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Judge Dismisses 'Other OS' Class-Action Suit Against Sony

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the product-may-not-behave-as-advertised dept.

Sony 403

An anonymous reader writes "You may recall that in early 2010, Sony decided to roll out an update that would remove the ability for PlayStation 3 owners to install a different operating system on the console, citing security concerns as the reason. Geeks and Linux enthusiasts were outraged at the move, particular since the "Other OS" functionality had been advertised as a feature of the PS3. A class-action lawsuit was soon brought against Sony. Many of the initial claims were thrown out, and now, a federal judge in California has granted Sony's motion to dismissed the lawsuit, saying, 'As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable. As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.' Here's the full text of the order (PDF)."

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And the USAF (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361706)

Geeks and Linux enthusiasts were outraged at the move ...

And the United States Air Force [joystiq.com] .

Re:And the USAF (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361794)

They didn't care too much, Sony rolled out a firmware just for them anyway.

Re:And the USAF (2)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361854)

Yes, geeks and Linux enthusiasts at the Air Force.

Re:And the USAF (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362008)

Yes, geeks and Linux enthusiasts at the Air Force.

I think there would be some other people somewhat upset if you just dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on what are now tiny black bricks useless to you. Accounts, commanding officers, taxpayers, etc.

I wonder if a FOIA request [af.mil] would yield any information about what exactly those PS3s are doing now?

Re:And the USAF (-1, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362084)

You aren't bright. They are probably doing exactly the same thing they were doing before Sony touched the Other OS option.

1) The US Air Force is more than capable of getting custom firmware from Sony. (Almost certainly done to give them access to the video hardware for GPU-style acceleration.)
2) There's no reason for them to have updated anyway.

Re:And the USAF (5, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362202)

methinks you forgot the reality of your statement: they rely on having linux on them (which, no, just having custom firmware will not fix because the removal of otherOS also means it's not legal to flash custom firmware), but also because they rely on PS3's having linux on them for hardware replacement. [techdirt.com]

From the air force on this exact issue, and why you, sir are the one who is not at all bright:

"We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," the lab told Ars, but "this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it."

How Dare You! (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362304)

... and why you, sir are the one who is not at all bright ...

How dare you intervene on my behalf! I'll have you know that I'm easily twice as dim as he is!

I prefer to remain underestimated with low expectations of my performance.

Re:And the USAF (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362488)

Yeah, uh, you do realize that the techdirt article you linked to is from May 2010, RIGHT? The quote from the USAF is even older than that. A cursory search shows plenty of info indicating that the USAF is in fact running clustered PS3s/linux - and is getting special treatment from Sony. Here's a link (out of many) with more recent information on the matter:

http://www.itworld.com/hardware/141994/air-force-launches-supercomputer-made-ps3s

Re:And the USAF (0, Flamebait)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362572)

END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT ("EULA") FOR COMMENT POSTED BY LOCALH (SLASHDOT UID 28506)
By loading this comment into your computer's memory via any means, you agree to privately contact LocalH ("me") to arrange payment of $10,000,000 in unmarked bills or 99.999% pure gold (or any combination thereof), in person and by yourself, with no hidden surveillance devices or contact with any outside individual (children under the age of 5 are exempted, so that you may care for them if necessary during our transaction). Failure to do so is a violation of this EULA. The transaction shall be videotaped by me to ensure your compliance with the terms found within EULA. You shall also agree to waive your right and/or ability to initiate any recovery proceedings against me, including but not limited to arbitration, lawsuit, theft, and/or murder. You shall also agree to securely erase any evidence of our transaction from your possession in any form whatsoever, using industry-standard secure wiping technology. If you violate this EULA in any way, you shall be liable for an additional $10,000,000 for each individual violation, payable in unmarked bills or 99.999% pure gold (or any combination thereof). Violations of this EULA shall also entitle me to have sexual intercourse with any female related to you (females under the age of consent in your jurisdiction are exempt to prevent violation of the law), with or without protection, at my discretion. This may be waived if you are female, and if I desire sexual intercourse with you. Failure to comply with the sexual intercourse term of this EULA will entitle me to have a forcible orgy with all of your sisters (or cousins if you are an only child).

COMMENT
It's not illegal to flash CFW at all, certainly not if you're the USAF and Sony sends you official CFW.

Or are you one of the people who equate "EULA-violating" with "illegal"? If so, then it's illegal not to send me my ten million bucks, damnit. You better hope your sister's hot, for your sake (and your cousins' sakes).

Re:And the USAF (3, Insightful)

everett (154868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362576)

Under the license that you are offered, you're correct. I imagine it's perfectly possible that the USAF is able to acquire different licensing that allows them to accomplish their mission with Sony's hardware.

Re:And the USAF (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362540)

1) The US Air Force is more than capable of getting custom firmware from Sony. (Almost certainly done to give them access to the video hardware for GPU-style acceleration.)

How are they going to get a custom firmware from Sony? The whole point of this was to be cheap so they've bought nearly 2000 consoles each sold by Sony at a loss, so the USAF is hardly a big customer.

Re:And the USAF (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362164)

Why are they useless? Why would the Airforce have any need to update those consoles? It's not like they need those consoles to be able to play GT5 and any bugs to be patched would be patched in Linux.

Re:And the USAF (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362424)

I suspect that at some point these consoles will fail. And at that point they would have to buy new ones, which would come with updated firmware. Unless they bought a warehouse full of replacements at the time, which is not impossible.

Re:And the USAF (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362596)

Plenty of replacement parts out there. I replaced the blu ray diode on mine.

Re:And the USAF (1)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362196)

I think there would be some other people somewhat upset if you just dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on what are now tiny black bricks useless to you. Accounts, commanding officers, taxpayers, etc.

Except they didn't become useless bricks. These PS3s are not used for gaming, and so can quite easily avoid the update.

Re:And the USAF (1)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362276)

But, what happens when one breaks down?

Even if they get Sony to service it, it comes back with a useless firmware on it that locks them out of using it for their purpose.

Re:And the USAF (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362440)

Well, unless they have some sort of service contract with Sony that states they get exact replacements, including firmware, that's just too bad. There's a reason enterprise and military stuff is more expensive than consumer equipment, and serviceability and product longevity is a big part of it.

Re:And the USAF (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362318)

These PS3s are not used for gaming

[citation needed]

Re:And the USAF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362278)

In a big bureaucracy like the military, I assume everyone now knows that buying anything other than traditional computer equipment is going to be a significant carrier-limiting move.

Won't Somebody PLEASE Think About the Carriers! (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362360)

In a big bureaucracy like the military, I assume everyone now knows that buying anything other than traditional computer equipment is going to be a significant carrier-limiting move.

"Several Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers were rendered immobile after a large acquisition of non-traditional computer equipment on Tuesday by the USAF ..."

Re:Won't Somebody PLEASE Think About the Carriers! (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362512)

Doesn't the Navy own those? I'd be concerned if the AF buying equipment broke Naval assets...

Apparently... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361708)

Courts don't think false advertising is against the law anymore

Re:Apparently... (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361858)

The shrinkwrap agreement on the PS3 says they can change anything they want about the device at any time.

Sony didn't advertise the OtherOS feature after they removed it, so trying to get them on false advertising is a stretch.

I think the upshot is that you agreed to the EULA, and the EULA said Sony can do this, so the Judge doesn't see what leg you have to stand on. It was unpopular, but they didn't break any law. This is actually an important test for EULAs, since normally removing functionality from a device after the sale would cause legal problems, but the EULA prevented that.

Re:Apparently... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361984)

And apparently the sizable increase in the judge's bank account transferred from several anonymous bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands had NOTHING at all to do with the ruling...

Service (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362230)

Don't attribute this to corruption or bribery, as there is evidence of none and there is no reason to believe they exist here--particularly with federal judges, there is almost never an issue as to corruption. They don't need to be reelected.

No, here the problem was that the judge viewed Sony's behavior as akin to operating a private park it allows people to drive in if they agree to disable a feature of their cars. So people are still allowed to use the features of their cars if they do not go into the private park, but if they agree--i.e. if they agree to disable the Other O/S feature in order to use Sony's network--then that's fine, and it's not illegal for Sony to ask them to. To win, plaintiffs would have had to show they had a legal entitlement to continued access to the network. They didn't, so the judge tossed the case.

Re:Apparently... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362150)

I think that the point is that they advertised the OtherOS feature *BEFORE* they removed it... and then they removed it, effectively making a form of bait-and-switch for people who had already bought one with the expectation of that capability.

Re:Apparently... (0)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362170)

It is not false advertising, it is called bait and switch. Which is still illegal EULA or no EULA. Legal contracts can not change the law.

Re:Apparently... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362314)

I am curious if the Judge would feel the same way if a software update prevented his car from going over 45 MPH.

-Rick

Re:Apparently... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362460)

I'm not sure that is the same. The ability to drive the car is the main feature of the car. Limiting that limits the main feature, ie the whole point of buying a car for most people. The ability to install a third party operating system was not the main feature of a PS3, and does not affect its main feature, ie playing games. So it would be more like removing the ability to fold down the back seats-something that does not affect the main feature of the car, but really annoys people who do use it.

Re:Apparently... (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362088)

That would be all well and good... Except Sony never really marketed the feature. A few odd quotes from Sony and some more detailed spec sheets from tech shows mentioning it are not in themselves marketing. It was never treated as a core feature by Sony and certainly wasn't marketed as such, the vast vast majority of users didn't know anything about it.

Then there's the fact you were and still are able to use the Other OS feature on PS3s, you just can't update it (which means no PSN and a restricted library of games you can play). Courts accept that products can have limited lifetimes when it comes to support and Sony are more than entitled to release games for the PS3 that customers can't play on certain console configurations. The most obvious example of this would be PS Move only games. If you want to play those, you have to hand over more money for the Move kit and have to possibly mess around with your AV setup which was fine up until then.

A convincing argument for both of these wasn't presented to courts and ultimately it's the courts who decide if there's a case to answer for.

Re:Apparently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362586)

but a Move game states "For PS Move" on the box.

All PS3 games state "For PS3". period. nothing about firmware.

So, is my OtherOS capable console a PS3 or not?

Re:Apparently... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362426)

Courts don't think false advertising is against the law anymore

What's yours isn't actually yours. EULA, Terms of Use, 2 year agreement, &c.

Goes hand-in-hand with a society which doesn't read the wall-of-text but thrusts both hands out and squeals, "Gimme!"

wow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361738)

just wow.

2015. Sony releases the PS4. Sony releases an update for the PS3 which removes all remaining functionality. When the console is turned on, the message "Buy a PS4!" is displayed. No games will play.

And now it's legal!!!

Re:wow (2, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361976)

The sad part is that I fully expect this to happen, right down to the text of the message

I bet Sony does that sort of thing to their own grandmas' PS3s if they don't bake their cake or serve their sushi the right way. ERR325: invalid cake response--ps3 cannot start but it is still better than wii because they have mario and fuck mario

Re:wow (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362062)

as much as I hate saying this, if you buy sony products, you have only yourself to blame.

sorry, but it really is true. you find the devil and you are surprised that the devil gets johnny law to do his bidding?

come on, guys. stop funding sony! they make NOTHING that you absolutely must have. not a thing. and they have a long track record of evil-doing.

what' it gonna take for kids today to stop buying sony?

Re:wow (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362094)

sed /find/fund/

you FUND the devil.

oh well. some days I can't type for atrac.

Re:wow (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362368)

what' it gonna take for kids today to stop buying sony?

Geeks.. I suspect this has been done. Everyone else, it's going to take something that actually hurts them.

Don't forget, Sony hasn't done anything that would really piss off the general population. Sony gets on our nerves because the areas they are evil in are highly visible to us, but to the average user, non-issues.

Lest we forget, most users have never heard of the OtherOS feature, didn't care about DRM being installed on their computer (probably amazed it could fit in there with all the other crap they probably had running), and their biggest concern when their credit card info and personal details got stolen was "when can I play games again!".

Even with the relatively high geek/gamer crossover, I suspect that even if every user who could define in a sentance what the OtherOS thing was about immediately boycotted Sony.. it wouldn't even register as a blip in the profit statements.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362486)

The first part of your comment makes perfect sense. You know Sony has a long history of treating its customers like used toilet paper, and you bought the device anyway.

The EULA said "We propose that we can treat you like shit and do whatever we want to this device in the future. If you agree to this, open the packaging and use the device."

A person could be excused for just not knowing what a steaming bucket of feces Sony has been over the years, but not both. So while I feel bad for anyone that got burned, anyone that was genuinely shocked and tried to sue is something of a dolt.

The bit about the devil and "johnny law" is silly, as the judge did what he's supposed to do... deal with the law appropriately.

Re:wow (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362242)

That seems similar to what happened with my first gen iPod touch:
You must download the latest version of this app to continue using it.
You must download the latest version of iOS in order to update this app.
You cannot update to the latest version of iOS because your iPod is too old.

My solution: I bought an android phone.

Re:wow (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362388)

IANAL but AIUI you can't just file a complaint at court and expect a judge to join the dots with existing law. You have to explicitly say "Sony ripped me off contrary to law A". If the suit was started with just "Sony ripped me off!" (which, AFAICT, is exactly what happened), that's not good enough.

Your first mistake: Trusting Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361742)

Hope you learned your lesson.

Car analogy (5, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361746)

Would the judge have come to the same conclusion if a car manufacturer released a mandatory update that removed cruise control?

Re:Car analogy (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361890)

Probably not, but car manufacturers and dealers don't have shrinkwrap legal agreements on their vehicles (yet), so it's really not the same thing.

Re:Car analogy (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362106)

Shrink wrap legal agreements aren't enforceable and it's a shocker that the judge didn't know that. You can't have a legal agreement without a meeting of the minds and the ability to back out. Unfortunately, shrink wrap licenses don't permit for review as one typically has limited ability to return the product, and in many cases no ability.

Re:Car analogy (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362482)

Shrink wrap legal agreements aren't enforceable and it's a shocker that the judge didn't know that.

I'm pretty sure that case precedent actually suggests they may [quora.com] be [reddit.com] enforceable [contractstandards.com] .

They can't make up crazy things that you can't legally sign away via contract (ie slavery or your first born), but they are widely deemed to be a valid contract.

I'm not sure there's been any ruling which categorically says they aren't enforceable ... possibly in some countries, but generally I think they're more valid than you think.

Re:Car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361934)

That is the exact anology....or his radio, maybe the abs in his 100k Mercedes. It is obvious the judge like others in the US are bought stooges anyway

Re:Car analogy (3, Insightful)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361938)

If you bought the PS3 in order to use OtherOS, the update wasn't mandatory. It's only mandatory for games. No one had OtherOS forcibly removed.

Not that I agree with their choice, but a Linux PS3 and a Gaming PS3 have different requirements. What was lost was the ability to have both fully functioning at the same time. This seems like something they should have been able to articulate to the judge, but if they just focused on "it's a mandatory update", which is a false statement, I can see how it would be dismissed.

Re:Car analogy (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361954)

It's only mandatory for using other guaranteed functions and features of the system.

Re:Car analogy (1)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362158)

Are they guaranteed? If so, the case for a class action suit shouldn't be difficult.

My suspicion is that they are not guaranteed.

Re:Car analogy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362174)

I don't care. I'm just glad the Linux crowd lost. It makes me feel great to know common sense has been upheld by the courts.

Re:Car analogy (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362484)

The only other function affected (as presented in the case) was access to PSN, which, as the judge mentioned, there was no guarantee of.

Re:Car analogy (5, Informative)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362182)

If you RTFPDF, an automotive analogy is, in fact, cited in the case. Here, let me get that for you...

  • "With the exception of the “Unjust Enrichment” claim discussed further below, all of the counts are based on plaintiffs’ fundamental contention that it was wrongful for Sony to disable the Other OS feature, or, more precisely, to put PS3 owners to the “Hobson’s choice” of either permitting the Other OS feature to be disabled or forgoing their access to the PSN and any other benefits available through installing Firmware Update 3.21. Plaintiffs offer an analogy: “if Toyota disabled the battery feature in its hybrids and forced owners to use only gasoline, it would not matter whether the auto’s warranties had expired.” Opposition at 1:8-9. In plaintiffs’ view, it should be self evident that, “A manufacturer cannot unilaterally take away a fundamental feature of a product after that product has been sold to a consumer – regardless of whether the warranty is still in effect.” Id. at 1:9-11."2

But the judge said it's a flawed analogy (as most automotive analogies are):

  • The flaw in plaintiffs’ analogy is that they are claiming rights not only with respect to the features of the PS3 product, but also to have ongoing access to an internet service offered by Sony, the PSN. A somewhat fanciful, but more apt, analogy would be if Toyota sold hybrid vehicles with an advertisement campaign touting that Toyota owners would have access to a recreational driving facility, a no-speed limit amusement park for cars. Then, at some time thereafter, Toyota instituted a rule that its hybrids would not be permitted in the park unless the owners allowed the battery feature to be disabled. In those circumstances, Toyota hybrid owners who declined to authorize disabling of the battery feature would still have fully-functional hybrid vehicles, capable of running on an electric motor or a gasoline engine, as appropriate under the conditions. Similarly, PS3 owners who declined to install Firmware Update 3.21 still have fully-functioning devices, capable of either being used as game consoles to play games on optical disks, or as computers, with the Other OS feature.

So, what the judge is saying is that this isn't really about Other OS. It's about access to PSN, and that linking access to PSN to disabling Other OS is legal. That doesn't make it ethical, but this is a court not a church. He has to rule on matters of law not emotion.

For what it's worth, I think that Sony was slime for doing what it did (as they are for many other things that they have done... rootkits, not giving a damn about customer security, etc.), and it will be a cold day in hell before I buy a Sony product or fail to advise others to not buy any Sony product, but IN THIS CASE they didn't run afoul of the law. I also think that it's vastly preferable that judges wield their powers objectively rather than emotionally, because otherwise a racist or homophobic or nationalist or otherwise reprehensible judge would be completely able to get away with imposing their emotion as law.

I also hope that some of the shrill voices here are never allowed to sit on a jury, because if they are, they would surely decide the case based upon who they liked and hated rather than on the facts and guilt-or-innocence. Mob-think is not a suitable substitute for law or rationality.

Re:Car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362494)

Were no International Trade or FTC rules broken with the retraction of the Other OS feature?

Still seems like bait and switch, since, it isn't REQUIRED for you to join PSN, yet it WOULD be required to upgrade the firmware if you wanted to play certain newer games. At that point, joining PSN is irrelevant.

Re:Car analogy (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362554)

I think where the judge's analogy falls apart is when he assumes your car would still be "fully functioning" if you avoided the amusement park for cars. If I want to buy (insert some new PS3 game here) and play it without ever connecting to the PSN, I'm going to be forced to install a firmware update just to play the new game, aren't I? I don't see how that would constitute my PS3 being "fully functional" anymore. (and I don't see how that could be worked into this car analogy either)

Not that I own a PS3; I don't. But that's how things are done with my Xbox360.

Re:Car analogy (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362620)

Mob-think is not a suitable substitute for law or rationality.

wait, what?

what we have now - you think that's NOT mob mentality?

you know, I'll take my chances with emotion and jurors. they can sometimes use judgement. laws, otoh, are impersonal and manipulated to be used against those who have less funds and power.

more times than not, the laws that are made today are unjust and are there because some interest paid for them.

I have no faith in legal systems. I'd be just as happy throwing a coin. at least the coin isn't bought out by big business and big government (and big religion, too).

the PEOPLE might be the last holding place for justice. the 'pros' are the last ones I would trust. and yes, I'm serious. if I had a choice between a coin toss and a court trial these days, I'd take the coin toss. would cost less, take less time and probably be more just over time than the alternatives.

Re:Car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362402)

The PS3 update was not mandatory. It was a choice. Duh...

Huh? (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361752)

Sony advertised this as a specific feature of the platform. They then took it away (or took away other abilities if you chose to keep that one). How the hell could the case be dismissed?

Re:Huh? (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361882)

Maybe it's time to update the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote: "Speak softly and carry a fat wallet; you will go far."

It could be corruption. (1, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361908)

Sony advertised this as a specific feature of the platform. They then took it away (or took away other abilities if you chose to keep that one). How the hell could the case be dismissed?

It could be corruption. I'm not alleging it here, just speculating, for fear of being sued by Sony. Even though based on this judgement I should be able to allege whatever I like then take away that feature at a whim. Sony may or may not own one or more judges. Or alleged judges as the case may be.

Ipso facto ergo proctor hoc hoc dibildy do be do shebop. "Like a milking stool, my case rests on three legs". I am the law.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361946)

Probably because you effectively agree via the EULA to pretty much let them do whatever they want as a condition of using their product.

It's dirty and I think the law needs to step in and remove that kind of power from EULAs, but it's reality!

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362222)

Read the ruling. What it boils down to is that, even though PSN + Other OS were both advertised features, there is no guarantee that PSN will exist indefinitely. And, the court acknowledges that it is at Sony's discretion. Because you have the choice of installing firmware 3.21, or not, Sony hasn't violated their original agreement to provide Other OS functionality.

It's not very complicated, in fact it's downright easy to read, and fairly well articulated at that..

If Sony had disabled Other OS without a user's choice, they would be paying some large settlement costs right now. As it is, they only pay their lawyers to defend against an obviously weak case.

Sorry, that's just how it is.

Re:Huh? (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362428)

How the hell could the case be dismissed?

Want to know something amazing? You can find out! You can click that link up in the summary, read the full text of the decision, and find out! Isn't technology amazing?

For what it's worth, the judge ruled that because Sony had not actually removed the functionality- what they had done instead was ban unmodified PS3s from accessing their service- what they were doing was legal. You may not agree with the decision, at least try to get a grasp on the logic behind it before you start yelling.

what about hard copy games? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361766)

The judge stated that Sony had no obligation to keep PSN available to everyone. But did they have an obligation to keep the PS3 physical game library available to everyone?

This didn't pass in Finland (4, Informative)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361802)

In Finland Sony lost this battle and were judged to pay damages to everyone with the 1st gen PS3s that were affected.

Incorrect (3, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362414)

That isn't really true. The Finnish Consumer Complaints board investigated and came to the conclusion that they feel Sony should pay €100 in compensation for removing the feature.

They are not a court body and their 'judgements' have no legal power. They are simply a consumer rights lobby group.

Just build a PC for God's sakes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361814)

This Other OS bullshit really grinds my gears.

Aside from the 6 month window when PS3's were actually cheaper than equivalently powerful computers for some calculations there hasn't been a legitimate reason for other OS.

Every single plaintiff in the Other OS case likely has an old PC laying around with far more horsepower than the humble PS3.

Call off your lawyers, take a shower. Rape a girl, or hire a prostitute. Build a $200 Linucks PC, and go back to your dank basement.

Re:Just build a PC for God's sakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362328)

Aside from the 6 month window when PS3's were actually cheaper than equivalently powerful computers for some calculations there hasn't been a legitimate reason for other OS.

"I want to run Linux on my PS3" is itself a legitimate reason for Other OS. It doesn't require justification, and no intelligent argument can ever be made that it does.

You know that this is an absolute fact, and you agree with it completely, but you are pretending to disagree solely so that you can artificially inflate your perceived self-worth by distancing yourself from some imaginary strawman caricatures of people that you made up in your head.

You are, in short, a liar.

Okay Okay Okay I've Got It! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361824)

Sony Marketing Executive: Okay all we're going to do is advertise that the Playstation 4 can play the games from any system ever made.
Sony Engineer: But that's not true ... well, I mean it could technically run some sort of emulator for each system if it existed but ...
Sony Marketing Executive: Shut up, we just announce after the launch that this functionality was disabled because of "security concerns."
Sony Lawyer, Son of Satan: I can work with that.

I don't understand (1, Redundant)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361848)

how the fairly basic logic of "they sold me the product with the marketed feature xyz which I valued and used, then disabled it after purchase, without compensation and with only forced permission" doesn't warrant relief?

(by "forced permission" I mean they asked, do you want your OtherOS to continue to work, or do you want your BluRay player to continue to work on new titles?" You were forced to choose which feature they were going to disable)

Further, how was it that all of the individuals that opted out of the class action and took them on themselves also lost?

Re:I don't understand (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361988)

(by "forced permission" I mean they asked, do you want your OtherOS to continue to work, or do you want your BluRay player to continue to work on new titles?" You were forced to choose which feature they were going to disable)

Agreed; I would say any time the choices are "agree to these new, draconian terms, or we turn your $400 piece of hardware into a brick" would qualify as being agreed to under duress; perhaps I'm mistaken, but I was pretty sure any contractual agreement signed under duress was legally considered non-binding.

Appeal it, maybe the next judge will have a fucking brain.

Re:I don't understand (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362030)

how the fairly basic logic of "they sold me the product with the marketed feature xyz which I valued and used, then disabled it after purchase, without compensation and with only forced permission" doesn't warrant relief?

You have to squeeze in another step:

"they had me agree to an EULA that basically allows them to do whatever the hell we want as a condition of using their product".

Re:I don't understand (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362350)

It is explained clearly in the order. The key is PSN, which is owned by Sony, not you. Access to PSN is completely at their discretion, and you have no reasonable expectation that you will have access forever. They changed the rules of PSN access to be 'no OtherOS'. YOU elected to install the upgrade (remove the feature) in order to continue access to THEIR service. Nothing was 'forced'. It was YOUR decision.

Haha (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361866)

"Security concerns." This made me laugh, coming from Sony. Especially since it came in early 2010. It's a lie. Trotting out the "security" card just makes them look better.

Unless, of course, by "security" they meant "preventing people from hacking our bootloader." Or trying, rather.

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361962)

Maybe the server that was holding all the customer credit cards on the PSN was running Other OS and they forgot to disable it?

Man I miss the days of masked ROMs ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361896)

Sure we were stuck with bugs and we wouldn't get wonderful whiz-bang features, but at least we wouldn't have to worry about the vendor modifying the device that we purchased after the fact. (Even though I wasn't hit by the PS3 fiasco, TI did something on their calculators quite a few years back.)

For what it's worth, I think one of the arguments made in favour of Sony was that you didn't have to upgrade your PS3's firmware. Which may be true, but it doesn't negate the fact that the firmware updates are required for newer games and people also expect to buy newer games when they get a PS3.

Re:Man I miss the days of masked ROMs ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362446)

Funny enough - I'm in that category.
I ran out to get a PS3 when I heard that they were going to remove emulation of PS2 games - and I knew I wanted a PS3 eventually for Gran Turismo 5 anyways.
Well, GT5 got delayed again and again, and several years later, this idiotic decision from Sony came along. GT5 came out after that.

So now, I'm stuck with a PS3 with firmware 3.15 which I refuse to upgrade out of principle (I'm simply not going to let them gimp my system in that way), no access to the PSN, and a shrink wrapped version of Gran Turismo 5 which I can't play without upgrading. (And I'll be damned if I pay Sony to buy a second PS3).

I think I'll wait for the hacker community to bail me out on this one. Any news on this front?

Needless to say, it's the last Sony product I'm ever buying though. I'd like to urge everyone to boycott those bastards too.

Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361900)

While I don't agree with what Sony did or with the court decision, it was kind of expected really. That feature simply existing was a bit of a surprise for me, and with no 'real', active community behind that feature I personally thought it was just a matter of time before Sony removing the feature for no reason other than 'protect' their platform better and evading people buying PS3 as low-cost computer clusters (they sell it for less than it costs to produce to get money in game sells).

I don't think it is particularly wise buying a PS3 just because of that feature, specially given Sony history.

Better lawyers! (1)

sd4f (1891894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361912)

Sounds like the class need better lawyers!

Re:Better lawyers! (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361998)

Better judges would be preferable.

New EULA - void rights to class-action lawsuits (3, Informative)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361914)

You have to love the new EULA Sony put in place.

http://legaldoc.dl.playstation.net/ps3-eula/psn/u/u_tosua_en.html

Class Action Waiver. .... ((sorry had to remove the text I pasted -- stupid slashdot filter says I am using to many caps. I copied the original text verbatim))

Re:New EULA - void rights to class-action lawsuits (4, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362098)

Just so you know, Microsoft is following in their footsteps [giantbomb.com] .

Re:New EULA - void rights to class-action lawsuits (0)

the biologist (1659443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362218)

Good thing you can't actually sign away your rights in this way.

Corporatism Strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361918)

Once again, our government has sided with corporations over individuals.

Where's the FTC in all this? (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361928)

I'm pretty sure a blatant bait-&-switch brakes some sort of law...

Re:Where's the FTC in all this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362080)

It might even break a law or two.

Re:Where's the FTC in all this? (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362342)

You'd have to accelerate the law, first. Go, law, go!

Aleeeeex! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361968)

Aleeeeex! I blame you!

judge's logic (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362086)

You can see the judge's logic on p. 5 of the order. He says users had the option to refuse the software update, keep running Linux, and stop using PSN. "Nothing in plaintiffs' factual allegations or their arguments is sufficient to support a conclusion that Sony has any obligation to maintain the PSN in operation indefinitely." This seems strange to me. When you buy a PlayStation, part of what you're paying for is access to PSN. Of course nobody expects PSN to be operational in 100 years, but neither does anyone expect PSN to be permanently shut down one hour after they buy their PlayStation.

Re:judge's logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362380)

Or that permanently destroying capabilities present in a device that you own (and was sold as such by the same company) is an enforceable contract condition should you elect to continue using the PSN.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362176)

about six year old hardware. You can buy far more powerful hardware to run your OS of choice on today. This is a non-issue, just more Slashdot BS red meat for the geek crowd. Get yourselves all in a lather about something which you've never used. I seriously doubt most of you ever ran a different OS on a PS3. You just like to be outraged about it.

Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362208)

... what? You also want a comment?

Re-read the subject line again!

Lawyers failed (1)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362254)

Sounds like the lawyers didn't do a good job explaining Sony's fault

Lesson Learned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362344)

Anyone who buys a Sony product based on what the product is advertised to do is a fool.

Re:Lesson Learned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362546)

Seconded. I will not buy another Sony product. Not consoles, not cameras, not memory sticks, not even headphones. I will not be putting food on Sony's table anymore.

Reasonable Expectation (3, Insightful)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362420)

When you buy a product, there's a reasonable expectation that, for the lifetime of the product, the features available to you at time of purchase will continue to be available, barring hardware/technical issues.

For example, it is unreasonable for a company to sell, say, a laptop with a DVD burner, then disable your WiFi with a warning that enabling it will disable your DVD burner. It just doesn't make sense, from any angle, that a feature advertised on the box would be disabled in order to keep another feature mentioned on the box. It just boggles the mind that they feel this is an acceptable course of action.

That said... a reasonable expectation may not translate into something actionable in a court of law. At the least, Sony should be shunned (I, for one, haven't purchased another Sony product since the incident, and have no intentions of doing so in the future. My PS3 is collecting dust at the moment, despite titles that intrigue me. I won't fund them directly or indirectly through licensing deals with game companies.) by all customers.

And nothing of value was lost.... (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362506)

At least according to the multiple slashdotters who called me a "butthurt hipster suffragist" when I mentioned OtherOS in the last Sony Sucks post and modded me -1 flamebait.

According to them Sony had every right to remove the function; the vast majority of uses were infringing, Geohot knew exactly what would happen, and he's furthermore a sell-out pussy for not utterly destroying his life in a hopeless legal battle.

Meanwhile I haven't bought a Sony product in 10 years, think the PS3 was no better than 360 in the first place, and would rather give my money to companies that honor hundreds of years of law (not to mention fucking common sense) regarding who owns something once it's been paid for.

Morale: stay away from Sony products (1, Interesting)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362532)

They issued a patch that crippled PS3, but no patch available to update graphics card driver on my Vaio. (Yes, they need to take it from Nvidia, re-brand it and put it up for download), It keeps BSOD-ing in video games. After giving their support a run for the money, their response was to "reset it to factory setting". Seems to be a universal response from all merchants when they are not capable of resolving a support issue.

Microwave analogy (2)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38362566)

This is exactly analogous to purchasing a microwave which, two years later, has its firmware updated to remove the defrost feature.

Judge is stupid and megacorporation is evil, news at eleven.

Judge not thinking clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38362594)

As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.'

Bait and Switch.. Or how about 'FALSE' ADVERTISING? Or Just Bad Faith are just a few of the heavy handed illegal actions that come to mind over their 'unconscienable act' with dealing with real humans who were customers who got trashed and burned. I will completely BOYCOTT SONY over this.

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