Sony Sued Over "Other OS" Option

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Sony Sued Over "Other OS" Option


Sony Computer Entertainment America [http://us.playstation.com/] has been slapped with a class action lawsuit over the decision to remove the "Other OS" option from the PlayStation 3.

Sony revealed [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/99499-Sony-Removes-Other-OS-Option-for-PS3] at the end of March that it would remove the option to install other operating systems on older models of the PlayStation 3 in its next firmware update. Sony claimed the decision was made in order to increase security on the console, after hacker George Hotz revealed that the function could be used as a security exploit, and defended the move by pointing out that the firmware update wasn't mandatory and that PS3 owners who wanted to keep the feature could do so by simply not installing it. Of course, anyone who chose to do so would lose access to the PlayStation Network and any of the console's other online features.

Now raise your hand if you saw this coming: Anthony Ventura of California has filed a class action lawsuit against Sony, claiming that the removal of the "Other OS" option constitutes a breach of contract between the company and its customers by forcing users to either install the firmware update or lose the system's online functionality. Furthermore, the suit alleges that by advertising support for the "Other OS" option and then disabling it, Sony has broken specific Calfornia laws against any "unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice."

The case could be made a little extra interesting by the fact that another user who complained about the disabled feature was able to earn a partial refund [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/99848-PS3-Owner-Gets-Partial-Refund-for-Lack-of-Other-OS-Option] of the purchase price from Amazon, despite the fact that the device was out of warranty. The decision to refund the money was based on European consumer laws and was made by Amazon, not Sony, but also tends to reinforce the suggestion that the PlayStation 3 no longer functions as advertised.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, "restitution and disgorgement of all profits unjust retained by Sony" and whatever else the courts deem appropriate.

Source: IGN [http://ps3.ign.com/articles/108/1086720p1.html]

(photo [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/582672926])



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GonzoGamer

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Apr 9, 2008
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I heard about the refund by Amazon and I just figured the inevitable class action suit would also come from EU.
Go figure.
At either rate.
I'm surprised it took this long.
 

300lb. Samoan

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Mar 25, 2009
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Go get 'em! If Sony told me my laptop would no longer be able to connect to the internet unless I installed their software, I'd pitch a ***** about it as well!
 

Psychophante

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Nov 9, 2009
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Pretty sure it says in the legal bumf that they have the right to change the way the machine operates as they see fit, so as much as it sucks, can't really do jack s**t about it.
 

ratix2

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Feb 6, 2008
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the problem is that if you read the eula at the back of the manual sony reserves the right to change ANYTHING about how the ps3 operates at any time and without prior notice. if they continue to advertise the other os option after the fact then someone would have a lawsuit for false advertising, but as it stands there is no potential lawsuit.

of course there will be in the eu since they sue EVERY company every time anyone takes a shit but otherwise sony is within their rights.
 

Pendragon9

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Apr 26, 2009
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I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.
 

Xersues

DRM-free or give me death!
Dec 11, 2009
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Of course this came from California. I never used the Other OS feature, you can't do squat with it, as anything and I mean ANYTHING that can run linux, runs linux better than the PS3 for normal productivity usage.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Not surprised at all. Knew it would happen from someone.

I don't think it will be successful but should still be intresting to monitor
 

squid5580

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Feb 20, 2008
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I wonder what the user agreement that you have to agree too says about this. Since you have to agree to it when before every update. I didn't read all of it but I read enough to see that if it bricks your system oh well not Sony's problem so I wonder if they added something in there about the OS.
 

Monster_user

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Jan 3, 2010
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Pendragon9 said:
I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.
Yeah, but computers take up more space, and are just as expensive. Imagine spending $600 on a PS3, and having no money left over for a computer, and having no room at your college desk because the PS3 is on the computer shelf.

So you buy a keyboard, and install the "Other OS" Yellowdog Linux I think? Then suddenly that option is taken away, and you either have to cough up $1,000 for a computer, plus the games, or give up a ton of functionality. In order to keep the dorm room from becoming overcrowded.

I'm not too broken up by it, as the RISC ports of Linux were not well supported (app wise). Either for the old world Macintosh computers, or the PS3. You really didn't even have Flash support (well, there was gnash, but it gets less useful as time goes on).
 

GrandmaFunk

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Oct 19, 2009
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wonder what the OS lock-down meant for those PS3 units the Air Force was using in imaging clusters

though i guess they don't care so much about the downsides of not updating to the lock-down patch
 

DarkHuntress

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Apr 8, 2010
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Wonder if there is another lawsuit on it's way. Sony's latest firmware upgrade for the PS3 also bricked some consoles and broke Bioware's Dragon Age game. Lots and I mean lots of players are hot over this one.
 

tk1989

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May 20, 2008
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I'm sorry, but in the UK this move essentially makes the PS3 unfit for purpose. At the time of buying the PS3 it advertised the ability to have a second OS, if they remove that then they are breaking the buyers statutory rights, not taking into account European law which would also be broken.

You accept an EULA, yes, but when you buy a product you are making a contract there too, one which stipulates that the product will act as intended and as advertised. When they took away the other OS option the PS3 no longer worked as advertised and that contract is effectively being broken.
 

Quadtrix

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Dec 17, 2008
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Ventura, please go jump in front of a moving train. You'll be doing the world a huge favor.
 

Myrph

Proud owner of a Jamtroller
Oct 27, 2009
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Just a quick question... Did Sony ever actually make any reasonable profit off the PS3 console? I know they made a huge loss off the first batch of phat units, but I'm not sure if they managed to recuperate the losses they originally made.

Since the lawsuit is requesting "disgorgement of all profits unjust retained by Sony", doesn't that require that they actually made profit in the first place?
 

Frank_Sinatra_

Digs Giant Robots
Dec 30, 2008
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This guy is going to get his ass kicked so hard. I'm quite sure that Sony has made precautions for this, and I'm very sure that somewhere in the EULA they reserved the right to pull that function.

In the words of Dr.House: Sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they kick your ass.
 

Simalacrum

Resident Juggler
Apr 17, 2008
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Oh God, this whole suing culture is really hitting its stride within the gaming industry now... its becomming ridiculous, people suing one another over the smallest things =\

I mean, cmon, who really cared too much about "other OS's" in the first place? 98% of PS3 owners don't use the damn option in the first place, and removing it improves the security of the PS3 apparently... so I'd rather have a more secure PS3 without an option that I never use.
 

VZLANemesis

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Jan 29, 2009
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Pendragon9 said:
I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.
They don't, but they wanna be ABLE to do it...
It's the ability to sue for it thats important, thinking that SONY will settle with huge loads of money, just to avoid bad publicity... which they probably will.

Also, Sony won't probably allow that feature back into the PS3, because that would make it wide open for hackers to soft-mod it and play "copies".