obviously being a core feature of the PS3 (or any video game console).

This sort of double bind "choice" is often frowned upon in law. The plaintiff's lawyer gave the extreme example of having someone "freely" sign a contract while being dangled over a balcony. Hey, it's totally your choice right!? After all, you can always say no (and fall to your doom). Obviously any such agreement created under such circumstances is legally void. In this case, Sony presented "Get the update, or lose the ability to play games, a core feature of your console" as the choice. Saying that owners were "free not to update" may quite reasonably not pass legal muster, though of course it's going to take an actual ruling to decide, this whole thing is only getting started.
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post #10 of 172
oh boy
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