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Sony PlayStation 3 Imports Temporarily Banned In Europe

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the acrimonious-patent-battles dept.

EU 97

tekgoblin writes "Looks like Sony is in some trouble in Europe. LG recently complained about Sony and filed a US patent dispute over their Blu-ray technology. Now they have been granted a preliminary injunction in the matter in Europe. This injunction prevents the PlayStation 3 from currently being imported to Europe. For at least the next 10 days, every PlayStation that is imported will be seized by government officials."

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Good news, Eurpeans! (1, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343278)

This week would be an excellent time to put your PS3 up for sale on EBay!

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343356)

You sure? they said every imported PS3 will be seized so might have a cop or something on your doorstep to seize your PS3

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343510)

How can it be imported if it's already in Europe?

Re:Good news, Eur(o)peans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343690)

Because it's not really 'in Europe' yet; it's just sitting in a container on a ship / in the harbor (probably of Rotterdam), or in boxes at the airport (Schiphol or, though unlikely, Rotterdam or Eindhoven), and probably hasn't been cleared for entry / onward transport.

Think of the situation as landing in an airport. You fly from Paris to New York. You land 'in New York' - but until you're through all the security checks/customs, you're not actually -in- New York yet and they can send you right on back to Paris or detain you for no particular reason, etc.

Re:Good news, Eur(o)peans! (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343740)

More like "Anonymous Idiot." Do you really think the OP was encouraging Sony to put the PS3s which are on container ships on eBay? Here's a clue: supply and demand. The supply has just dried up, at least for a week and a half. If you're a European PS3 owner, this might present a selling opportunity via eBay.

Re:Good news, Eur(o)peans! (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344468)

If you're a European PS3 owner, this might present a selling opportunity via eBay.

Or if you're a non-European PS3 owner who is smart enough to label at as something other than a PS3? ... An Xbox perhaps?

Re:Good news, Eur(o)peans! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345544)

An XBox is still over the 22 customs threshold so they'll look inside the box just to see how much money they can squeeze out of you.

Re:Good news, Eur(o)peans! (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355694)

Because it's not really 'in Europe' yet

Yes it is. The original poster said this:

Topic: Good news, Eurpeans!
This week would be an excellent time to put your PS3 up for sale on EBay!

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35345460)

Azia en Europe are 2 different continents?

Check out http://tweakers.net/nieuws/72922/douane-legt-beslag-op-europese-handelsvoorraad-ps3-consoles.html for more information in the main language of the country where it's happening (Dutch/The Netherlands).

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346022)

Of course they are. Domme hollanders steken hun neus weer overal in.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343366)

Why? They are only seizing imports. It didn't say they were pulling them off store shelves. In fact, the article even pointed out that it will be 2 to 3 weeks before the stores run out. So maybe, if you expected the injunction to end up getting extended beyond the initial 10 days (not likely), then this week would be a good time to start buying them from the stores and hoarding them in anticipation of an upcoming shortage.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

tekgoblin (1675894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343408)

Yeah I find it weird that they can still sell them from the shelves but not bring any more into the country. Now will they stop consumers from purchasing PlayStations over the internet and having them shipped overseas? Or are they only stopping shipments directly from Sony.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (5, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343518)

Not weird really. The injunction is against Sony, not the merchant that is selling them.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348282)

If it were that simple, Sony could just arrange for a third party distributor to bring them into Europe.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355326)

Now will they stop consumers from purchasing PlayStations over the internet and having them shipped overseas?

If it passes from the part of the world that is not in the EU to the part of the world that is in the EU, then that is an IMPORT to the EU.

In theory, individual shipments from (say) a Singapore shipper to an EU country will also be subject to inspection and seizure. The seizure may be permanent (if the item is deemed unsafe/ illegal for sale in the EU - porn or sub-standard electrical equipment, Tasers, etc) and possibly lead to criminal charges for the importer ; or it may be temporary (likely in a case like this ; the recipient will receive a note that amounts to a receipt, which can be used to reclaim an item when the injunction is lifted) ; there may be duties to be applied on import.

In theory, this also applies to what arrives in people's baggage on a boat or a plane. (Or on a train from Russia or Turkey, but I've not experienced that myself) I actually have a friend who brought a UK-keyboard laptop in Singapore (on his way back from work in KL), and had both the laptop AND the receipt in his briefcase when searched in the "GREEN CHANNEL" at HellRow customs. It cost him something like £150 in duty, but because he "genuinely believed" that he had "nothing to declare", he didn't get prosecuted for treason (tax evasion ; same crime).

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343368)

JSYK; we europeze use marktplaats, 2ehands, karaboowhatsitsname and several others depending on the country. Oddly all of these are popular in Nigeria as wel.

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343662)

This week would be an excellent time to put your PS3 up for sale on EBay!

Only if you are European... because if you sell from, say, the United States, then clearly it would be considered an "import" from the perspective of Europe.

Re:Good news, Europeans! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343998)

Hence the (admittedly misspelled) title, "Good news, Europeans!

Re:Good news, Eurpeans! (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344484)

This week would be an excellent time to put your PS3 up for sale on EBay!

Hm... or for non-europeans... perhaps it would be an excellent time to buy a PS3?

Hey Sony? (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343280)

Karma, much? Your tight grip of copyright and patents are biting you in the ass now.

Re:Hey Sony? (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343304)

Your tight grip of copyright and patents are biting you in the ass now.

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343364)

...of course, Tarkin did wind up ordering a genocide. So, maybe we should be seeking a somewhat different strategy than the one Leah tried...

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343594)

...of course, Tarkin did wind up ordering a genocide. So, maybe we should be seeking a somewhat different strategy than the one Leah tried...

Well, if you wanted to run Linux on your Playstation, Sony has already done the equivalent by disabling that. Sadly, Sony increasingly acts like the empire in that regards -- it's their toy, and you can only play with it the way they say you can.

And, really, no matter what strategy Leah chose, they were going to blow it up anyway just because they hadn't fired it yet and it would be fun. Had she given in, the planet will still have been destroyed, and the rebels would have been compromised.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343736)

Sony committed the equivalent to a genocide? Holy shitballs.

Re:Hey Sony? (3, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344244)

No, but they altered the deal. Pray they don't alter it any further.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345690)

Pray? Let us not blow this out of all proportion - we can survive without PS3 and, dare I say it, without Sony. If they want to ruin their own market-share that is entirely up to them.

Those unfortunate souls who bought a PS3 are unlikely yo buy Sony products in the future, what with all of the dicking around.

Re:Hey Sony? (2)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345904)

I'm a PS3 owner. On a purely intellectual level, I agree: they're fucking around, taking things away that I got when I bought the thing, forcing updates down my throat regardless of wether I want/need them or not, et cetera.

On a simplistic gamer level, though, none of their decisions has impacted me, at all. I never planned on running Linux on it - would be fun, but hardly useful to me; I buy the games I play so I don't care about pirates risking bans, and it's simply a pretty good toy all things considered. Maybe a looser approach to homebrew might give me some more enjoyment still, but in general I'm quite happy with it.

Those two points of view are in a precarious balance, and I honestly don't know wether or not a PS4 will enter my home, if it appears. All the shit Sony pulls impacts mostly hackers who want to do different things to the console than what Sony intended - a right that admittedly should be held sacred - and the egos of some random top execs who get their rocks off on the idea that they are in control. All in all, small transgressions with little impact, but which might eventually cause rather larger consequences if said egofuckers get some actual power on their hands, like, say, moving into politics.

I *want* to say I'll never buy another Sony product, but I can't. I honestly don't know if I ever will.

Hell, even if I vow to never do so, corporate politics and management may change, too, over the years.

Re:Hey Sony? (5, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346098)

> hackers who want to do different things to the console than what Sony intended

and: purchasers who want to do what was advertised by sony at purchase, i.e. run linux

and I don`t give a rat`s ass about what sony intends, I expect to own what I buy.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35364606)

What about the rootkit?

That's something Sony did that had almost zero effect on hackers, yet exposed normal users to malware.

Re:Hey Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35344300)

Holy shitballs.

This.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345334)

...of course, Tarkin did wind up ordering a genocide. So, maybe we should be seeking a somewhat different strategy than the one Leah tried...

Well, if you wanted to run Linux on your Playstation, Sony has already done the equivalent by disabling that. Sadly, Sony increasingly acts like the empire in that regards -- it's their toy, and you can only play with it the way they say you can.

And, really, no matter what strategy Leah chose, they were going to blow it up anyway just because they hadn't fired it yet and it would be fun. Had she given in, the planet will still have been destroyed, and the rebels would have been compromised.

And after all that, she still managed to compromise the Alliance. [youtube.com]

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347016)

No worries. The Empire announced just before the attack that an intelligence source had told them that Alderaan had weapons of mass destruction, so that made it okay.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351094)

Or you can walk to the trains and "showers" under your own power. The result is the same.

That is the shitty thing about tyrants, is that they don't care how you die, just that you do. It is better to stand opposed to them with every fiber of your being.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353994)

Oi, it's Leia!

Star Wars Is Fiction (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345626)

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

48 million consoles.
69 million PSN accounts. 17 million PlayStation Home accounts.
4 million MOVE controllers.

The PS3 Slim was introduced in 2009.

Meaning that more than half of all PS3 consoles have been sold without so much as a whisper of support for the OtherOS, SACD, or PS2 emulation.

On the other hand, the five year old PS3 remains feature competitive with high end DVD and Blu-Ray players.

It supports 1080p Netflix streams with 5.1 theater surround sound.

It supports Hulu Plus in HD.

It supports Sony's new Music Unlimited service. 6 million tracks. $4-$10/mo.

--- and it plays games.

These are the features which sell the product.

I have yet to see anyone post hard numbers - credible numbers - for Linux installs or homebrew gaming on the PS3.

I would not be in the least surprised if there were more kids watching their twentieth re-play of "Monsters vs Aliens" in stereographic 3D on their Dad's Bravia HDTV.

Re:Star Wars Is Fiction (-1, Troll)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345878)

On the other hand, the five year old PS3 remains feature competitive with high end DVD and Blu-Ray players.

Unless noise and heat are features, no, not really

It supports 1080p Netflix streams with 5.1 theater surround sound.

If you are one of the world's 5% that can access this, yes.

It supports Hulu Plus in HD.

If you are one of the world's 5% that can access this, yes.

It supports Sony's new Music Unlimited service. 6 million tracks. $4-$10/mo.

If you are one of the world's 5% that can access this, yes.

--- and it plays games.

Unless you want to use the hardware in any way not sanctioned by Sony.

*sigh*

Re:Star Wars Is Fiction (1)

DarenN (411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346110)

Ah, I love watching slashtards on their high horses.

The GP is correct. The PS3 is a great media center out of the box, and with a media server on a network it's exceptional. It's also extremely quiet, as the parent would know if he'd ever, y'know, used one. In fact, this was the primary motivator for choosing the PS3 over the XBox360 (which sounded like a jet engine and destroyed a disc in the 2 weeks we had it).

The PS3 is a great bit of kit, fact. I disagree with Sony's fruitless attempts to stop the tide, and I'm sure they'll spread plenty of misery around but it doesn't change that fact. And nonsense postings like the one above just serve to make the poster look like an idiot (here's a tip - that 5% referenced is people who have money to buy games consoles - i.e. their market).

Re:Star Wars Is Fiction (2)

iainl (136759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346230)

Now there's a correct Grandparent. The PS3 can do lots of other nice things. But it's not as good at playing Blu-ray films as having a dedicated Blu-ray player that's quieter, smaller, uses less power and can be modded multi-region.

Re:Star Wars Is Fiction (0)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346320)

Ah, I love watching slashtards on their high horses.

Ok, lets see...

The GP is correct. The PS3 is a great media center out of the box, and with a media server on a network it's exceptional.

Its decent - it lacks a LOT of things, like proper DLNA/UPnP support (no remote control??), DLNA integration (choose your music, as long as it is NOT on the network), media support (what are subtitles in MP4 files?!?) etc. Google it, or compare it to just about anything else.
Only my Philips radio does worse - every other kit I have has the PS3 licked in terms of being a media center.

It's also extremely quiet, as the parent would know if he'd ever, y'know, used one. In fact, this was the primary motivator for choosing the PS3 over the XBox360 (which sounded like a jet engine and destroyed a disc in the 2 weeks we had it).

Less noisy than a jet-engine is not the same as quiet. Seriously, I have 2 PS3s, 1 first gen 60gig and a most-recent gen. Even the newest one, in the hallway, is more noisy than ANY DVD/BD player I have seen. Even my old Philips surround-DVD-radio-otherthings player is no-where as noisy.
So relative to XBoxes, F16s and tumbledryers - sure. Compared to other things - not in this world.

(here's a tip - that 5% referenced is people who have money to buy games consoles - i.e. their market).

You're saying only people in the US (the 5% that can get netflix etc) can afford PS3s? And you called ME an idiot??? No, Europeans and others also buy PS3s, but these features advertised by GP as being reasons to buy a PS3 doesn't apply to them.

Re:Star Wars Is Fiction (1)

DarenN (411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35419028)

The GP is correct. The PS3 is a great media center out of the box, and with a media server on a network it's exceptional.

Its decent - it lacks a LOT of things, like proper DLNA/UPnP support (no remote control??), DLNA integration (choose your music, as long as it is NOT on the network), media support (what are subtitles in MP4 files?!?) etc. Google it, or compare it to just about anything else.
Only my Philips radio does worse - every other kit I have has the PS3 licked in terms of being a media center.

Well, if you've been playing movies on the radio, I can see where you're having problems. The PS3 has DLNA support - here's the manual entry [playstation.net] . You get a remote control free with the console - it's a controller that's remote, it's just not dedicated to A/V functionality. It doesn't support subtitles on .mp4 files, fair enough. It's also compact, looks pretty good and fits on a shelf under the TV for a reasonable price.

It's also extremely quiet, as the parent would know if he'd ever, y'know, used one. In fact, this was the primary motivator for choosing the PS3 over the XBox360 (which sounded like a jet engine and destroyed a disc in the 2 weeks we had it).

Less noisy than a jet-engine is not the same as quiet. Seriously, I have 2 PS3s, 1 first gen 60gig and a most-recent gen. Even the newest one, in the hallway, is more noisy than ANY DVD/BD player I have seen. Even my old Philips surround-DVD-radio-otherthings player is no-where as noisy.
So relative to XBoxes, F16s and tumbledryers - sure. Compared to other things - not in this world.

Really? I'm sorry to hear that because mine is almost completely silent. It might be marginally louder than my DVD player, but you'd need a sensitive decibel measuring device to tell the difference. And if I'm watching anything on it, it is entirely unnoticeable. The disc drive in the slim PS3 is marginally louder than the one in the fat PS3 when spinning up, but that's about it and they're both comparable to any DVD player I've used. I've never, I must admit, used a standalone blu-ray player (why would I, I have 2 PS3's) but I can't imagine they're that much quieter.

(here's a tip - that 5% referenced is people who have money to buy games consoles - i.e. their market).

You're saying only people in the US (the 5% that can get netflix etc) can afford PS3s? And you called ME an idiot??? No, Europeans and others also buy PS3s, but these features advertised by GP as being reasons to buy a PS3 doesn't apply to them.

Fair enough there, I misread your original point. In Europe we don't have netflix and hulu, but in Ireland the PS3 integrates the local TV channel's digital service into the main menu and there's a specific app just for it, which is really very nice indeed. So there are compensations.

Your original point was incorrect, it does a lot of things very well. Our mutual dislike of Sony's behaviour does not change this, and saying it does makes you sound like you're bashing its capabilities simply because you dislike Sony, which is stupid.

Re:Hey Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343382)

In corporate-bizarro world that translates to, "we didn't have a tight enough grip."

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344224)

<VOICE type="Nelson-Muntz">
Ha, ha!
</VOICE>

Re:Hey Sony? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35344722)

Not at all. These sorts of patent disputes behind huge IP giants are just part of the game, and all the parties involved know that quite well. I'd give it 50/50 odds that the attorneys on the opposing sides had a nice dinner together after their racquetball game last week.

If you think Sony or some other company is ever going to react to an incident like this by suddenly snapping awake thinking "My God, maybe these patents aren't such a good idea after all," then you just don't know how this whole thing is intended to work. These companies all SHARE a common goal, and that's to completely exclude all new competition from the marketplace. In order to do that they need to brandish their weapons on a regular basis. They put on their costumes and get out in public and make like they're trying to kill each other (wink wink).

None of these corporations is ever going to experience any serious side effect of these patent "wars." War is such a silly name for it anyway. It's more like a nice aggressive game of shirts-vs-skins (pick sport of your choosing). You act all tough on the field, but you're all drinking beers together after the game.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346114)

Mod parent sadly up.

Re:Hey Sony? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348486)

None of these corporations is ever going to experience any serious side effect of these patent "wars."

Nonsense. A company run by lawyers is a doomed company, and that is just what the patent game does to companies. I will state the obvious: Sony is doomed. They are weakened by their console war with Microsoft and have seriously damaged their community support with various unacceptable antics. They have lost their engineering lead to the likes of Samsung and LG. They have nearly single handedly set the stage for the final act of the console story: it is now abundantly clear that console hardware cannot ever again hope to keep up with the personal computer market, just because of economies of scale. The only thing keeping the console form factor on life support is the proprietary content lock. That was greatly weakened in this generation (see all the former exclusives that went cross platform) and will be largely ineffective in the next, negating the only strong argument to buy a console. The nice, unintended effect, is that Microsoft was also greatly weakened in the skirmish. Maybe there is such a thing as karma. (Sorry, drifted a little there but it felt good.)

Re:Hey Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346016)

>... are biting you in the ass now.
Just not sure, but is .."biting you in the ass" a genuine English expression? Sounds more like a German expression translated to English, but then, I'm not sure.

Bag of Hurt (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343346)

"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. It's great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech is so complex, we're waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace."

-- Steve Jobs [engadget.com]

Maybe this is what Mr. Jobs was thinking of?

Re:Bag of Hurt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343528)

No, I'd imagine he was thinking of his impending AIDS death.

The patent system is just a bag of hurt (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345004)

Patents now last so long and have been around for so long that you can't build anything anymore without using someone elses invention. Ever heard of "If I seen furthest, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants"? Well, with the patent system that is, "If I sold the most gadgets it is because I paid off everyone else".

Worse, once patents were real physical products that had to be specific enough to make an actual product from them, you could LOOK at a patent and work around it. But now that concepts have become valid patents, you can't. So rather then a screw being patented, the very idea of fixing to things together is patented so it doesn't matter if you come up with completely new system for doing it, a better system, a more efficient system, you are STILL infringing. EXACTLY what the patent system was NOT supposed to do. It was supposed to encourage invention. Patent on the diesel engine? Make a petrol engine. A LOT of combustion engine tech early on was developed to get around patents, so we got lots of different engines and the market could then pick the most efficient for their use.

Sony and others are however so tied to the current patent system they cannot let it go even if it is killing them. Why not? Without the patent system, Sony would be Sony'ed. What is that? Sony was once a toy maker from Japan. Making crap copies cheaply before SLOWLY improving them. Well, if you call the re-creation of the Japanese economy post WW2 slow.

A complex patent system favors the big companies who can use their patent portfolio as weapons. Remove it, and ANYONE can compete. You wouldn't have needed a billion dollar company to launch a new phone OS, a couple of hackers could have done it. The billions of Google are not for development cost, but legal team costs.

The patent system needs reform but the mayor players are all so indebt to it, that it would take an outsider to break it up. Maybe China can do it. They gain nothing from the patent system and if Western society continues to collapse (not actually building anything anymore except patents) then China might loose interest in pretending to obey the system.

Something needs to change before all progress is gone to countries where you can still spend more money on development then on lawyers.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346124)

China will do what all the others did: cheat on IP when at disadvantage, demand it to be enforced when they have a net gain.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352512)

China will do what all the others did: cheat on IP when at disadvantage, demand it to be enforced when they have a net gain.

Sounds like the good ol' USA to me.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346242)

Agree with the sentiment but small companies can and do fly under the radar of the patent trolls, until they start making big bucks. Once that point is reached they can too afford small armies of lawyers. Patents suck but people shouldn't live in fear of them.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346802)

The patent system needs reform but the mayor players are all so indebt to it, that it would take an outsider to break it up. Maybe China can do it. They gain nothing from the patent system

Yes they do. It serves them to have their competitor's hands tied.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348476)

You wouldn't have needed a billion dollar company to launch a new phone OS, a couple of hackers could have done it.

And then that billion dollar company would have come along, taken their invention, marketed the hell out of it and made a mint, all without compensating the original inventors.

That is what the patent system is supposed to prevent. I'd agree that it needs reform (for a start, granting patents on things that really shouldn't be patentable should stop), but simply throwing it out completely is not a viable solution.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35348822)

Actually, this is exactly what the patent system is (was) supposed to encourage. If the hackers make a nice invention, but don't have the reources to market it, there's little benefit for society as a whole. If, on the other hand, they publish their invention and let someone else market it - everybody wins. Society doesn't care how the hackers are compensated, as long as they keep inventing cool stuff.

Patents are (were) intented as an incentive for inventors to publish their findings rather than keeping them secret. Which is why patent applications are public and must include a description with which "someone skilled in the art" can reproduce the invention.

Most everyone today has forgotten that crucial difference between patents and copyright.

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (1)

mattib (1220060) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354928)

And then that billion dollar company would have come along, taken their invention, marketed the hell out of it and made a mint, all without compensating the original inventors.

That is what the patent system is supposed to prevent.

Isn't it copyright system, instead of patents, which is meant to prevent that?

Re:The patent system is just a bag of hurt (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351762)

But then the system has been rotten for at least 100 years. The Wright brothers figured out that for controlled flight, one needed yaw control, and they invented a method of achieving yaw control. They then (successfully) patented, not their mechanism for yaw control, but yaw control in general. Blocking anyone else from being allowed to put into practice the fundamental basis for flight, but whatever means.

Re:Bag of Hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347198)

Blu ray is easy when compared to Apple "easy to use products". Harder is to get USB-port to iPad or system update to iPhone without PC or even downloading large file without wlan.

Now slap them with tax evasion (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343386)

After all they included OtherOS to be able to claim it as a general purpose computer and avoid a tax.

Now its gone. Bet they're still not paying that tax to the EU.

Re:Now slap them with tax evasion (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343390)

Why? Just file a claim for the backtaxes for all sales where OtherOS was removed. Problem solved.

Re:Now slap them with tax evasion (4, Interesting)

Frangible (881728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343504)

Do you have a cite for this? Reason I ask is, from what I read Sony tried this with PS2 Linux and their attempt at tax exemption was rejected by the EU. I could not find anything definitive on Google either way.

Some incorrectly speculate it was used as an attempt to help classify the PS2 as a computer to achieve tax exempt status from certain EU taxes that apply to game consoles and not computers (It was the Yabasic included with EU units that was intended to do that).[citation needed] Despite this, Sony lost the case in June 2006.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_for_PlayStation_2 [wikipedia.org]

Of course, that also says "citation needed"...

Re:Now slap them with tax evasion (2)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343954)

Well since the tax was repealed prior to the release of Linux (for Playstation 2) in 2002 or YDL on the PS3, it's obviously not that reason. I think one of the SCEfoo folks said it was Yabasic and not Linux, on the PS2 Linux boards some years ago.

This is not the first time Khyber has promulgated this incorrect information.

Re:Now slap them with tax evasion (2)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343984)

Why do you keep promulgating this incorrect fact? Any PS2/PS3 Linux user knows it's not the case, since the tax was repealed prior to Linux (for Playstation 2)'s release in May of 2002, and was most certainly not the case for the PS3 in 2006.

It annoys me to no end when Slashdotters make all sorts of statements and claims about Linux on the PS2 and PS3...and who have obviously never actually done so themselves.

Sometimes good things happen . . . (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343432)

. . . . fuck Sony

Re:Sometimes good things happen . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343464)

That.

I hate patents (not just software patents; the entire system is flawed), but it is hard to feel any sympathy for Sony.

Re:Sometimes good things happen . . . (2)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344690)

(slightly redundant) I have to agree with you. Patents were introduced to stimulate innovation and research but all it really does today is stimulate the front pockets of lawyers. I want to say "why after so many years have they decided to wait and sue Sony?" but Sony does sue pretty much everyone so I don't feel that bad or care for the reason why LG waited so long.

Re:Sometimes good things happen . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35345468)

Oh, no, it's not hard at all. I feel no sympathy for Sony, whatsoever. See? Easiest decision I ever had to make regarding Sony.

Much testing needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343482)

Government officials recently requisitioned several million Euros in Blu-ray movies in order to "test" the seized equipment to make sure they could actually play Blu-ray movies. A second requisitioned was later placed for popcorn.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! (0)

Nihn (1863500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343486)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Karma is a bitch ain't it. Mess with peoples property and you get the same. I bet everything I own that Sony will not be able to put 2 and 2 together, they will push on to "ensure gamers the experience they deserve" by using the court system to make their profit margin look good.

Re:HAHAHAHAHA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343574)

Someone at LG has been reading Slashdot.
Fuck SONY.

Re:HAHAHAHAHA!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343638)

Agreed.

If anybody from Sony reads this: GO FUCK YOURSELF.

Re:HAHAHAHAHA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343976)

This Sony spouse agrees! Fuck Sony More!

Lets play Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343562)

They were just playing games. And the Sony company lose his turn and will be listed in the Hall of Shame...
After all, I love Sony products. [babystroller-reviews.com]

Pirating (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343612)

Maybe they will blame pirating and remove BR drives from all ps3's.

Closed Source Karma (1)

wrightrocket (1664871) | more than 3 years ago | (#35343794)

The way Sony treated its customers who wanted to use OtherOS to try to protect their intellectual property is the right way for LG to treat Sony: take it away from them! Since filing complaints and not getting justice, it makes me feel good to see that Sony might have to pay.

This is wrong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35343816)

It shouldn't be possible to use patent courts to seize a legitimate manufactured product and destroy a business over a patent dispute. Assuming the patents don't cover a significant portion of the IP that is in the device (aka the patent isn't for a whole playstation, it's a patent for a tiny piece of the technology) then the court should be limited to ordering that Sony pay a reasonable royalty (if the patent is small percent, then say 1% of gross revenues) into an escrow account pending appeals over the dispute.

Now, if Sony refuses to pay, then I suppose seizing product is the only choice. But, I'm in favor of compulsory licensing : if I patent an idea, I MUST sell you a license to the IP and the license fee cannot be more than a proportional percentage of the value of the product or proportional to my R&D costs, whichever is greater. Same with copyrights

Re:This is wrong (2)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344608)

Royalties and settlements are usually how it happens. The injunctions aren't to stop the device from existing.. they simply freeze transactions on it until a hearing determines what royalties if any are owed. It's only when the offending party refuses to adhere to these royalties and continues profiting from someone else's invention without permission that a cease and desist is issued and/or product is destroyed..

Re:This is wrong (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344614)

well, s/cease and desist/permanent injunction/

Re:This is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346288)

That's a broken idea.

The proportion of value idea is obviously dumb, since who defines "value"? It can't be a proportion of price since Google will come and give the product away. Then we get into "associated revenues" and suddenly you need an army of lawyers, which I presume you're trying to avoid. Or, worse, a 60-year-old Judge who can barely operate his TV decides on the "value" of the product.

As for the R&D costs idea: R&D costs require investment; investors require returns. If I have a small startup that spends $20m on some radical new tech, and Microsoft can come in and take that tech for some proportion of $20m, then Microsoft are getting a great deal and my investors are being screwed. Unless the proportion is, say, 500%, but I don't think that's what you're proposing.

You can't fix patents by fixing one little aspect of them. Look at the Blu-Ray patents that LG are "defending". They're all obvious. There is no way LG should have been granted those patents in the first place.

But each case is different, which is why humans need to be involved, not yet another piece of broken legislation.

But then we get onto the "my army of lawyers vs yours" part of things, and here's where we need radical change in the way business is conducted, because it's not right that a larger company can browbeat a smaller company into submission just on the basis of their size. And that is the nub of the patent problem today, and a lot of other stuff as well.

But as for LG vs Sony, it's big boys fighting a big boys' fight, and I don't give a toss who pays who what. It's just nice to see Sony getting shafted for a while; right or wrong, they deserve it.

Re:This is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35348010)

And if Microsoft wants your startup's patent it'll just make it impossible to do business by buying up all the patents it depends on.

You cannot base a saleable product around a single patentable idea. The patent system is now largely dominated by patent thickets; large groups of related patents required to implement a fundamental system. Even if your startup spent $20m on some new patentable idea, it is not necessarily worth >$20m to the rest of the market. Even if they adhere to the letter of the patent, they can just design around the patentable parts of the implementation and use the idea without paying you. In fact, design arounds are a fundamental part of engineering for patents.

The core part is that the patent system cannot guarantee revenue for novel inventions. Nor should it - the american system is incompatible with the idea of guaranteed anything. We don't guarantee worker's wages (above a pitifully low minimum); we don't guarantee anybody jobs. We shouldn't have guaranteed the banks profits. And I see no reason why inventors should be given special moral treatment just for the act of inventing.

If they are not willing to share their invention and allow others to benefit from it (i.e. they treat wealth as zero-sum, like most capitalists) then I think society is better off foregoing that invention instead of forbidding others to make use of that invention. After all, it is conceivable that others less hostile to the idea of sharing ideas may invent it anyway, allowing society to enjoy both the invention and basic freedom to produce.

Smugglers.. (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344074)

Here is your chance.

Just make sure the PS3 power adapter has the right voltage and right wall plug for Europe, and you are off to go.

Re:Smugglers.. (1)

MrNiCeGUi (302919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345454)

As far as I've read, all the new PS3 slim units have universal power supplies, even if the outer label does not say so. So they only need to mind the power plug.

What if they disable BD read capability? (1)

$pace6host (865145) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344254)

If it doesn't play BluRay discs, does it still violate the patent(s)? Sony has removed features in the past. Maybe they'll update the firmware on the ones they haven't sold yet so they can't read discs anymore, and send another update to everyone else. I guess it could still download games and stream movies from online. It would be amusing to see them just remove all of the original advertised features one-by-one until the only thing the PS3 can do is hold doors open. Well, amusing except for the fact that I own one...

Re:What if they disable BD read capability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35344406)

PS3 games come on BluRay discs.

Re:What if they disable BD read capability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35344518)

which $pace6host was certainly aware of:

I guess it could still download games and stream movies from online.

Re:What if they disable BD read capability? (1)

MHolmesIV (253236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349666)

I'm kinda confused about the whole complaint, myself. LG is a member of the BD patent pool. Sony is a licensee of the Patent Pool (As well as founding member). Did LG not enter some of their BD patents into the pool?

What are they going to do with the seized PS3's? (2)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35344510)

I bet they are going to put Linux on them a build a giant cluster.

Oh, wait...

Re:What are they going to do with the seized PS3's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346708)

News just in: Massive amounts of drugs and counterfeit goods are flooding Europe.
  Sources suggest it's because all customs inspectors have been busy playing GTA for the last week.

Re:What are they going to do with the seized PS3's (1)

Douglas Goodall (992917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354802)

They would need a copy off ice-cream, oops, I mean coolstuff :-)

Anyone else.. (1, Troll)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35345072)

Did anyone else read the title and got their hopes up about the EU banning the PS3 because they took away the OtherOS option?

Easy way out, Sony-style (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35345774)

1. remove Bluray player. That will get rid of the patent issue with LG and prevent GeoHot to run anything from discs.
2. redesign the plastic case to a slimmier one and create a huge marketing campaign to sell the new improved console.
3. patch all existing PS3s so that they don't run any bluray anymore and threaten user base that they won't be able to play online if they don't patch

Bansai, Bansai! Sony cuts LG down with yen katana! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35345846)

Do you know how many european citizens took out loans on their home and car purchases in japanes yen, when the euro currency was way overvalued? Do you know how difficult their current financial situation is? The Crisantheneum Throne can adjust yen valuation a little and the whole European Union will be down on her knees and begging forgiveness.

The EU is very dumb to fiddle with Sony and Japan, because those two are much larger and powerful than Lucky Goldstar (LG) and South Korea. Japan is 5x the size of South Korea and Sony is a giant zaibatsu on her own.

Re:Bansai, Bansai! Sony cuts LG down with yen kata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35348176)

Lucky Goldstar?

So it's a sequel to Lucky Star?

SCO n. 2 (2)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347122)

This is so dangerous that LG seems a second SCO to me. If Sony doesn't want to settle and LG loses (which is probable, since those are US patents in a EU court), they'll have to pay a huge amount of money to Sony for this seizure.

imported to? (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347402)

I'm no grammar nazi by any means, but "imported to"? Shouldn't that be "exported to" or "imported into"?

ps3 (1)

martinjones1 (2006688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353648)

even if they ban it for a year, it doesn't matter becouse they'll buy it as it had just been released

haha.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354758)

It is about a daily occurrence that LG is appealed for, and how many suit will LG have?
The patent is a lifeline of the electronic system maker.
It may be said that a person criticizing Sony is crazy.

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