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back to article 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 …

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Unhappy

Greedy lawyers at Work Again

Let see, the lawyers stand to get millions if this is given class action status and all users would get is, well maybe the ability to install Linux. Something that almost no ps3 users care to do to begin with

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FAIL

the ten

people that actually cared about otheros won't be getting anything, clearly their case is dead in the water.

1. Sony owns the firmware and can do what they need to do to ensure continued PSN security.

2. Nobody forced them to take the update

3. It was only removed as a result of hacking

4. The ToS clearly state they could do it, which these users accepted.

It's fun to watch these losers waste their money on a go nowhere lawsuit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the ten

I don't own a PS3, but from this (hopefully reasonably objective) point of view it seems rather unfair.

You're right in that nobody forced them to take the update, but either decision resulted in the loss of some feature of the PS3 - stick with the old firmware and it's bye bye PSN, get the new firmware and its bye bye OtherOS, either option resulting the loss of a feature of the console.

As for "The ToS said we could do it", would you still think it fair if the ToS had said that the ability of the console to play games could be disabled at Sony's discretion, which they had then done?

Regarding "it was removed because of hacking" - IANAL, but Sony do not have any kind of legal responsibility to prevent people from hacking, but they do have a responsibility to ensure that their products are fit for purpose.

Looking back at the article, unless otherwise stated the implication is that a feature (particularly one which does not require the expenditure or loss of time, effort or money by anybody but the user) should be available in perpetuity. Its like my DVD player suddenly being unable to play music CDs - it's not the main aim of the device, but it was an advertised feature which isn't dependent on continued support or gratuity from the manufacturer so why wouldn't I expect it to be able to play CDs for as long as the device is working.

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Grenade

@AC 23:39 "the ten"

The Sony shills are hard at work again I see...

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Gates Halo

Agree

Consumers need to learn to read the small print. If they are too lazy, then it's their own fault. When are people going to learn that they don't automatically get the complete right to do what they wish with a product. In many cases they should consider it a privilege and abide by the terms and conditions of sale. As for Linux lovers, just get a ffrakking PC!

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Stop

No, Bugs,

If I buy something, the starting point is that it is mine to do with what I want. That presumption is rebuttable in certain cases, such as not copying something and passing it off as my own, but, in general, hardware is mine to do with as I please. If there is anything modifying that, then it should not be in small print!! It is a major factor in whether I decide to buy something, and should therefore be made very, very clear. Like it or not, the majority of people think that the software is only the stuff they buy to play the games. This means that unless there is a huge sticker on everything that says, in effect, "You only think this is yours", then the assumption that hardware and firmware goes in favour of the person who owns it.

Out of interest, what other things would you buy that you don't have full control over as soon as you hand over the relevant payment?

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Anonymous Coward

RE: No, Bugs

"Out of interest, what other things would you buy that you don't have full control over as soon as you hand over the relevant payment?"

All of Apple products??

.

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@Bug R Us

If the small print contains terms that are unenforceable (or should be), then those terms can safely be ignored. A term that states "We [Sony] have the right to remove any feature or impose new restriction we so choose, for any reason we so choose at any point in the future" (I paraphrase) would be one such term IMH[non-lawyer]O.

Perhaps "OtherOS" can be used for naughty things like cheating/pirating. But then Sony should NOT have included in the first place just to get a tax break.

As for "rights", I have the right to do whatever I like to my personal property. I can go out, buy a PS3 and set it on fire if I want. It's mine. If, however, I only have a license/rental agreement I do not have such "rights" except those granted to me by the actual owner. Perhaps Sony should consider leasing PS3s instead? Then they can contain whatever rights they want. Once they *SELL* it, however, they rescind all such rights. IMHO.

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Go

Wow ...

... obviously a lot of those losers didn't like your comment.

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Go

Wow ...

... a loser.

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Go

What kind of Loser ...

... down votes the need to read the fine print? Maybe they know how to click but can't read. But then they did read it so, yeah.....shills and losers.

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Go

"Your personal property"

Obviously you've never murdered anyone with a candlestick you own in the library of your house. If you'd like to test your hypothesis, maybe you'd like to take 30 minutes to draw a crowd and then commit the act. It's your property right? Ya see.... there are just no absolutes such as you claim as your right.

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Silver badge

@Doug Glass

I have the right to do what I like *TO* my personal property. I don't have the right to do what I like *WITH* my personal property. I can use a hammer to bash in nails or pull them out (legal, so long as I am not causing criminal damage). I can't legally use that same hammer to kill someone. There is a subtle difference - one of these acts harms another/causes public outrage; one does not.

So with a PS3, I should be able to run Linux (or set it on fire, or whatever) but I shouldn't be allowed to use it to cheat (say, by running some kind of homebrew hack). The former is nails, the latter public outrage.

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Clue

You own the candlestick, not your victim. You can't use the candlestick to murder him or her, but you can certainly take a chainsaw to it. Or use it as a sexual aid if that's your thing. And whoever sold you the candlestick is unlikely to show up and say "hey, you're not allowed to use it in that manner." (the resulting court case might be amusing, though.)

(speaking as a PS3 owner who doesn't run linux on it, but still thinks its removal and the attitude behind it is bovine excrement. I am reminded of what Crowley did when he discovered EULAs.)

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Silver badge

Re: Agree

Was this small print even available to read between the PC World shelf and the till? I very much doubt it, and you can't impose additional T&C after the purchase has taken place.

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FAIL

bit bored were you?

taking your rather stupid argument. The candle stick is his, he can do what he wishes TO the candle stick, murdering someone with it is not doing soomething to the candlestick, it is doing something to another person.

However he can melt the candlestick and turn it into a knife or whatever, that is not breaking the law. Murdering someone is.

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In fairness...

I think Sony were wrong to remove OtherOS, although I can see why they did it. But:

- You can buy radio broadcast equipment, but are not allowed to broadcast on a wide range of frequencies with it.

- You can buy a range of mains powered devices, but unless you happen to be CORGI registered, are not allowed to change the plug.

- You can buy a plug, but unless you happen to be CORGI registered, are not allowed to fit it to anything.

- You can buy a camera, but are not allowed to even accidentally capture a wide variety of people and things, even in the background.

- You can buy a TV, but are not allowed to use it to recieve broadcasts without a licence, and recieve no guranteee that even with a licence broadcasts will continue.

I'll readily admit that none of these are particularly good analogues of the OtherOS fiasco, just a few basic examples off the top of my head, but the assertion that you can freely use or modify anything you own as long as you commit no direct victim crime is very wrong. The assertion that equipment you purchase MUST retain all its original functionality is also unfortunately wrong - SHOULD, yes.

Once again though, I agree Sony should not have removed OtherOS. Don't lose hope though - there is little to stop them restoring it, other than the fact that Sony would rather attempt to pass a Krupp Bagger 288 then backtrack on a decision.

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Unhappy

Says him

PS3 owners were forced to choose between losing the GuestOS feature or losing the ability to play online games. I suppose to Sony no choice is still a choice.

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Completely agree!

I notice that the fact that Sony effectively enforced the upgrade due to preventing login to PSN is strangely absent from all of this. You had no choice but to agree the new terms if you wanted to use another "advertised feature" which is online gaming. If you purchase a game with an advertised networking feature, you cannot play it online until you agree to forego OtherOS. That indicates that you did not "choose" to lose OtherOS, just that you could not possibly have both online and OtherOS on your PS3 anymore, no matter what you chose.

I hope the refile is successful.

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FAIL

It makes a crappy linux box anyway

I tried it ages ago and put Ubuntu on it. It was dog slow. I then foolishly allowed it to auto update from one version of Ubuntu to the next and it broke the install pretty badly and wouldnt boot anymore. Never cared enough to install it again and I'm running the latest official firmware now.

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Jobs Horns

Wait.

I agree it coul be better. It was hamstringed by :

1) Lack of ram (ok, a serious lack of ram),

2) hypervisor restricted

3) Limited storage options (One could say very limited and very slow).

All in all yes, not exactly right for a noob linux box.

BUT.... at its prime, for that money got you was a hobbyist's dream.

A non x86 architecture, which was not too strange (after all the machine code was almost pretty much PPC 970 compatible) and then completely weird at the same time (the SPE's).

Unwieldy yes, but pretty cool. Sure you got to pare the linux down, get rid of bloat, but it was runnable, the same way linux initially was on early x86's. If you ran ubuntu on it (what I would consider bloatware) of course, without paring it down, you're gonna have trouble.

It is a beautifully engineered piece of kit.

That's why I bought one. Not for the games.

And then Sony had to spoil the fun. I don't blame the hackers, by the way, with hardware like this, WHO in the right mind with the right skill set would not want to hack it?

But I am voting with my feet. I will not buy or condone any Sony or related products now.

Boycott them.

No evil sony Icon, so evil jobs. Same difference.

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Linux

linux

I ran Fedora on mine and it ran just fine. The only downside was I had to go back to version 5 for PowerPC. I never used it for evil, just Firefox. If Sony would allow Firefox on their unstable OS, then I wouldn't miss OtherOS.

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Stop

In case you actually understand Linux and computers,

please have a look at http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/05/how-removing-ps3-linux-hurts-the-air-force.ars It even has a nice picture that you might understand.

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Anonymous Coward

You put Ubuntu on it?

And you're blaming the hardware rather than the system administrator? Hahahahaha.

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WTF?

Re: Wait

"That's why I bought one. Not for the games."

if that is the case then you were _NOT_ effected by any of Sony's updates. You could have stayed with your 3.30 update and never moved beyond that. The only needed to move beyond that if you connected to PSN to play online games.

So, I honestly don't see what you problem is. If games were not the reason you bought the bloody brick for, then why did you apply the update that removed the only functionality you used on the said brick?

The 3.31 update was optional and all the games release after that update did not require the update for a single player game. And this was true until the release of the USB Jailbreak, after which games required the 3.41 update. And now you can be sure that future games will require the 3.56 update. This forced update on new games is there to protect against piracy (if possible), but before those cracks where out, the update was optional for single player games.

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FAIL

Obviously you would have to be a retard

or a news writer for Ars Technica to think the Air Force uses their PS3's to log into PSN....

Clearly they DIDN'T update their firmware, but then they are not pikey pirates that want it both ways....

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WTF?

Re: "The only needed to move beyond that if you connected to PSN to play online games"

Bingo.

Think harder, my friend.

I've had my PS3(s) for YEARS (since release, I have acquired 2 fat ones), and while as stated, the reasons for said purchases were to mess with linux and the cell, inevitably I have bought games for them, so I am naturally annoyed that Sony has taken back either (exclusively) the ability to play games or do linux legally.

I paid money for those damn games that I can no longer play as I would rather keep the linux.

Would *YOU* not get annoyed if that were you?

Bottom line - if Sony are going to get nasty with me, I am going to get nasty with them.

I am NOT buying any other Sony products and have not since that fateful April fool's day.

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Crappy? I'm not surprised..........

Ubuntu will never correctly run on the PS3. The flavour you needed was YellowDogLinux, written specifically to use the Cell processor. I had it running ok on my fat one, as a spare comp / console in the spare room -it was still a wee bit clunky though, but did most thingslike KVM, wifi, external storage etc really quite well.

Alas'tis no more..... Cheers Sony - you backpeddling buggers.

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Silver badge

Adverts

So is the judge saying that if I buy a car and then take it to the garage for a service that I have no right to expect it still have wheels on it when I go to collect.

What ever happened to the principle that if you advertise a product as doing something, you are expected to make sure it does.

Or is it a case of the Sony has more money than the PS3 owners and so can do what the hell it likes?

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Stop

@Adverts

No. At least not entirely.

(I can see flames and downvotes coming, but here goes)

When you buy a car the manufacturer of the car has very little need for you any more. They may want you to buy add-ons, servicing, extras and those little bobbles that you put on the aerial so you can find it again in a crowded car park, but that's about it. In fact, most add-ons and servicing can be got cheaper from other manufacturers who sell 3rd party equivalents. When you buy a games console, you pay relatively little for something because the manufacturer knows that you will most likely be spending lots of money on software. Printers are also a good example of this; cheap printer - expensive inks.

Now, if BP made a car that runs ONLY on BP fuel and you found a way of using another brand of fuel (unlikely, but stay with it), you can guarantee that you'd either (i)lose your warranty or insurance, or (ii)find that ability strangely missing when your car goes for a service and they stick that computer lead into the engine.

Sony, in real terms, are only safeguarding their future income. Perhaps if they were more honest about their motivations they'd get better press. But jailbreaking leads to piracy. We all know it does. Even those who want to run Linux for legitimate reasons. If there was any way Sony could profit from OtherOS it would still be an option.

FWIW I don't much care for running OtherOS. I use it as a games console and as a media/on-demand player. If the console goes under because a group of people keep crying about something they can't use it for any more, we'll be left with one less option. And that will result in even more shit games from a vendor with little competition.

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Coat

Re: Adverts

Sir,

First of, the wheels are _NOT_ extra to the car, without wheels the car will fail to operate as it was manufactured to do. This is not the same for the OtherOS. The OtherOS was an extra functionality that was added on a _gaming_ device.

Second, when did Sony actually advertise for the OtherOS as being part of the PS3? They did talk about, but it was never in any of their adverts. This is what the lawyers will need to talk about now, can they consider a presentation, made to a group of people, as an advert?

I'll get my coat, my view of the OtherOS removal is an unpopular one.

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I suppose

When that group of people are members of the press that you are expecting to relay that information to the public then yes, the presentation would be classed as part of advertising and marketing.

There is enough uncertainty in that statement though to have lawyers funding the economy for the next 50 years while only costing Sony money that they could have spent on games and infrastructure.

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Thumb Up

Re: I suppose

"When that group of people are members of the press that you are expecting to relay that information to the public then yes, the presentation would be classed as part of advertising and marketing."

Sir, that is where the problem is, you and I will see this as an advertisement of features available on the device (I am pre-ordering 3DS and NGP based on what I read on articles and blogs). But since it was never on an official advert does that mean that the feature is not _officially_ supported? this is where it get muddy.

the judgment passed on this will ship the future view on advertisement. If a company is not sure that it can support a certain feature, should they advertise it or should they depend on articles and blog to do that for them. Both methods will deliver the news to the buyer, but the later will supplying them with an escape clause!

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Pint

mmmm not sure that entirely sensible though

I hear what you are saying about the wheels, but think of this :-

Lets assume you take your car to the garage and when you get it back you have no radio/CD/MP3 player. Apparently some people had been using their cars not for driving but to listen to music and this was not the primary use, so <car maker> gets no revenue from it and seeks to stop it going on.

Worse still these "music lovers" might have been publicly broadcasting music illegally! OOOH.

This would be hugely unpopular. It would also be removal of a functionality that had been paid for. I'd be pretty narked if a device I bought suddenly had functionality removed, or expressly requiring a functionality decision.

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Its not about linux, its about creating a judicial president

Sony advertised the PS3 to be able to perform a certain amount of functions:

- gaming

- surfing/browsing

- blueray player

- running another operating system. (turning it into a 'real' computer).

- media player.

- etc

They even made commercials advertising it as such. So if you buy such a product, it should perform as advertised. And it should continue to perform as advertised.

I have a PS3 and I never even bothered to install linux, because thats not why I bought it, but I can understand if you bought it 'partly' for that, and that function is now denied to you as a consumer you would feel cheated.

If this stands, then what is to keep sony from disabling the ps3 from being a media player? (and yes I do use it for that, next to gaming).

You can say that you dont have to agree with the eula, but that is not really an option, because they advertised the ps3 to be a multipurpose machine, and if you don't sign the aggreement you can't go online anymore, disabling another purpose: Being online and doing online gaming.

So Sony basically offer you the choice of chopping of your hands, or your feet.. Doesn't sound like a nice choice you offer people who are supposed to be your customers.

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Joke

Off-topic but what the hell

A judicial president, you say? But lawyers are shifty and politicians are shifty, so surely the combination would mean doom for us all!

On topic, though, I'm seriously intrigued about the impact that Sony's own "The games are just the beginning" ads will have on their claim that it's primarily a games console whenever this whole mess finally gets to court.

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Stop

sony == shits

Its simple - if people keeping buying the crap products and sony keeps shitting on them then sony will happily carry on. I for one think everything with sony on it is pure evil.

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Yup YellowDog wasn't bad

I'm not a techie by any stretch of the imagination but I enjoyed mucking around with Linux on my fat old Ps3. I dont know why other people didnt like it - it was simple enough - even for me and it was also useful - at the very least you could browse the internet properly without using the pathetic PS3 browser, but it could also be used for so much more.

I agree with Storng - I wont buy any more Sony stuff and I will discourage as many people as I can from buying their stuff. It wont make any difference of course - Sony have never given a damn about the people that buy their products - but at least I will feel a bit better about not giving my money to such a shit wipe of a company.

If anyone has any suggestions of good companies that produce decent electronics equipment I would be very grateful. It seems to be the way of the world now that most companies are shit and getting worse every year.

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Paris Hilton

because

writing 3 minutes for YDL to boot, wasting 10gb of hdd space and using a clunky ram hobbled version of FireFox was such a great experience.

The built in PS3 browser is way better than that.

Paris, because even she can see the agenda going on here....

I'm guessing all the Microsoft shills are out in force here, its clear mini here actually USED otheros, if they had, they wouldn't be pretending otheros was the best thing since sliced bread.

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FAIL

Way better than Firefox how?

It can't play Mafia War (in fact, all Zynga Facebook games fail, even HTML ones), it crashes when you try to run the Acid3 test, many, many pages break on it.

How is that better than Firefox?

Even the Opera browser on the Wii can do better than that.

And oh, there's no Angry Birds in the Malaysian PSN store. Imo, that's just pathetic as said game is available in the US store.

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Silver badge
WTF?

the sarcasm is strong with this one

Yes because microsoft shills always use linux and firefox.

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Anonymous Coward

So ... (@ Bill2: Yup Yellowdog wasn't bad)

Are you going to refuse to buy any Microsoft stuff for all the illegal things they have done in past? You know, things like drive competition out of business, steal other peoples products/ideas, lock people into their products, provide poor products that are fixed in a new version that you have to pay for. What about releasing extremely poor hardware that they deny has problems but then miraculously extend their warranty (for the US/Europe as the UK was covered anyway) to try make themselves look good (which fooled a lot of people) - yes, I am talking about the XBox 360.

No?! Thought not. That makes you a hypocrite then. Don't worry as you are not the only one. I work with someone who kisses Microsofts backside despite proven evidence of the above, yet will slag Sony off all for removing one feature. Want to know the worst part about this guy - he doesn't own a PS3!

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Linux

Yeah, actually...

I'm not "Bill2" but the fedora guy, and YES I gave up on m$ products since before the first xbox. XP was the last windows os I owned. Its not hard to be devoted to linux.

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Silver badge
Linux

"Are you going to refuse to buy any Microsoft stuff "

Why yes, yes I am.

Have done so for many many years now in fact.

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Now wait a minute...

YDL is (ok, was... RIP YDL PPC 6.2) a distro that was intiially rolled for macs and support was extended to other POWER/PPC machines, which included their own monster 970 duallie they once were selling (RIP that too) and the cell (ie PS3).

This means, although it is possibly the best all round PS3 distro out there short of you rolling your own, it is also somewhat bloated. Coupled with the 256 megs of RAM you're going to find that you'll swap a lot of if you don't optimize. (And even then, you will swap but it will hurt slightly less!).

If you WANT YDL to boot fast, just cut out ALL the non-PS3 specific crap. Find out what you need and do not need. For example, do you really need RAID? Unlikely . Do you need NFS (maybe)? All that apple specific stuff? Probably not. Rebuild the kernel with only the stuff you need. Also, find out what is starting and maybe you might find a few services you do not actually need that actually are loading anyway. Cut these out, and your machine could boot faster.

Also, make sure you have that patch that allows the RSX memory to be used as a swap file. I think 6.2 comes with it by default, but can't recall off hand if you need to activate it manually.

Enlightenment is overrated. It's slow. Try xfce which also conveniently comes with YDL 6.2. Some folk I know like fluxbox. Or boot into runlevel 3 and just start X if needed. One more thing: I don't recommend doing a major build of anything substantial (ie kernel) with X loaded, for obvious memory constraint issues.

One thing you will find is that YDL is based on an older RH version, so building anything new is always a bit of a challenge, but... let's face it you did not install linux to expect OS X did you?

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FAIL

Please just kick Sony in the nads

Thank you.

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WTF?

Not just PSN...

If you refuse the firmware update because you want to keep OtherOS it's not just access to PSN you lose, you also lose the ability to play any game which requires a newer firmware... And to make matters worse, there is no indication on the box that such games are incompatible with the older firmware, nor will you get a refund if you bought such a game in error.

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Boffin

AND!

If you don't update, you may miss important additions to the blu-ray player, effectively rendering the console proper gimped.

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WTF?

Description of goods

"Seeborg said such statements can't reasonably be construed as a “promise,” an “affirmation of fact” or a “description of the goods,”"

How can any statement in which the goods (PS3) were described not be a description of the goods?

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lawyer fu

Simple, "description of goods" is written in an arcane form of some english-like language in which "description" is a word for "summoning spell" and goods translates as "cthulhu".

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