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Sony's Official Statement Regarding PS3 Hacking

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the as-disappointing-as-you'd-expect dept.

Piracy 312

tekgoblin writes "Sony has stepped up its stance on anyone circumventing protection of any kind on the PlayStation 3 and released a statement addressing it. Most recently Sony had barred George Hotz (Geohot) from releasing any more information about the console whatsoever. Now, Sony has their eyes set on other users that may be trying to use pirated software or modded PlayStation consoles on their network. The statement reads: 'Notice: Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software. Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the "System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System" and the "Terms of Services and User Agreement" for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.'"

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It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230438)

Points finger and Sony customers and goes *Ha Ha*

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230446)

Funny, this sounds identical to Microsoft's stance on Xbox 360 hacking.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (2)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230506)

Maybe he owns a Wii? /me points at AC.... HAHA!

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (0)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230512)

Why? What's the problem?

I bought a PS3. I have absolutely no desire to use it to run homebrew and I grew out of games piracy more than a decade ago. I use it to play legitimately-purchased games and Blu-Ray movies. And nobody puts a gun at my head and forces me to buy those. How does today's announcement affect me in the slightest?

Which isn't to say that it isn't a stupid statement Sony have put out, of course.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230990)

Why? What's the problem?

I bought a PS3. I have absolutely no desire to use it to run homebrew and I grew out of games piracy more than a decade ago. I use it to play legitimately-purchased games and Blu-Ray movies. And nobody puts a gun at my head and forces me to buy those. How does today's announcement affect me in the slightest?

from TFA

Rest assured, this message does not apply to the overwhelming majority of our users who enjoy the world of entertainment PlayStation 3 has to offer without breaching the guidelines detailed above, and we urge you to continue doing so without fear.

It doesn't.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231024)

It makes it that much more likely that Sony are going to go hardcore against even the Linux developers (like AsbestOS) for the PS3, because one has to "jailbreak" their PS3 in order to install the new linux flavors, and it'll take a custom firmware to restore OtherOS-style installation support.

Personally, I've been waiting for a long while for this. I'd love to install a true media station (XBMC port or something similar) on my PS3 and retire the existing media center frontend in my living room. But up until recently, I had the choice of OtherOS (which had crapass video drivers because Sony didn't want to give people actual hardware access) OR being able to play recently purchased games.

Sony could do much better working WITH the community on things like OtherOS. Instead, they've gone down the paranoid conspiracy-theorist route and look what it's gotten them - now the "pirate" scene and the homebrew scene (not always 100% separated anyways) are working on similar projects to open up the box for non-Sony code.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (1)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230610)

As much as I'm against Sony's recent lockdown on things like this, what they are doing here is perfectly acceptable, if you want to hack your console then you shouldn't expect to be able to use the online game servers, they need to control hackers and cheaters. This is no different from Microsofts stance.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (2, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230948)

...except they sold their product with this specific use as an advertised feature.

This means that hacking the device after that feature has been removed is much more legitimate than any other sort of jailbreaking, including jailbreaking a phone.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (2)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230966)

I get that blocking game servers but they are not just doing that. They are blocking access to PSN which stops me from legitimately purchasing anything online from them. This also blocks access to netflix for no reason I can see. When I try to load netflix, I see it open and load and connect to the netflix servers but I get a pop-up over it obstructing me from selecting anything saying I need to sign in the the PSN network.

I am now blocking my PSN from accessing the internet.

And yes, I mainly use it for homebrew stuff. You know, the stuff I used to be able to do when it still had the "other os" feature.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231016)

You know, the stuff I used to be able to do when it still had the "other os" feature.

Yeah, but they altered that deal, remember.

"We reserve the right to change any conditions to whatever we want whenever we want with no notice yadda yadda yadda"

In sony world you can just buy another one to run online :|

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (1, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231086)

I yanked the cable from my PS3 months ago. Until such point as I have OtherOS/AsbestOS or something else to run a media center frontend on, it doesn't need a network connection.

I'll probably have to block the thing from going outside my home network via a filter on the router anyways if I ever plug it back in, since at that point the PS3 will be "modded" to run linux. Sigh.

Of course, you wouldn't believe how many of these fucking PS3 games nag, nag, nag about "would you like to connect to PSN? please connect to PSN! I can't go online if you don't connect to PSN! You can't use the online features because you're not on PSN! For the love of god I have to be connected to PSN at all times or I'll die!"... it's really fucking ridiculous. I'm loading up a single player game, my PS3 doesn't have a network connection, for the love of god if there isn't an active connection the game should not pop up 5 or 6 fucking nag screens telling me I should "go online" when all I fucking want to do is play the single-player game.

Eh. Sony's not getting any of my money through PSN, then. And if I want to get a game via download, chances are I can get it on my 360 with little to no trouble. If I have any inkling that a game's going to be "incomplete without the DLC" and I really want the game anyways... see the 360.

Sony's just shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:It's your own fault for purchasing Sony (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231052)

Points finger and Sony customers and goes *Ha Ha*

Not really. It's just laying out what should be obvious to everyone. Sony don't want pirates using PSN and if you try signing on from a modded box they will have ways of finding out, e.g. running an arbitrary challenge / response during signon. You could still run modded firmware and play pirate stuff and get away with it but it might be smart to stay well away from the online service. Of course it means no patches, DLC, multiplayer but that is rather the point. Microsoft does similar with XBL too.

Phone Home (1)

gavsta (749014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230444)

I guess with the new firmwares they'll be doing the secret phone home tests and then deploying the ban hammer. Harsh but fair IMHO. I wonder if it will be as effective as MS and the 360 ban hammer? I Still think this entire situation could have been avoided if they'd never removed the install other OS option, which was a legitimate why of running custom homebrew on the box.

Re:Phone Home (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231116)

They only removed Other OS because of (drumroll please) Geohotz found a viable crack in the hypervisor. You can blame its removal on him. Do you really think Sony would leave a relatively esoteric feature there and put hundreds of millions of dollars of game sales at risk? Of course not.

They are serious, guys. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230454)

I just got a letter from Sony's lawyers regarding a particularly insidious piece of software I wrote for my PS3 entitled "Hello World". My Dad says that I have been very bad and will have to go to military school.

"Stepping up stance" (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230460)

doubling up one's attitude regarding ANYthing, does not make that thing right, or wrong. something that is wrong, stays wrong, something that was right, stays still right.

In the cases where that thing was wrong, all that 'doubling up' accomplishes is to show the stubbornness and bastardry of the one doubling up the stance.

basically its doing wrong, and then insisting on being indignant.

Re:"Stepping up stance" (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230864)

Something that is wrong, stays wrong, something that was right, stays still right.

Worst thing to read above the court of appeals door when a person walks in...

Offtopic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230970)

Sony Ericsson [bizjournals.com] was illegally excluding the unemployed from being hired.

Does this mean (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230470)

Second party controller users will be banned.

And for the record, I still haven't bought any games for my ps3

Re:Does this mean (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230616)

Next month Sony will announce that ownership of a PS3 w/o record of having bought any games, indicates the person is a pirate and will result in banning from PSN. (With possible legal action too.)

"Unauthorised" software (2, Insightful)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230482)

Firstly, just to state the obvious: I know that most people using these hacks will be running pirated games, and only the tiniest number will be using homebrew software.

But having said that...

Sony's statement refers to both pirated software AND "unauthorised" software. In that context, unauthorised must = homebrew. Software that you've written yourself, or the author intends you to use. Yet if you use it, Sony will cut you off from PlayStation Network, greatly reducing what you can do with the official games you've bought.

How is that even legal?!?!

I own my PS3. Sony shouldn't be able to take any action that prevents me from using it. If I want to pirate games (which I don't) then Sony can pursue me through the courts. They shouldn't be able to "confiscate" all of my legally-bought games as punishment, which is effectively what they're going to do.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230492)

Sony *can* deny you access to their network services such as PSN if you're using a PS3 that has been shown to have been modified, though. It's their network, they can set the rules.

Whether they should is a different matter entirely, but it's eminently clear that Sony no longer care about that.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230574)

No. Among other things, they can't deny services by implementing various illegal forms of discrimination.

More importantly, they also can not advertise services as available and refuse to provide them to customers who paid for them. With PS3 being a relatively expensive device, customer's decision to buy it, is based on perceived usefulness. By denying services for a reason user can not reasonably expect (such as running benign software -- from bootloaders and Linux to hello.c), Sony fraudulently obtains user's money spent on the console, even if the user does not get a chance to pay for online service he intended to use.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (2)

Sollord (888521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230740)

F that I want Sony to drop the ban hammer on anyone connecting with a modded PS3 to PSN if only to stop ass hat Cheaters who are far more damaging to PSN and ruin everyone elses game play.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230808)

What about cheaters whom Sony can not detect? Those far outnumber people with custom firmware.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230764)

Sure they can. Just run a P2P app or other bit torrent client on your phone and see how fast your cell phone co drops you. Or tether without paying for a tethering plan.. I'm not saying I agree with it, but they can and will drop you

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230882)

Sure they can. Just run a P2P app or other bit torrent client on your phone and see how fast your cell phone co drops you.

I use my T-Mobile "unlimited" plan for some rather massive data transfers, and it is just fine.

Or tether without paying for a tethering plan.

Carriers go out of their way to announce those things to users BEFORE user chooses the plan -- if for no other reason then to make sure that they will not have to deal with millions of users, all using features that are supposed to be a part of a more expensive plan.

What is another problem with Sony -- this whole thing with modding happened because Sony left no way for users to use hardware features that were available before. If cellular provider discontinued tethered plan, it would mean that everyone is free to tether (and this is why it never happened) -- and please note that "smartphone unlimited data" always costs at least as much as "tethered data", because provider knows that it can't maintain the distinction.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (2)

Entrope (68843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230820)

Normal consumers -- probably even the hypothetical reasonable person -- would not expect to run bootloaders, Linux or "Hello World" on a device that is sold as an entertainment device. Especially since the jerks ripped out the "Other OS" functionality, it is not marketed as a general-purpose computing device.

This seems like a reasonable trade-off to me (as long as they're not also suing these users): Running home-brew software voids the warranty, and running modified sofware can get you banned from PSN. If someone wants to use a PS3 for software development and general computing, they probably don't need a PSN account linked to it. It may not be ideal from that consumer's perspective, but it is a lot more palatable than too-skilled people being banned for alleged cheating because the online gaming platform is open to all.

Until someone comes up with the perfect hypervisor -- if such a thing is technologically practical in this kind of system -- Sony cannot hope for an impermeable wall between authorized software and unauthorized software. If they choose to limit online-gaming access for the (relatively few) people who run unauthorized software in order to minimize cheating that detracts from the vast majority of users, that should be their call.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231078)

Normal consumers -- probably even the hypothetical reasonable person -- would not expect to run bootloaders, Linux or "Hello World" on a device that is sold as an entertainment device.

"Reasonable person" does not have to be a typical consumer, he just has to be reasonable. An engineer who buys the only currently commercially available device that contains cell processor, can reasonably expect it to be useful for software development as long as he has capability to use such device. It's also reasonable to expect that being a game console, it can be used for its primary purpose. Certainly "bans-for-life" and libel from Sony (association with pirates, etc.) would not be reasonably expected with any of this.

Especially since the jerks ripped out the "Other OS" functionality, it is not marketed as a general-purpose computing device.

Refusing to implement a popular functionality, especially while concocting "technical" excuses, does not in any way imply that it is supposed to be unavailable, or that it would trigger some kind of retaliation if accessed by other means.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230858)

I don't own a PS3. Are people shown the terms of service when they connect to PSN? That's where the ground rules will be set saying you can't use a hacked console. So if they ban someone from PSN for having a hacked console they aren't "discriminating" they are removing people that violated the rules that those people agreed to follow.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230974)

You can't use a contract to "legalize" a crime such as fraud. It's legal to sell a useless product. It's also legal to disclaim responsibility for all kinds of things including a product being in any way useful. It still would be a fraud to rely on user being mislead into buying something while intending to make it useless for the user. For example, if I sold someone a device for making energy out of nothing, I would be charged with fraud because I would rely on selling the device that I know, does not work, to someone expecting it to work.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230546)

Yes, you own your PS3. No, you don't own PSN. Sony locks down PSN access because it keeps PSN secure from exploitation, which would degrade the experience of those who do not exploit on PSN.

If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits, you can bet I'd be screaming for George Hotz's head on a platter, your homebrew be damned.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230594)

Yeah, fuck your rights. I want my bread and circuses!

Re:"Unauthorised" software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231004)

Given that the purpose of a console is to (metaphorically) provide bread and circuses on demand, I can't help feeling that the bread and circuses trump whatever rights you may have to use your device to interfere with the bread and circus party.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231084)

Sorry jackass, you don't have a "right" to play on PSN.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230780)

If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits,

The problem is that cheating has never required a jailbroken system. It's possible even without jailbreaks and as such banning jailbroken systems accomplishes nothing in this regard.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230826)

> If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits...

So here's a radical thought -- how about instead of curtailing the home-brew experience because of the fear of exploits and piracy, Sony actually allow modified consoles on the network, and not actually punish anyone until there's actual evidence of an exploit or piracy? This way they can respect people's rights and keep the network safe.

Or is respecting their customers just too much work?

Re:"Unauthorised" software (4, Insightful)

BriggsBU (1138021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230938)

There's a difference here between your "rights" as a PlayStation3 owner and the "respect" you feel Sony should give its customers. Yes, it would be wonderful to be able to create home-brew software and what-not for your device. But that is not a /right/. Your rights in this situation are clearly outlined by the ToS and EULA of PSN. Sony owns PSN and has clearly stated they do not want you using systems with pirated or home-brew software on their network. You are more than free to make your home-brew software, but you are not free to use said home-brew software on their networks.

This is rather like a couple of kids playing. Your friend Sony has invited you over to play at his house and invited you to bring over your toy robot for a robot fight. However, when he sees the flame thrower that you grafted onto the arm of said robot, he declines to allow you to bring it into his house.

Although flame-throwing robot toys /would/ be awesome.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

adn (102265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231076)

Ok for that.
But if the homebrew isn't degrading the PSN? Like, if the homebrew is used with net offline, and only official games played via PSN, is it right for Sony to ban that machine? Will Sony do that?
Is it right to punish someone for a "possible" damage, preventively?

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230812)

You're free to use the PS3 anyway you want. All they've said is that they'll cut you off from their network, which, you know, they own, put money into, time, resources etc.

Hack away, just make sure it's offline.....how did Sony put it? Permanently.

I think this is pretty straight forward legal talk and is nothing different than what Xbox360 and Microsoft does.

There WILL be a fork and separate network setup so that you can join on someone elses resources, I'm sure of that.

Yo Grark

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230816)

Sony is dumb. On xbox if I want to make some software I can use xbox live indie games as an outlet for that. This effectively separates "homebrew" from piracy.

Re:"Unauthorised" software (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230972)

Part of the appeal of something like PSN, or Xbox Live, is that it is a walled garden.

Yes, I know, here on Slashdot we're supposed to hate that stuff.

But it gets pretty annoying to go on-line and play some multiplayer game and get your ass handed to you by some guy running an aimbot or wallhack or whatever.

That's why so many games these days make an attempt to curtail cheating. That's why there's the whole Valve Anti-Cheat thing, and why WoW runs that malware/cheat scan before starting up.

On the console, it has traditionally been fairly hard to run a cheat, since you couldn't install your own software. You had to rely on bugs and glitches in the games themselves. But if you mod your system to run any old arbitrary software... Then you can run some kind of cheat in parallel with your game. And this degrades the gaming experience for anyone who plays against you. Which lowers the value of PSN and Xbox Live. Which hurts Sony's or Microsoft's profits.

Yes, I think it was damn stupid for Sony to remove the whole "other OS" thing. That was a colossally dumb thing to do. It used to allow people to tinker and load up their own homebrew stuff while keeping a big wall up between the homebrew and the games. It kept the games safe(er) from cheating and preserved the value of PSN.

But now that wall is gone. And, if you've modded your system to allow homebrew, you may very well be running cheats alongside your games. And Sony doesn't want to see that degrade the value of PSN. So they're protecting their walled garden.

Who cares?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230486)

It's mine, i've bought it with my own money, so if i decide to hack it, i will hack it!
I will use pirate softwate if i see fit.
No one will deny me that right.
And the guarantee menace... oooohhhh!! already got none, so "here's johnny!!"

Problem solved (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230488)

Well, that's fixed that one then, hasn't it? With a statement like that, it's clear that piracy on the PS3 is good and dead.

Or maybe not.

Seriously, I don't see what Sony were trying to achieve here. I think anybody who mods their console (hardware or software) to run homebrew or pirated games will do so with the expectation that they will not continue to be able to use PSN features for long. All Sony have probably achieved is a minor Streisand-effect, making sure that even more people know that it's now possible to pirate PS3 games.

That said, I do applaud the policy of banning modded consoles from the PSN (and hence from the online components of PS3 games). The big attraction of console online multiplayer for me (and I suspect for quite a few others) is that playing on a locked-down system does reduce (albeit perhaps not eliminate) the scope for cheats outside of the exploitation of game-specific glitches.

Re:Problem solved (0)

Sollord (888521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230746)

They're trying stop a lot of stuff but I don't care the real reason as long as it prevents rampant cheating by assholes like what happened on the 360 before MS starter banning modded consoles.

and more thing (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230500)

"All Sony boxez are belong to us"

Re:and more thing (1, Informative)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230560)

excuse me sir, but i believe the term you are looking for is boxen. yes, boxen

When will these people learn... (1)

HyTeK3000 (1951192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230510)

Do they realize they would sell more units by being friendly to the modding community? In regards to pirating, it is not their job to police users pirating. It is the job of law enforcement to uphold the laws, and it is then up to the courts to determine guilt and punishment.

Re:When will these people learn... (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230634)

Their goal is not to sell more units, their goal is to sell software for those units. From what I've heard, most of the profit from console is in the form of license fees from game makers. So Sony has a big interest in preventing anyone not paying those fees from writing any software for the PS3.

Re:When will these people learn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230802)

Do they realize they would sell more units by being friendly to the modding community?

As an avid PC gamer, I can only laugh at this.
Let's take a look at Dead Space 2 for example, for no reason other than it's a recent, popular multi-platform game.
PS3: 500k units sold.
X360: 600k units sold.
PC: 70k units sold. That's not a typo, the PC sold just over 10% of what either console has.

I'm sorry, you were saying something about mod-friendliness being a magic cureall for piracy?
Sure, NOW you say law enforcement should be chasing pirates. What's the bet that when Slashdot reports about police chasing pirates, you' be the first to bitch about how you don't pay taxes to have police chase down companies' civil matters, what with all the murderers and rapists roaming the streets.

A posteriori (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230520)

I don't know if this is a violation of the terms of the "System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System" that comes along with purchasing a PS3 from day one. If not, changing license agreements a posteriori should not be enforceable for their owners. This is similar to license agreements that are not available prior to product purchase, for instance, when they lie inside a box that can only be opened after acquiring it.

Re:A posteriori (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230578)

The condenced version of sonys TOS/EULA:

"We guarantee nothing, we promise nothing, we reserve the right to do anything we want or terminate this agreement at any point. You have the right to do absolutely nothing but we may decide not to punish you from doing some things if we feel like it. We also may change this agreement at any time and you shall have agreed to those changes as well automatically by agreeing to this"

it's remarkably similar to the agreement that comes with most antivirus software.

Re:A posteriori (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230708)

You forgot the usual ending to these kind of things.

Therefore, in summary, screw you

Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230542)

I really have to say something here... I have a hard time understanding why this is such a big deal. Bear with me here...

You are buying a product that works within a closed ecosystem, including Sony's Playstation Network. If you mod your PS3, of course Sony is not going to let you play on their playground because they have no way to determine if your box is cheating or doing other non-good things while being attached to their network. Why is this so hard to understand?

Think about it this way... you are an IT manager for a large company. You manage thousands of desktops and hundreds of servers. What would you do if your employees started taking their laptops home and installing a modified or hacked OS, and then proceeded to bring those laptops to work and connected them to your managed network? Would you like that? Or would you ban those laptops from connecting to your network? This is precisely what Sony is doing and I don't disagree with it.

Note that I'm not against modding and hacking, on the contrary, I am a self-taught hacker with an electronics degree and nearly 30 years of computing experience. But even I understand that if I buy product A that comes with service B, service B may be taken away or unavailable if I modify product A. Sorry, but that's the breaks when you buy into a closed ecosystem. Same thing goes with Apple's walled-garden approach.

Now, if you want to mod your box, fine, just don't expect support or service from Sony. You don't need to use Sony's network if you don't own any games that require it. If I modded my own box, I would expect that I can no longer use any associated services. However, intentionally bricking a device is a whole other topic...

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230658)

Quite. You bought a PS3, but you only subscribed to PSN. It's an entirely reasonable distinction -- who honestly mods or chips a console and expects to use it for online multiplayer?

Re:Why is this news? (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230786)

Not to mention they did this with the PS2. When you signed on with a game such as SOCOM, if a mod chip was detected, it wouldn't let you log in or boot you off the game. You'd have to put the mod chip in sleep/hidden state, and then load the game off of the disc to be able to play. I know this was true for my DSM4 chip with Toxic OS

Re:Why is this news? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231070)

The problem is that PSN isn't only used for multiplayer. It is used for the browser and netflix and I imagine any online bluray features

Re:Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230792)

Wait until PS3 games require online activation, which won't work if your PS3 is banned from the PSN. Will you see the big deal then?

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230998)

I think you are glossing over one very important aspect: This is not just about Sony controlling the online experience, which I agree with. This is about a "bait and switch" with the core functionality of hardware that I bought. Mainly, the OtherOS feature and backwards support for PS2 games. So I agree with Sony cutting down on cheating to preserve the experience of non-cheaters with online play. I DO NOT agree with functionality that I paid for being taken away for no good reason other than they were tired of supporting it.

I haven't done ANY modding to my PS3, yet it is still a shell of its former self with the aforementioned features now gone. I played by their rules and got screwed anyway. So I have NO sympathy whatsoever for them. DIAF Sony.

And your analogy is a little weak in that when you are issued a COMPANY laptop, you aren't out any money and of course you should only do things related to your job description with it. The paradigm changes once it is hardware that YOU pay for.

I wonder if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230558)

... they would permaban people who regularly buy things from the PSN Store, as well as have a large collection of bought games.

I know many people who have hacked devices simply for the homebrew side. They buy all their games as well as donate to many game related charities, software development studios and the like.
Only one has downloaded a game and not paid for it and that was the PC version of Fallout 3, simply because it was so terribly buggy on there in comparison to the console version that he had. (and, again, only because they never released the GECK for the PS3 version, even lazier of them)
The hard drive is there, Bethesda, use it please.

I wonder what would happen if all the frequent buyers of games and downloadables were to have modded their console.

As a PS3 owner... (1)

iB1 (837987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230568)

...I really don't mind this. I have no problem with people hacking/modding their PS3, running whatever they want to run on it and playing pirated games that don't connect to the network. But my chilled out attitude rapidly drops away when it comes to the mess that can happen in online games. MW2 used to be quite a fun experience online, but the hacked lobbies and the blatant cheating have recently made it unplayable. If I were Sony, I'd do exactly the same thing.

Re:As a PS3 owner... (3)

Doches (761288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230602)

The only flaw in your reasoning? Claiming that you own a PS3. You paid a one-time leasing fee, at best; the device still belongs to Sony.

Re:As a PS3 owner... (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230696)

"Id like to see them come take it." - George Hotz

(No, he may not have said that but probably did...)

Re:As a PS3 owner... (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230714)

It's hyperbole like this that is making slashdot look foolish. It comes up any time a managed ecosystem like this comes up (PSN, Xbox Live, App Store, Tivo EPG etc) that the company in question merely "leased" the device to you and that you "don't own your own hardware".

It's nonsense, and it degrades the argument. Buying a PS3, or an Xbox, or an iPhone, or a Tivo is one thing. Having access to the services that those devices have available is entirely another.

If Sony cuts you off from the PSN for violating the ToS it is *not* analogous at all to "the device belonging to Sony".

If the arguments against closed systems like PSN or the App Store etc begin with such false statements, how can anyone take the genuine parts of the argument seriously? You're shooting yourself in the foot.

Re:As a PS3 owner... (1)

BriggsBU (1138021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230964)

So if I got banned from /. then it doesn't mean that my computer was just licensed? Well, that's a relief!

Re:As a PS3 owner... (1)

snkiz (1786676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231014)

Here's the thing Sony and all the other don't do though. When the ToS/EULA changes and you chose not to accept (Because that's not the agreement you paid for.) There is no option to return the console or games for a full refund. When I bought my PS3 other OS was part of the package. When it was removed my options were; Accept the new ToS and loose other OS, or don't accept and lose the access to the psn. There was no option to refund since neither choice was what I paid for originally. It's their network and they can do as they please with it, but when that choice affects the value of my purchase, I should have the option of saying no, I'd like my money back please, here's your console.

Re:As a PS3 owner... (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230770)

I won a contest and received a PS3. I am 100% positive its mine. (Netherlands)

the fine print (2)

zman58 (1753390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230922)

One time leasing fee?? Just goes to show you that you need to read the fine print. If you don't agree with it, then don't buy/lease the unit. Most manufactures don't want you to read the fine print; this is the reason that it is tiny and difficult to read (legalese).
What if you were to come across a unit some other way, such as a garage sale giveaway? In this case you have agreed to nothing. Does the unit say "Not for resale. Property of Sony Corp." on it??

The one-time leasing fee is just a ploy to prevent you from marginalizing or re-purposing the hardware. Why should I not be able to build software for that platform and sell it or give it away allowing others to run it--such as a Linux distribution? For that matter, why not purchase from Sony, hack for other purpose--such as a node for parallel processing super computer, and then re-sell the units for that purpose with software included? You could make some serious money using their console. How can that be wrong or illegal?

It is not my fault that Sony chose a marketing tactic of giving the razor away to sell the blades. That is their risk and trying to get the law on their side in this matter is just plain wrong. ...I have some pretty decent blades that just happen to fit in that razor and when combined can do some very useful and valuable things.

I do not plan on buying anything from Sony again. Hopefully others will do the same. They can keep their products and services. What they are doing is just plain wrong--typical of an aging entertainment business with lobbying ties to Washington.

Why do people keep sending these greedy corporations money for products and services when they carry on like this (with the draconian fine print)??

Not a troll, but a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230570)

I know I am going to get flamed for this, which is why I am posting as an Anonymous Cowards, but...

Think about it from Sony's perspective. Think about the costs they laid out to bring the entire Playstation to market. Don't they have a right to try and control what happens to their product? People can argue that once a system is bought, it no longer belongs to Sony, but they do have controlling right to the technology that continues to exist in the system. The entire idea that Sony is out to get it's customers strikes me a spurious and unsupported argument. If a retailer of any product was "out to get their customer," what would it do to their business in the long run?

Is this about money? Probably. If you were in Sony's position, would you take a similar stance? Probably. We can be all high and mighty as we want, but we do a disservice to the community at large when we fail to examine the entire picture and consider all of the aspects. We need to take off the blinders for a bit...

This way, our future arguments will have more meat.

Just saying, is all.

Re:Not a troll, but a thought... (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230642)

Think about it from Sony's perspective. Think about the costs they laid out to bring the entire Playstation to market. Don't they have a right to try and control what happens to their product

Sony's perspective on whether they do or do not have a right to control their product post-sale is irrelevant -- they can believe that they have that right all they want, but it doesn't make it so. What they do have a right to control is the service they provide; banning devices and/or users from PSN and the like is entirely legit. Who would possibly expect them to do otherwise?

People can argue that once a system is bought, it no longer belongs to Sony, but they do have controlling right to the technology that continues to exist in the system.

Indeed, people do make that argument. Some of them even sit on the U.S. Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] .

The entire idea that Sony is out to get it's customers strikes me a spurious and unsupported argument. If a retailer of any product was "out to get their customer," what would it do to their business in the long run?

Definitely -- no legitimate business can hassle its customers and get away with it. On an unrelated note, bought any good CDs lately?

Re:Not a troll, but a thought... (2)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230768)

Don't they have a right to try and control what happens to their product?

No. Fortunately for Sony, this is not about the product, but about infrastructure that they themselves own and operate.

They Better Do Something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230600)

Sony better get off its butt and do something to make money while the music industry fails, better companies sell better electronics for less money, other gaming systems come into their own and their position in the public image turns to poo.
Whadda you do when everyone knows what a prick you are and no one wants to have anything to do with you anymore.
Perhaps Sony should hire some Scientologists or Democrats to consult and see if they can hold onto their stockholders.
         

Car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230608)

"Notice: Unauthorized offroad and alternative fuel devices for the Sony Car system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized fuel and roads. Use of such roads or fuel violates the terms of the "License Agreement for the Sony Car System" and the "Terms of Services and User Agreement" for the Sony Road Network and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the Licence Agreement for the Sony Car System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that Car. In addition, driving offroad or using alternative fuel is a violation of International Driving Laws. Consumers using offroad devices or running Sony Cars with unauthorized fuel will have access to the Sony Road Network and access to Sony Maintenance services through Sony Car systems terminated permanently."

Have a nice day.

FUCK YOU SONY FUCK YOU AND THE COW YOU ROAD IN ON (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230630)

Whatyagonnadoaboutitaye?

Don't see the problem (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230660)

I do not see any big problem with what Sony is doing. If your PS3 is modded, of course you should not be allowed onto their network, because that would open the door for all kinds of cheat software, which would destroy the fun for all the legit players trying to enjoy competitive games there. You still can play offline (as long as the game does not use online verification, which newer games very well might do) and you can still use your "homebrew" software. The whole thing would only be problematic if Sony would remotely brick your PS3 for being modded. But they do not do that.

Re:Don't see the problem (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230678)

Yet.

OK, I've had enough (2, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230662)

Everytime an article about hacking on the PS3 turns up on Slashdot, we get a bunch of idiots writing "Fuck you, Sony".

For the report, I don't have a problem with homebrew or hacking. I run Rockbox on my iRiver.

I do however have a problem with piracy and online cheating.

If you're hacking the console just so you can play the latest games without paying for them or so you can cheat online in Sony's PSN, then you deserve to have your console banned.

Re:OK, I've had enough (3, Funny)

Doches (761288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230684)

Take your reason elsewhere, we're trying to spread some FUD here!

Re:OK, I've had enough (1)

Scott64 (1181495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230704)

Many have the same opinion. Sony, however, sees homebrew in the same light as piracy and cheating. Banned.

Re:OK, I've had enough (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230868)

Do you have some tool that will distinguish between the piracy/cheating and homebrew accurately and automatically? Do you know how to make one? Even assuming you and/or Sony know how to make such a tool, does it make economic sense for them, or is it better to save that engineering effort and use a simpler system?

People running homebrew software on that kind of system will never be a big market, and those users tend to be bad for the hardware vendor because they usually don't buy enough software to make up for the loss-leading hardware sale. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that it's better to treat everyone running Sony-unapproved software the same way.

Re:OK, I've had enough (1)

Scott64 (1181495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230986)

All I was saying was that in Sony's eyes, they're the same thing (or at least they're punished in the same way). You're doing something they never wanted, so they label you the same way regardless of intent. Maybe you meant to reply to parent? I don't care what Sony does with PSN. I made my decision to avoid PSN since April 1st, 2010.

GeoHots basic human right to free speech is taken? (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230676)

GeoHots basic human right to free speech is taken? wtf? Im outraged.
Can someone please find a sweet backdoor into all PS3s and jailbreak them all at once?
I heard all PS3's have the same MAC address. Anyone knoe fi this is true? Maybe it was XBOX?

How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230692)

The problem is, the master key signs software, so the console things its legit. It uses the same key that is on official products. So, how will Sony know if someone is running a legit game, or one that was homebrewed and then signed? The answer - they can't. So as far as I am concerned, this statement is just scare tactics that Sony can't enforce.

Not that I really care. I use my PS3 for Blu-Rays, Netflix, and the ocassional old PSX or PS2 game I have in my collection. I have my PS3 to be a media console, not a gaming device, and really have no desire to run pirated games or Linux on it - I got a PC for that (linux, that is).

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230772)

They might be able to add a hash check or something to verify it's exactly the same size as the official version

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231058)

So the Sony server would use an RPC of some kind named "getFirmwareHash()"
and the content on the console would be
Hash getFirmwareHash()
{
    return "thehashitwanttosee";
}

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230810)

As I said in another post above, the PS2 did this as well. If you had a DSM3/4 mod chip installed, even if you inserted the Socom disc and then went to play online, the game or something would check the system and if the mod chip was enabled you couldn't sign in, it would just boot you off. You had to put the mod chip in sleep/hidden mode (which basically turned it off) to play the online games.

No reason the system couldn't do a checksum of the game or apps running or some other test to see if it was running homebrew or not even with a master key in place.

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230932)

They certainly can enforce it...

In an update they can provide a the exact signatures of all known official certificates issued with the old key - if the specific signature of the application you are loading is on that list, you are allowed to play. If its not, but it can be verified using the original master signing key, then you have a suspect application - since all official games go through Sony, its not going to be difficult for them to produce this list.

Of course, you can refuse to upgrade your PS3 firmware to allow this, at which point you lose the ability to join the PSN. Exactly what Sony have just said, basically.

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231110)

Either that or how hard would it be to create a "swap loader" disk...basically a disk that lets you swap between the custom firmware and the "legit" firmware that I'm assuming that the PSN would check for?
I refuse to own any sony hardware (on general principle), but does the PS3 support attaching external drives (like the XBox 360)? If so problem solved--you want on the PSN? disconnect the external drive, and swap back in the sony blessed firmware...When you want to do other things, swap back....

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

pokyo (1987720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231002)

As long as the pirated games/homebrew duplicate a legit software products identification info I dont think they will be able to tell the difference. I would guess their first attempt would be to update the PS3 firmware to record KEY/TITLE information and verify that with an authentication server when you log into PSN. If there is a KEY/TITLE mismatch then they can safely assume it is "unauthorized" software.

Re:How will they know / Scare tactics (1)

j0ey2069 (1162125) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231124)

They have already been logging loads of info from the PS3 back to their server's apparently everytime you logged in PSN. "They leech all the info they can get from your console, even what devices that are connected to your PS3, the information in your USB drives, TV, just about anything you can imagine!" Taken from here; http://ps3crunch.com/beware-credit-card-info-sony-psn-hacked.html [ps3crunch.com]

No Problem ... (0)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230694)

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with Sony objecting to hacked consoles connecting to PSN - especially if they are being used to cheat or obtain content from the services illegally. If not for the benefit of legitimate players.

I do however have a problem with them removing features i payed a premium for OR penalising me for deciding against upgrading my vanilla - unhacked firmware.

So now I am without PS3 Linux because i wanted to access the PSN Store. I dont condone piracy , Im happy to buy games - In the past I had boxes of dodgy floppies on my Amiga , piracy was rampant on that platfom and that , together with the mal-management of Commodore and Amiga INC contributed to the demise of the system. Linux and open source takes care of my needs and where there is software worth purchasing i will buy it ( http://www.renoise.com/ [renoise.com] ).

Having been a loyal Sony customer for so long im wondering where to go with my next console purchase, i already boycott Microsoft and Nintendo's cutesy game library (SuperZeldaMario World Galaxy 13 Yawn ) doesnt really appeal to me - although i am sorely tempted by the 3DS.

We need another player here ....

N ...

Re:No Problem ... (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231018)

We need another player here ....

We have one. It's called "the rest of the technology world". Build yourself an HTPC (or other TV-attached computing device) and do anything you want (within the limits of the device). Yeah, you can't (easily) play proprietary games, but otherwise it's yours, and does just about anything that PS3 Linux can.

Wait a minute... (1)

lordholm (649770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230718)

How can you violate the "System Software Licence Agreement" if you remove the said system software from the system?

Dear World, We trusted the client (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230726)

We never thought to build shore defences because our Scienticians assured Us that if We stood on the shoreline and shouted "HALT!" loudly enough, the tide would never come in.

Effective immediately, Our new Oceanic Evition policy is to execute any of Our subjects caught with damp feet. We trust that this shall bring an end to this sordid defiance of Our divine authority.

tl;dr; version (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230736)

Actually, it doesn't even take a word, it just takes a gesture, modeled here [themiddlefinger.com] by William Shatner.

Digital Fascism... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35230750)

What can you expect from a company that does not have any remorse on hacking your computers (cd rootkits) just to keep you in check?

Licensing hardware? (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35230874)

I'm surprised that Apple and Sony haven't out-right just put licenses on their products. So instead of buying a product, you're buying a license to use the product but the hardware ultimately still belongs to them.

Not to give them any ideas, but isn't this a way around the whole "don't use anyone else's software or else"? Right now, nothing in the packaging (as far as I know) says that you can't use your own OS or anything other than the OEM software.

Ultimately, I think if Apple, Sony, or anyone else were to do this, people would either knuckle under or buy products that don't infringe on their rights.

Lemmings of The World Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231066)

Dear Lemmings,

Just don't play with Sony anymore. Don't buy their shit, don't play their games, etc. It'll only take a month or two (probably less) and they'll figure out which side of their bread is buttered.

But, of course, that's certainly too much of an inconvenience ...

How will they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35231148)

How long will it be before someone designs a "homebrew" firmware version which exactly mimics the official one in its responses to PSN's checks for mods? Yet still allows all the stuff they are objecting to.

PSN isn't required, but PSN is anti-competitive (2)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35231150)

If the PSN isn't required for PS3, then they can ban you from it. But, why can't there be a replacement network? Up until recently, it was not technically possible to create unauthorized software (software subject to their licensing & TOS restrictions) however it is now.

Since you "own" your console, you should be able to connect it to any network. I would assert that Sony by way of only allowing only one network (PSN) is given an unfair monopoly and is engaging in anti-competitive business practices. (Same for for XBLN) Even if you agree to the ToS, the ToS is only binding on the first owner of the console (First Sale doctrine) there is no provision for Sony to continue the ToS and License agreements past the shrink-wrap seal.

Clearly, you have the right to network the unit you own and have the right to connect it to networks of your choosing. I call for Sony to publish specifications which would allow alternate, private or open networks to be functionally equivalent to the PSN, as well as the PS Store. If Sony is going to force the issue, we'll make sure the stakes get really high.

This all started when they took Linux away anyway. That in itself has to be bait and switch.

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