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back to article Sony's PS3 firmware update shows how retailers can be exposed

Retailers face payouts to consumers that they will not be able to reclaim from manufacturers when software updates disable products' functions, an expert has warned. Consumer law protects the buyers of goods if their functions change, but retailers generally cannot pass those claims on to the device makers who made the change, …

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Linux

Ignrant of the law....

So, Joe Blogs a few years back went down to the local electronics shop and bought a PS3. First of all, you have to ask what his motives were for buying said console...

Joe said that after reading the advertising it was his understanding that he could install a version of linux on his ps3 AND play games AND downloads content from PSN,,,

he takes his console home, sets it up, agrees to the EULA, installs linux, plays games watches /download content from PSN and uses the install of linux to check his emails, brows the web, play on farmville or mafia wars..... all as described in the original advertising, the reason why he bought the console...

a few years later, Sony get a little windy about how people may be using linux on the hardware so decide to change the firmware to now take away functionality... they say you don’t have to install the new update, but if you dont you loose the ability to use PSN.. Well i will want compensating for the lack of PSN.

If the EULA states that sony at any time may alter the functionality of the console at any time or withdraw access to a service at any time and you have to agree to it to set up your PS3 you could argue that this is an unfair term as you have to agree to something that you may not agree with as you don’t know what it is... what if sony wanted to change functionality to block the use of the BR drive? you have already agreed to it so is it fair? also, how may parents bought the PS3 for the kids? what is the legal age to agree to a contract? you cant even argue that it is the purchaser of the console, it says it in the EU bit of EULA.

Legally, end user licence agreements are very iffy... I have very serious doubs to how most of them will stand up to a serious well funded court action.

End of the day, they took something away that was part the reason you bought said item... I would want compensation.

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Headmaster

retailers do hold some power

(Big) Retailers hold the power over manufacturers for the simple reason they're the ones who decide what the customer gets to see, if the manufacturer wants a good spot in the store or on the web site (or even just to be there at all) they give the retailer a reason to do it (rebates, discounts, etc.). Leaving them with a big expensive mess will just mean the buyer will ask for more from the manufacturer next time around.

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Don't worry sun is setting on Sony empire

Was going to go on long rant but fact is Sony's electronics side has not been relevant for quite some time now (see disappointing sales of PS3 and Blueray, and fact we say iPod instead of iWalkman). The reason is because the media side of Sony calls the shots and the fact is people are not stupid and reject Sony's lame DRM laced products. The fact is when one purchases hardware they consider it THEIRS and don't much care for a company dictating how must use that product. Hey Sony answer this if it was so critical to remove this functionality and keep the PS3 unbreakable how come the PS3 has been so much less profitable than the easily hacked WII or even Xbox 360 (would be even worse if M$ were not so incompetent at building hardware). Remember public continue to say no to big biz telling us exactly how to be a sheeple consuming what they selling, mortgaging our future.

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What do you expect ?

That'll teach people for doing business with the evil that is Sony.

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what sucks about El Reg

Bah when you do get article worth posting on, by the time us merkins get to read and post usually the author is already having pints down at the pub. By time comment appears article on page 2 :(. <flag waving>Oh well still better to live in the greatest country in the history of mankind woohoo! </flag waving>

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Megaphone

hmmm

You should try reading it from Australia mate.

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Joke

confused

"...by the time us merkins get to read and post usually the author is already having pints down at the pub."

As a merkin, you should be used to being shafted.

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Anonymous Coward

@Fatman

"What other anti consumer moves have they made in recent years, can anyone remember?? I seem to recall a `rootkit` fiasco a few years ago. "

I do remember that the rootkit was Sony BMG (half owned by Bertelsmann AG, i.e. not Sony ) - but I never heard anyone moan about the 'Bertelsmann rootkit'. If you care to observe, you may notice that Sony Music Entertainment (as they became after Sony bought out Bertelsmann) have slightly improved their general behaviour since becoming Sony proper.

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nice PR move

That right try and blame BMG when after all it was a Sony VP that was canned for doing Sir Howards dirty work. Don't the unwashed masses understand how much better the world would be if big media could dictate exactly how consumers should behave? Ah the world was a better place about 1900 when a handful of trusts could do exactly that (bring back childhood labor, 80 hour 7 days a week jobs and strikebusters with golf clubs for those that get out of line).

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Sony media > electronics

Sony is the perfect example of why media companies generally fail at consumer electronics. Too much vested interest in controlling how the sheeple consume their media and as a result even Joe Sixpack eventually resents DRM and the pain the butt it causes (what cant play legitimately purchased disc from another region, what can't play your PS3 on March 1st because Sony bought a dodgy clock and assumes the whole world are thieves). In addition the DRM generally only stops the hackers for hours instead of minutes. Joe votes with his wallet and the result is Blueray adoption sucks, the PS3 is in third place, and Sony starts recording unprofitable quarters. Ah how the free market punishes broken business models.

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Anonymous Coward

Okay - suck on this analogy!

A person joins a bank in order to issue cheques. However, in view of the amount of cheque fraud the bank have been hit with, as well as the fact that it is not a popular method of making payment now - the bank have seen fit to stop issuing chequebooks to customers' and will be phased out.

Why should the bank continue to pay for and supply a facility that is flawed, causes financial loss for the bank and is not commonly used.

The bank are acting this way to prevent loss that would be detrimental to its future and to move with the times (environmental etc.).

However, the chequebook facility was advertised as an available facility at the time the account was opened.

Why should this person complain? And how many of you have complained over the several banks who no longer issue chequebooks? How many of you will complain that the remaining banks are phasing this facility out also?

Fact is, not many of you. If you do complain it will be for the hell of it and no other reason.

Same argument with Sony. This facility is not used by many people when compared against the remaining customer base. Fact is, the vast majority of people who purchased a ps3 did not intend to use it for Linux and instead as a games console/media centre.

So people... Go and buy a laptop or something if you want to continue using Linux.

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all hail the shill coward

Thats right the coward and Sony knows whats best for us. Thats right how dare we use our hardware we bought to run programs we have the right to run (note to Sony just because you don't get a cut doesn't mean all software is pirated). Sony never had any desire for people to run linux anyway. This was just a bait and switch so that Sony could get the lower VAT and tariffs on computers instead of consumer electronics. I hope the Euros do what they do best and tax the crap out of Sony for admitting they were gaming the system.

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Do you work for Sony or something.

Just to shoot your analogy,

1. did I buy the bank?

2. did I buy the account?

3. can I go and open another account at no extra cost to me?

1.no, 2.no,3.yes

A better comparison would have been if I purchased a Worldwide Ticket that let me fly return anywhere in the world and then they decided it was only a single.

Big government and business sucks Sony included!

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Boffin

Slight flawin the analogy

So when you can't use cheques any more, the bank can refuse you access to your money yes?

Sorry.. Doesn't work like that. Cheques are being phased out yes.. But the money is still yours, and there are several ways of getting it out of your account, and into the hands of someone else.

The problem with using real world analogies to defend the down right consumer abusive practices of computer/media companies is that there is no real world analogies that fit. Nobody would have the nerve to pull some of the strokes they do.

With the Sony firmware update, as far as I know, they took away the ability to run Linux, and enforced the update by making it impossible to access already purchased content that plays through an on-line aspect of the console. So basically held the content hostage. This is not really acceptable. Even if only half a dozen people are inconvenienced by it.

You have a choice. Use it as a computer, or use it as a games console. Can't do both. This is why people are annoyed. The numbers don't really matter, and Sony was I'm sure, fully aware that this would annoy many people. But why would they care, they can't be touched by this..

Personally, I hope enough people kick up a big enough stink over this that Sony get a nasty little shock.

Me? Sorry.. Not stupid enough to rent content. So no console. And I use Linux, so my computer gets more functional every update.. Not less.

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@asdf

Just let the coward be. I've learned that some people just can't see when they are being f**ked by someone. They are used to live on handouts that someone else gives to them - council house, cash benefits - so they don't know the value of private property. Big Brother gives, Big Brother takes it away. The right place for them to live in is the North Korea.

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Happy

There is hope..

http://www.eurasia.nu/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2556

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WTF?

What?!?

It was that guy's meddling that caused this stink in the first place!!!

So why isn't this guy the target for all of your hate?

Troll on people!

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Because

Trolltard, he decided to open up the PS3. At no point has he ever condoned piracy (which is really all your bleating about). If i buy a car and then modify it to make it do something else, the manufactures DONT then decide to en mass disable that feauture. When i BUY something its MINE to do with what i like, and if thats reverse engineering it, then so be it.

I see that you dont even have the minerals to display your real name.

I'll tell you this, twats like you will be the first in the queue when the PS3 mod chip arrives whilst you still hide behind your anonymous tag. Least i DO have the stones to say this,

My 360 is "chipped" my Wii is chipped, my PS2 is chipped, in fact everything that i own that CAN be modded, is so!

Doesnt mean im a pirate! Just a consumer exercising the right that what i buy is mine to do with whatever i see fit.

Twunt.

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PS3 it only does ...

everything that Sony's shareholders approve of. Like I said this issue would not be so bad if Sony hadn't bold faced lied several months back that they would keep the OtherOS on the fattys. As for security, ok Sony you have the most secure console in the history of mankind now hows that attach rate working out for ya? What the worse in the industry? Hahaha. Curse the Welsh with veneral diseases for giving us the demon spawn that is Howard Stringer.

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The Law

No need for speculation, the law is very simple and clear as is demonstrated in the article. The Sale Of Goods Act trumps any EULA or any contract that you may or may not sign with whatever small print may be buried in it. I know, I've been there and done that and got the refund. The general rule of thumb for an electronic device is that it must be working with all its *original* features for about 6 years (not always that long, but nearly always - its estimated on "expected" lifetime) or you are entitled to your money back. The word "original" is important. You can add new features, but you can't take away features that were present at the point of sale. It's as simple as that. Ignore what any shop assistants/managers say, they will always try to wriggle their way out of it. Especially ignore what the manufacturer says as it is not them who you will be dealing with. You don't even need a receipt - the manufacturer can verify which retailer a given serial number was sold from.

On top of that, the EU directive on consumer protection allows the retailer the same rights as the consumer upwards in the chain. Sony WILL pay out when the retailers come calling or they will find themselves in a court case that they will definitely lose.

Thank $deity for a decent set of consumer protection laws this side of the pond.

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Badgers

Boring me now!

Wow... So many 360 fanboys pretending to be annoyed PS3 owners!...

Fact is - nobody seriously cares about the 'other OS' feature.... FACT!

Go troll somewhere else!!!

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Grenade

bought my phat from sainsburys specifically to get otheros

I bought a remaindered phat from sainsburys, knowing it was more power-hungry than the slim so that I could install linux (ubuntu as it happens) after upgrading the hard drive to 320GB

I am now stuck as I have credit in the PSN Store which I can't access, even though I did the DNS + web server hack to fool the PS3 into not expecting a firmware update.

I shall dig out my receipt and phone sainsburys to complain; perhaps they are big enough to have a fight with Sony?

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Grenade

take it back, take them all back...

and watch Sony burn their sales channel...

and also their blu-ray seeding programme.

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Jobs Horns

I learnt...

Never to trust Sony ever again.

I wholeheartedly advocate the condemnation and global boycott of all Sony products. Sony are as evil as this fuckwit I have iconised for this post.

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Unhappy

engineers vs PHBs

Bit simplistic to say that Sony = Evil

More likely it is PHB = Evil. I doubt the engineers decided to remove the alternate OS option.

(Where is the PHB icon?)

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re: Don't worry sun is setting on Sony empire

Clearly the Microsoft shills are out..

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28143/Analysis_PS3_Game_Marketshare_Sees_Significant_Jump.php

Ouch... This is also US only, imagine what that pie would look like if it includes Europe and Japan, where the PS3 is killing the Xbox in sales...

You might also want to look at the Blu-Ray sales increase news on El-Reg from a couple of days ago.

Back on topic. Nobody cares about OtherOS. It was called "gimped" by the few people that did use it, it got abused by hackers, and is now gone. It was never advertised on the box, handbook or Sony marketing, so can't really be called "bait and switch" (which is a US term anyway, which shows where the Microsoft shills are really from). Finally, the EULA and Terms of use state that Sony can change the experience. 99/100 this means they will add features for free. this time they took something away.

Some people need to get a grip on reality it seems.

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C'mon people

Stop complaining.

Buy PS3

Buy Blu-Ray

Buy games on Steam

Bend over - it's your civic duty to be screwed.

Those who complain will not be given any free vaseline.

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Megaphone

Seriously, why are all the shills anonymous?

It annoys me. We have a number of people (or maybe a single very insistent individual) who don't have the guts to reveal who they are, crying that we should all ignore our legal rights and allow Sony to set anti-consumer precedents. They're also relying on feeble ad hominem arguments.

To these people I say this:

Screw you. You have no right to make assumptions about me and my use of or interest in Other OS. You have no right to tell me that I shouldn't be worried about the erosion of consumer rights. You ignore the legal aspects of this case (hell, we're discussing it in an article where people who *are* lawyers are expressing the opinion that the retailers are on the hook for this illegal activity and you're still coming out with the same tired bad analogies and excuses) and try to put the blame for Sony's actions in places where it doesn't belong - Sony are the ones changing the product that I've bought in a way that reduces functionality. Not GeoHot. Not Microsoft. Sony.

They're hoping the problem will go away. If it does go away, then as consumers we're accepting that manufacturers get to change the functionality of the devices they sell us without any good reason and without any form of compensation. It's that simple.

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Grenade

Blame Sony.... blah blah blah

I think that only Sony PS3 owners should post here as its clear from the tone of many posters that most don't own and never will own a Sony product yet alone a PS3.

I got a PS3 and a few other Sony products. Guess what I like them!!! . (Oh yeah, I got some Apple products and some Microsoft products too. I like them also. I also use Linux when i want to get in touch with my freetard side. )

I would have been happy if that retard hadnt broken the security of the PS3 and forced Sony's hand.

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Re: Boring me now!

>Wow... So many 360 fanboys pretending to be annoyed PS3 owners!...

Umm see many on here actually have decent paying jobs and don't only own only one system because that is all mommy will buy us. I have owned all three and basically like and hate all three for different reasons. I am also a rare owner that actually has used the otherOS in the past (gave up and just run F@H now) to run BOINC programs to actually benefit science in gaming downtime. Too bad the Cell BE turned out being such a dog that even IBM is no longer making new versions, so loss of computing power with OtherOS gone is not all the significant any more (Tesla cards so much faster). Basically all three companies do suck in various ways but Sony is the only one funding the RIAA and MPAA and at the same time forcing trojan horse electronics on us.

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Nah

>As a merkin, you should be used to being shafted.

Some would say karma but then again people finally starting to look positively at America again. Still if our government and media weren't so evil and corrupt wouldn't be so many of us on this site. Brits still pretty much the bastion of good journalists these days.

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FAIL

3 years in and the fanbois haven't admitted defeat

>Clearly the Microsoft shills are out..

Lmao hardly, the only two companies I rip on more than Micro$haft are Sony and Adobe and yes Microsoft also sucks balls for trying to control what software I can run on MY hardware also(which is also likely to fail in in epic fashion) and is the reason I gave away my Xbox 360.

>Ouch... This is also US only, imagine what that pie would look like if it includes Europe and Japan, where the PS3 is killing the Xbox in sales...

Lmao just the fact you are bragging Sony is finally passing the afterthought that is the Xbox with its massive hardware fails shows just how bad things have gotten for Sony. Never mind the PS3 would need to sell at least 3 times as many boxes as it already has just to catch the WII or even the PS2. Much like Nintendo learned in the early mid 90s you get arrogant in the console market and another company will come along and bury you. Yes the WII is lame, the games are for those without pubes, the hardware is so 2003, but at least I can run whatever software I want on it (also LMAO at Nintendo's lame attempts at DRM). The only redeeming quality about my PS3 imho is that I can play exclusives that I can't play on my PC (which for most part Xbox rarely can claim) but no way if I could go back would I spend $600 again just to be able to play the at most 3 high quality exclusive games a year actually worth buying (no PS3tards Lair does not count, lol).

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Kevin Butler stfu and quit going anon

>Finally, the EULA and Terms of use state that Sony can change the experience. 99/100 this means they will add features for free. this time they took something away.

You keep believing that shrink wrap EULA are be all end all and by pressing the O button you can sign away legal rights the law says can't be taken away. Also keep believing Sony is out there to give you free stuff, and not to take away not only your money but your rights as well.

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