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Sony Taking Down PSP Titles In Response To Vita Hackers

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-control-the-vertical dept.

Portables (Games) 293

Carlos Rodriguez writes "The hacker community has found a way to make the Vita run unsigned code by exploiting weaknesses in PSP games available for download in the PSN store. In response, Sony has made the affected games unavailable for download for all platforms — PSP and Vita both — even if you had already paid for it and hadn't had the chance to download it yet. In the case of 'Everybody's Tennis', the game was removed from the PSN worldwide after the modder community bragged about the game being exploitable but before any exploit was released for it. Is Sony being too overzealous in its fight against piracy?"

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293 comments

This is Sony (5, Informative)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495851)

For those not familiar with this company, who may ask "But won't they lose money if they take down the games?", let me give you some background. This is a company that would rather pull EVERY game on PSN than to lose even the slightest bit of control over their locked-down system. This is a company that will infect their CD's with viruses [wikipedia.org] to prevent copying, a company that repeatedly kills its own platforms with its insistence on proprietary [wikipedia.org] formats [wikipedia.org] , a company that doesn't care [anandtech.com] if your old blu-ray player plays the latest blu-rays or not--a company that will remove any feature [wikipedia.org] , cripple any platform [1up.com] , pull any game, destroy any product line--all to maintain control. If Sony were faced tomorrow morning with the choice between risking people copying even one of their movies and bulldozing the entire PSP line into a landfill, they would have that landfill full before the sun went down.

This is what happens when you allow a media producer to mix in the same company with the producer of the hardware that plays said media.

Re:This is Sony (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496029)

What always confuses me is why anybody ever buys anything from Sony. They started to go mental in the mid-90's, and then went full retard in the early '00's. At this point surely you'd have to be a masochist to willingly purchase a Sony product and subject yourself to such treatment?

Re:This is Sony (-1, Offtopic)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496139)

What always confuses me is why anybody ever buys anything from Sony. They started to go mental in the mid-90's, and then went full retard in the early '00's. At this point surely you'd have to be a masochist to willingly purchase a Sony product and subject yourself to such treatment?

Now, I really really hate a lot of things that Sony has been doing for the past 10-15 years and I wouldn't touch Vita and a lot of their other products with a ten foot pole, but I find their TVs to be really really good value for the money and I am extremely happy to own one.

Re:This is Sony (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496297)

really? i find their TV's to be over priced for what is delivered. The quality is good, but samsung makes comprable displays for 60-70% the cost.

I won't touch their hardware, either (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496377)

I'm not a fan of their hardware, either. In 2000, I bought a Sony home theater system, thinking I was getting good quality with the "good" brand. Within a few months, the DVD changer got jammed and I couldn't watch any DVDs on it. It was under warranty so I sent it in to be repaired. They kept it for almost two months. I was absolutely livid. When they finally sent it back, it had a nasty scratch down the left side, and the icing on the cake was that it STILL didn't work! So I unplugged the thing, stuck it right back in the box that I had just gotten it out of, and sent it back. I waited a few more weeks, finally got it back, and this time it worked, though I was still pissed off at the scratch.

Within a month after the anniversary date of my purchase, all of a sudden, the center channel speaker started making this hideous noise. It wasn't the speaker, it was the port on the system the speaker was plugged into. If I swapped it out with a different speaker, the different speaker made the noise. I couldn't hear crap, so I called them back up. They said they'd be happy to repair it--for a few hundred bucks. I explained that although more than a calendar year had passed since I bought the thing, it had been in their repair facilities for over two of those twelve months, and I felt that they should give me credit for that time and repair the thing for free. They refused to budge.

So I unplugged the damn thing, hauled it to an electronics recycling center, and swore never to knowingly buy another piece of Sony hardware again. I had such a bitter taste in my mouth from the experience that I didn't even buy a replacement component; to this day, I just use the speakers on my television. Wow, things sure have changed since the days I wrote a script to hit Amazon's site and page me when a PS2 was available so that I could get one on launch day. After all of the other crap that's gone down, the root kit, the other OS option, the PSN hackage, the filesharing lawsuits, stories like this hitting WAY too often... I used to be a Sony fan, but for ten years now, and for the foreseeable future, I wouldn't use their stuff even if someone gave it to me for free. Which is a shame for Sony, since in the past ten years I've finally gotten enough disposable income to afford fancy electronics. And as the techno-geek in my family and circle of friends, I've also advised many consumers with money in hand to avoid their stuff.

Re:This is Sony (2)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496231)

Funny - I have a Sony clock radio and when I put my iPod in there, it plays music. It also wakes me up in the morning at the time I set on the alarm. I also own a Sony eReader, and when I tap on one of my books, the words come up on the screen and, when I swipe my finger across the page, it advances forward or backward accordingly.

No masochism involved.

Re:This is Sony (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496459)

Funny - I have a Sony clock radio and when I put my iPod in there, it plays music. It also wakes me up in the morning at the time I set on the alarm. I also own a Sony eReader, and when I tap on one of my books, the words come up on the screen and, when I swipe my finger across the page, it advances forward or backward accordingly.

No masochism involved.

I have a Sony blu-ray player that in order to use any feature above just playing disks I had to create an account on Sony's web site and give them a bunch of personal information. I think this is necessary to update the device as well.

Re:This is Sony (4, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496487)

Well, I would not trust Sony with anything that has a processor and might need a firmware update at some point.

They have, however, made some pretty decent analog equipment in the past. I still have an old set of walkman headphones that works fine and sounds good after 20 years. The only thing I had to replace at some point were the ear pads.

Re:This is Sony (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496629)

You buy from Sony *and* Apple and say you're not a masochist? They're the two biggest offenders when it comes to control of content, proprietary formats and connectors and abuse of customers. You may be in denial.

Re:This is Sony (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496255)

Because they sell the items normal persons think they want (PS3, PSP, Vaio). The thing is that once the consumer has gotten involved and invested in your product you can fsck with him as much as you like since they will still try to cling on to the idea they've been sold.

It common knowledge in corpoland... I know, I know, these are sad times to live in.

Re:This is Sony (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496351)

Because they sell the items normal persons think they want

And some filthy geek knows better what everyone else in the world wants or needs, right?

I will be so happy when Hollywood stops fetishizing geek culture, and you morons can go crawl back under your rocks.

Re:This is Sony (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496515)

The group of people who understand the nature of Sony, the relevance of this kind of behavior, or care at all is relatively small.

Lest we forget, after the PSN hack and all that personal info got stolen, the absolute loudest cry was from gamers who wanted the PSN back up ASAP. The people who understood the nature of Sony's fuckup and that a huge chunk of their personal info just got stolen make up a very tiny portion of Sony's customer base.

In addition to that, people are just plain used to companies being evil. It just happens that Sony is evil in a way that is particularily relevant to us. It's important to remind ourselves that the rest of the world really doesn't care about this stuff.

Re:This is Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496575)

The last Sony product I bought was a World Band Radio. Great product, still works after 14 years.
But Sony jumped the shark ages ago and I'm glad to be a Sony non customer. This will not change.
No Sony tv
No Sony Hi-fi
No Sony playstation
No Sony nothing.

Re:This is Sony (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496597)

This also confuses me. I hope people who are outraged about the rootkits aren't buying Sony products.

Re:This is Sony (2)

Bulge Temptingly (982649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496055)

For fuck's sake - go and look up the definition of 'virus' as it pertains to computers.

Re:This is Sony (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496167)

You're the guy at the office who goes apeshit whenever someone plays Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" aren't you?

Re:This is Sony (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496419)

You're the guy at the office who goes apeshit whenever someone refers to 2000 as the start of the century/millennium, aren't you?

Re:This is Sony (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496061)

For the record, it was a rootkit, not a virus. The terms are already muddy as all getout, but there IS a difference.

Re:This is Sony (4, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496065)

Not that I am defending their actions, but I do wonder if there is something cultural going on. Is there something in particular about Japanese culture that encourages that degree of control (or perhaps "order")?

The extents to which they are willing to go seem extreme, even compared to other companies who are charter members aboard the DRM bandwagon. Is there something more to it than just "Sony = teh sux?"

Re:This is Sony (5, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496177)

Money is just tokenized power, control is another. Powerful people seek, well, power, and being able to control how people use what you sell gives just as much of a high has making lots of money off of it. That power then translates to respect within your community, which results in promotions and options at other companies.

In other words, once you realize that the motivations are not corporate profit but instead individual advancement and status, such behavior seems a lot less insane. This is also the core of the MPAA/RIAA's behavior, both are industries where careers are made or broken by reputation, so control/power are more important to the individual then group profit.

Re:This is Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496333)

Is there something in particular about Japanese culture

Sony Corporation's CEO is American until next week.

Re:This is Sony (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496391)

Nintendo is about as Japanese as they get, but I don't see them taking the same actions with any of their systems. They haven't made much trouble for the people who want to have homebrew on the Wii. They don't like it when you run cheatcodes on online games like MarioKart, but other than that, they have have been pretty friendly towards the homebrew market on the Wii. They've made a few changes here and there to make it more difficult to mod the Wii, and run pirated games. But the fact that it can still easily be done shows that they aren't going to go crazy trying to stop pirates when they're making a ton of money anyway.

Re:This is Sony (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496553)

Nintendo was pretty controlling about what they'd allow on their systems back in the NES/SNES days, though a bunch of unsanctioned carts did eventually make it through.

It seems they've managed to ease-up over time though, while Sony's gone the other way

Nintendo not yet to Apple (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496615)

True, but as of 2012, Nintendo still hasn't eased up to the point of even Apple iOS. Bob's Game anyone?

Re:This is Sony (4, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496641)

Note, however, that Nintendo is from a different region of Japan (Kyoto), with a significantly different culture.

Think of the difference between a New York City company, and a Boston company, or perhaps a New Orleans company. It's... something like that.

From what I can tell, Kyoto is much more conservative and traditional, but also more rural and more... relaxed, I suppose. They have a different accent (kansai-ben), which loosely corresponds to either a southern accent, or a boston accent, at least culturally.

There's also the fact that Nintendo is now effectively run by the game developers - Miyamoto is still a Senior Managing Director, and Iwata (the President) worked on Earthbound and Kirby as a programmer. Sony, meanwhile, is run by businessmen, for business.

Re:This is Sony (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496495)

nope, there have been articles written about the company and how the media guys are always crippling cool hardware that sony tries to make. they run to the board and scream piracy and sony ends up releasing crappy hardware.

back in the 1980's when they had too much money it seemed like a good idea to control the content as well, but in the age of apple you release good hardware or die off

Re:This is Sony (2)

Atomus (2500840) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496083)

Agreed. There was a time (read: over a decade ago) I was naive to their practices towards customers and loved their products, but as the curtains pull away and shed light on how they treat their customers, I can no longer support them by buying their products (as I'm sure alot of /.'ers do now). And until the mainstream people are more informed and decide to not buy Sony products too, Sony will constantly be in control-freak mode. No amount of hacking, exploiting, copying, data-breaching, etc., is going to change the companies mission to stop piracy and home-brewing. Until some company creates another game system that welcomes home brewers and indie game developers, Sony will continue down this path....

Re:This is Sony (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496095)

Signature quote:

Only child molesters don't drink Brawndo, The Thirst MUTILATOR!!!

I hear those on Death Row don't drink it either... unless they can bribe a guard to sneak it in.

Re:This is Sony (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496119)

Wow. Now, if you have an Handgun, go and lock it in somewhere you can't get to it. And then, imageine, Apple would buy Sony...

Re:This is Sony (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496227)

At least we no longer have to face the disturbing prospect of Steve Jobs taking over as Sony CEO. Surely that would have produced a future that would make Mad Max seem charming by comparison.

Re:This is Sony (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496179)

I wrote this several years ago when the PS3 was on the verge of being released. They're a company that you just can't trust to do the sane thing let alone the right thing. I bet most of you forget that the original PS3 controller was fifteen-feet wide and curved like a boomerang.

http://thepcspy.com/read/how_sony_screwed_up/ [thepcspy.com]

Re:This is Sony (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496181)

Thank you for your post - I couldn't have said all of this better. But saying "this is why Sony is hacked all the time" is not completely correct. Sony is hacked all the time because their IT is neglected, the staff is demotivated and the management is incompetent. They just deserve to be hacked.

Re:This is Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496249)

You forgot to mention that this is the company whose last handheld system failed miserably due to rampant piracy eroding developer confidence....but surely that has nothing to do with this decision.

Re:This is Sony (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496367)

Nintendo deals with rampant piracy somehow without trashing downloads of games. The R4 was (possibly still is) easy to find and cheap as hell yet the DS and 3DS are doing fine. Yet somehow, the people I know that own a PSP are the same people that owned a Saturn.

(Note: I am not defending the way Nintendo locks out homebrew on the Wii, just comparing the handheld divisions.)

Re:This is Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496261)

The only SONY logo you'll find in my house is on some old 5.25" floppies I have. In all other ways they can K.M.A.

Re:This is Sony (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496343)

So, people are complaining because Sony is refusing to let them buy something on line? Or are the people complaining just complaining because they hate Sony, and they're really not interested in the content Sony is refusing to sell?

It sounds like the latter case, because I don't see people saying "I really wanted that game! Why can't I buy it now?" Instead, I see posts whining about how Sony is evil, they'd never buy from Sony, and trying to tie their gripes to this incident.

If you really hate Sony, the don't buy from Sony. There are lots of perfectly good alternatives. Vote with your wallet, go home happy.

Re:This is Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496525)

a company that doesn't care [anandtech.com] if your old blu-ray player plays the latest blu-rays or not

Actually, based on what you are linking, that's not true. Old players play new discs and new players play old disc. There's no problem there. The issue discussed in the linked article is that newer players (or older players with updated firmware) may not be able to play copies or rips of certain newer discs which contain the audio watermarking.

Thanks a lot...not you've made me sick to my stomach for having to defend Sony.

Re:This is Sony (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496585)

Dear Sony,

What the fuck, dude?

Sincerely,
Long-time (and increasingly becoming former) customer

Too overzealous? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495929)

You mean overzealous? Or Too zealous?

Re:Too overzealous? (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496109)

Sony goes so far as to require *two* modifiers saying "they're going too far". Just "overzealous" doesn't cut it - they're too overzealous.

Re:Too overzealous? (2)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496173)

So if they're too overzealous, does that imply that there's an appropriate level of overzealousness?

Re:Too overzealous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496329)

I think it implies there is an expected level of zeal already above the appropriate zealousness we can call overzealous, and being too overzealous is going above the baseline overzealousness displayed.

Re:Too overzealous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496341)

Yes. We draw the line at insisting that your religion's rules be the law of the land, even for non-believers. That's overzealous, but socially okay. Beyond that and you're a terrorist.

Re:Too overzealous? (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496479)

I once heard someone describe another person as "Overly stabby".

Re:Too overzealous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496507)

If you are Japanese don't one of those modifiers have to be "mega" or "ultra" though?

Re:Too overzealous? (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496161)

At this point, "Too overzealous" can apply, even if it is not good english.

Re:Too overzealous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496219)

Yes.

It hurts (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495953)

Sony is so stupid it hurts sometimes. It's like they do everything they can to sabotage themselves. How many times can they shoot themselves in the foot and stay in business? I imagine a few more since they've got some cash in the bank, but this just isn't sustainable.

Re:It hurts (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496389)

People said the same thing about MS and Apple, the problem is that most consumers have a nasty case of beaten wife syndrome.

DoS idea (2)

ameen.ross (2498000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495955)

Just overload them with blog posts of people bragging about being exploitable.

Re:DoS idea (2)

ameen.ross (2498000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495969)

D'oh. Used square braces..
Bragging about (game) being exploitable.

Re:DoS idea - "latest blockbuster" is expolitable (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496101)

Just start a low level discussion about how there is a backdoor in Skyrim that lets you root the PS3.

Re:DoS idea (5, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496203)

Brilliant plan.

*ahem* Personally, I've found exploits in the following games:
Army Corps of Hell
Asphalt Injection
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention
Dream Club Zero Portable
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance
Everybody's Golf 6
F1 2011
Little Deviants
Lord of Apocalypse
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Ridge Racer
Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja
Touch My Katamari
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition
Wipeout 2048
Tales of Innocence R
A-men
Ragnarok Odyssey
Gravity Rush
Sumioni: Demon Arts
FIFA Football
Rayman Origins
ModNation Racers: Road Trip
Lumines Electronic Symphony
Hustle Kings
Escape Plan
Dynasty Warriors Next
Super Stardust Delta
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
Ben 10: Galactic Racing
Reality Fighters
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus
MotorStorm: RC
Plants vs. Zombie
Top Darts
MLB 12: The Show
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7
Unit 13
Little Busters! Converted Edition

Your move, Sony

Take this Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495957)

I have an exploit for all known PSP and PSVita games which makes it possible to run unsigned code. I havent released it yet but I will soon. Your move.

Are they going to repost after fixing? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495959)

If so.....then they did the right thing and I don't see the problem here.

If, on the other hand, they just never put them back up and don't refund the people who purchased these games.....then there's a problem.

Re:Are they going to repost after fixing? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496115)

I agree.

But Sony's an information black-hole, and they never tell you anything before it's finished.

Re:Are they going to repost after fixing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496197)

True, but my first reaction to situations is usually more information-gathering than, "RAWR ATTACK!" that I see many replies (and really, the tone of the post) are.

I mean Sony is scummy enough, it seems like they're either going to shove their 6th and 7th feet into their collective mouths or fix it quickly. Either way, it seems after being better-informed, it would make more sense to react accordingly.

Re:Are they going to repost after fixing? (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496127)

They don't inform their costumers, that's a problem (although not a major one).
Also, they didn't have to take down the game. Just stop selling it and patch the download whenever they please.

Re:Are they going to repost after fixing? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496323)

they did the right thing

How many times do we have to have locked down platforms that you do not really "own" (in the sense of being able to use your computer without first getting the permission of whoever built it) before we finally realize that the wrong thing was creating another such platform in the first place? Why do we need Sony's permission to play a game on a computer that Sony sold us?

The right thing would have been selling a system that does not need to be attacked just to use without Sony's permission.

Re:Are they going to repost after fixing? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496425)

The right thing would have been selling a system that does not need to be attacked just to use without Sony's permission.

Such systems exist, with names like GP32, GP2X, GP2X Wiz, Dingoo, Caanoo, etc. But apart from Android smartphones, which have two critical disadvantages that I've mentioned several times before, these systems never appear to reach retailers' shelves in the United States, nor do they appear to get any support from mainstream video game publishers.

Is Sony being too overzealous? (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495971)

In the case of 'Everybody's Tennis', the game was removed from the PSN worldwide after the modder community bragged about the game being exploitable but before any exploit was released for it.

Oh, well in that case, every game I don't like is exploitable. Your move Sony.

Oh boy... (4, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495977)

Here come all the OMG SONY SUCKS people.
Guys, they're a company out to make profit, and they're going to put the game back up in time.
ANY company would do the same thing if suddenly they're product they were expecting revenue from was suddenly able to be accessed for free.
I'm not discounting that Sony does a lot of scummy stuff, but is not one of them in my eyes.

I'm going to take such a huge karma hit for this comment, how dare I go against the flow.

Re:Oh boy... (0)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496011)

their product*
Feh, it's early. Bite me.

Re:Oh boy... (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496189)

Guys, they're a company out to make profit, and they're going to put the game back up in time.

In your dreams. The only thing they will do is, after some ten games or so, they'll stop pulling games just because some modder bragged about them "being exploitable". Maybe earlyer if bloggers overdo it, and brag about too many games at once. Maybe later if the bloggers are smart and wait a couple of weeks between each different game...

Re:Oh boy... (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496347)

Guys, they're a company out to make profit, and they're going to put the game back up in time.

Kind of like how Apple still has all those pornography apps in its app store? Sometimes companies think that can realize greater profits by basically screwing their customers, and there is every reason to think that Sony is such a company.

I'm not discounting that Sony does a lot of scummy stuff, but is not one of them in my eyes.

So just hearing a rumor that a particular game might have a bug that could be exploited is now enough to pull the game? Interesting definition of "not scummy..."

Re:Oh boy... (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496485)

So just hearing a rumor that a particular game might have a bug that could be exploited is now enough to pull the game? Interesting definition of "not scummy..."

FTFA:

On March 1, the hackers at Wololo.net first publicly announced that their homebrew Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) worked by exploiting a vulnerability in a downloadable copy of the PSP title Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, releasing a video of Doom being loaded onto the system by way of proof

I'd say it's called a fact if they provided proof. Sony probably tested it themselves before taking the games down.

Re:Oh boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496537)

Here come all the OMG SONY SUCKS people.

Guys, they're a company out to make profit, and they're going to put the game back up in time.

ANY company would do the same thing if suddenly they're product they were expecting revenue from was suddenly able to be accessed for free.

I'm not discounting that Sony does a lot of scummy stuff, but is not one of them in my eyes.

I'm going to take such a huge karma hit for this comment, how dare I go against the flow.

I agree. They are out there to make a profit and some of their software presented itself as a way for the community to gain access to potentially blow the door open on whatever security they have in place for the PSP/VITA. That being said, their actions are a double edged sword paired with their timing. The hackers that found the exploit have already downloaded the affected game so pulling it from the store is meaningless to them. Whatever exploit that requires the game can no longer be downloaded by the community, but pissing the hackers off only gives them motivation to "stick it to the man" and really take advantage of the exploit to learn things that'll put them ahead of what will be a war against Sony VITA's platform security.

Re:Oh boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496563)

That doesn't make them any less evil. Suggesting that someone loses all character when backed into a corner might be a reason for this action, but it doesn't mean they still get to claim they have any character, and it doesn't mean people should keep dealing with them afterwards without playing their cards close to their chest.

I'm sure Microsoft would do it too. But since they CAN'T stop you enjoying the games you have on your discs, it's not a problem. The problem is that people are dumb enough to buy a DRM-only system that basically permits remotely screwing you over, including not even giving you a moment to play when you paid for.

if iTunes works fine then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495983)

PSN should work fine too.

If you have a computer you have a choice.

Download what you want, or buy what you want. Sony`s stance on piracy just makes the platform as a whole very unattractive.

If you have a open system that runs emulators, runs games without DRM you get 2 things.

Market share and people buying games. More devices in circulation means more potential buyers.

Thanks for educating people Sony (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495995)

Sony is educating millions on the power of Digital Rights Management (DRM). The more educated, informed and angry people we have the better.

I am sure Sony's licensing agreement says "Sony does not have to provide anything for your money". I would love to see the lawsuits flame up over this. Of course the agreement will also say "contests to the agreement must happen in East Texas(or whichever jurisdiction is most favorable to Sony)" and that that the customer waives the right to class actions lawsuits.

If you are being shafted by Sony on this sorry, see if you can get a class action lawsuit going and buts that "customer (dis)agreement. If you are not being shafted by Sony, lets thank Sony for the education on DRM it is providing to a wide range of the public.

Re:Thanks for educating people Sony (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496429)

> you can get a class action lawsuit going

What did the people get from rootkit lawsuit? Most of them got diddly-squat. IIRC, it was possible to get up to $175 in refunds for expenses used to "fix" your computer.

Re:Thanks for educating people Sony (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496517)

I'm not sure what this story has to say about DRM... Sony did not remove the game from peoples' devices from what I understand, just stopped selling it in their store. If that's severe DRM then DAMN Nintendo and Sony! Their horrible DRM on their Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System has cause me not to be able to buy the original games anymore!

DRM is an important topic to rally against, removing items from a store for not good reasons is something we should rally against. We should not confuse one for the other.

Obligations of a walled-garden proprietor (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496037)

In a "walled garden" environment like Sony's, it's appropriate to not only remove titles with known flaws, but pre-emptively remove titles where you reasonably suspect there is either a flaw or an easy way to discover a flaw. After all, one of the reasons people choose a walled-garden community is for safety at the expense of freedom.

However, Sony and other walled-garden community proprietors/overlords also have other obligations:

* It has an obligation to offer access OR just compensation to anyone who has already paid for the title. If the person never downloaded the title, "just compensation" is a full refund.
* It has an obligation to offer just compensation to anyone who bought a title which is now unusable.
* It has an obligation to quickly review titles it pre-emptively removes and restore them within days, not weeks.
* It has an obligation to work with content creators to help them fix the flaws and screen for exploits of products before they are published.
* It would make for good vendor relations if it pro-actively developed generic exploit-detection tools and regularly screened its libraries, and worked with content creators to quietly update their products BEFORE the black hat community discovered specific exploits.

Non-walled-garden community managers do not have these obligations, but it may still be good for vendor- and public-relations if they also pro-actively scanned for exploits and worked with vendors to fix them, and flagged known-exploitable code so people who download it know what they are getting. One of the freedoms of "living" outside a walled garden is the freedom to run unsafe code. One of the responsibilities of "living" outside a walled garden is to maintain 0wnership of your own equipment.

Re:Obligations of a walled-garden proprietor (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496465)

Legally, if those obligations are listed in the contract that nobody reads then they have no such obligations.

You haven't you seen South Park's Centipad episode?

Re:Obligations of a walled-garden proprietor (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496605)

After all, one of the reasons people choose a walled-garden community is for safety at the expense of freedom.

Except that a walled garden is not necessary, and one does not need to sacrifice freedom; the repository system used by numerous free/libre OSes is equally effective and does nothing to prevent people from using their computers in the way they see fit. The difference is the goal; companies that run walled gardens are not doing so to benefit users, they are doing so to benefit their investors, whereas repositories are run to make it easier to install software and to keep that software up-to-date.

It has an obligation to offer access OR just compensation to anyone who has already paid for the title. If the person never downloaded the title, "just compensation" is a full refund.

Except that you are ignoring what benefit a person might have received from having whatever software or entertainment was removed. In the case of a video game, this might be nothing more than an abstract issue, but for other software, or for a book (like, say, 1984, a frequent target of censorship) it could matter more. The user might want the software/etc. more than the money they paid for it, and you are basically telling them to go screw themselves (or to find some other platform).

It has an obligation to quickly review titles it pre-emptively removes and restore them within days, not weeks.

Assuming they even bother to restore such titles. Apple has no plans to restore all those pornography apps in the App Store, and they only restored one of the numerous political cartoon apps they removed after a widespread media backlash. Is there any reason to think that Sony will behave differently?

Non-walled-garden community managers do not have these obligations

Yet large distros like Fedora do submit patches upstream to fix problems in software and they do work with projects to make packaging easier. This sometimes fails or takes a long time (e.g. Chromium in Fedora, which remains problematic), yet we see little to no effort on the part of walled garden wardens^H^H^Hcurators.

One of the freedoms of "living" outside a walled garden is the freedom to run unsafe code

Likewise, one of the freedoms of living outside of a prison is the freedom to drive a car and potentially get into an accident. So why should anyone live outside of a prison?

Really though, walled gardens are dangerous for society. What happens when the government comes along and says, "Remove that anonymity software, people are using it to violate our censorship laws?" Computers are one of the most important communication tools out there, and walled gardens basically cede control of those tools to companies that have little interest in freedom of speech or democratic processes. I want to have the freedom to run cryptography software that does not have a backdoor and that does not escrow my keys (a debate which is still alive). I want to have the freedom to use communication systems that are hard to censor, which means having the software needed to connect to those systems. I do not want to have a company like Sony or Apple "curate" my experience by denying me the ability to run such software.

I can't imagine... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496051)

I can't imagine why Sony would possibly have a corporate culture of paranoia regarding security issues.

And yet again (3, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496059)

Way to go Sony, that ought to teach those pesky customers of yours!

Actually, I think Stallman should thank Sony for reenacting every scary story he is telling when explaining horrors of verdor lock-ins and proprietary format traps. This ought to stick it to those, who kept saying that no company would be suicidal enough to treat their customers this way.

sony sony sony... (1)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496071)

Sometimes I don't know what to do with you, I love your products but I totally hate your company and outlook. If I could unlock a vita I would totally go out and buy one and even buy some of the games that proven their worth just like I did with the DS but you are making me not want to even buy one because of the tactics you are pulling.

Sony used to be a respected company (3, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496099)

Wow! Back in the day (70s-80s) Sony made some cool stuff - I'm talking about Trinitron tvs, open-reel tape machines and awesome stereos. The quality was amazing. A popular "rule-of-thumb" was you can gauge the quality of a CRT-based telly was how heavy it was - Sony was always heaviest!!!! Until some competitors were caught adding lead(?) weights into the tv box!!

Sony is a sad shadow of it's former self.

Well done Sony you are on the road to utter irrelevance.

Re:Sony used to be a respected company (-1, Offtopic)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496437)

Interesting, why is my comment tagged as "Troll"?

Screw these hackers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496133)

Man, I wish these hacker fags would leave us gamers alone and just let us buy and play games instead of using our consoles to play with their Linux dicks and getting Sony mad.

Re:Screw these hackers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496207)

If those few malcontents would stop with their escape attempts, the prison guards would stop beating all of us!

Re:Screw these hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496279)

Some of us buy game consoles just to play games. If we want a computer, we'll go use one. To me a game console is like a toaster. Would I try to put homebrew on my toaster? No. I don't care how many microchips it has in it.

Re:Screw these hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496445)

His point is that your anger is misplaced. Okay, you would not hack the toaster. Fine, but that isn't the question; the question is whether it should be forbidden to hack the toaster once you have paid for it. People who think it should be fine hack their own toasters. People who think it should not be fine lock down your toaster. It seems obvious to me that only one of those groups affected you, yet you are angry at the other.

Re:Screw these hackers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496503)

Some of us buy game consoles just to play games. If we want a computer, we'll go use one.

So what do I buy if I want one device that can act as both a handheld computer and a handheld game console?

Of course they're not being overzealous (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496175)

If hackers are saying a game is exploitable Sony would have to be insane to leave the exploit up on their store. Why would they expose themselves to an exploit? So they've taken it down presumably with the intention of fixing whatever the exploit is before putting it back up. Perhaps Everyone's Tennis does something such as peer to peer gameplay or hitting an external url which leaves it vulnerable to an exploit.

Too overzealous? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496191)

"Is Sony being too overzealous in its fight against piracy?

I don't know, really. Have we seen a decrease in attacks in the waters off of Somalia?

just give up, sony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496229)

it's not a matter of IF, but rather of 'how fast'. digital content and hardware in the hands of hackers and your platform or media or whatever WILL be circumvented, period.

game, set, and match.

quit subsidizing hardware with high prices on games... embrace the community instead of pissing them off. you don't want mad hackers out to get you.. you can't have forgotten what's happened previously, can you?

Piracy destroyed the PSP (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496251)

Piracy destroyed the PSP software market. Sony should do everything possible to avoid that with the Vita and every other Sony platform.

It's not like Sony haters on Slashdot or any other pro-piracy site would ever say anything good about Sony. There's no sense in trying to appeal to people who actively seek to harm you. Hostile enemies should be treated like hostile enemies.

Re:Piracy destroyed the PSP (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496361)

Piracy destroyed the PSP software market.

Crap hardware, the usual Sony bullshit with weird Sony proprietary formats (UMDs? Really?) and lack of decent software killed the PSP. It wasn't very good. People were not interested. They did not buy a PSP. QED.

Re:Piracy destroyed the PSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496397)

I wonder what phrase your "Sony Art of War Calendar(TM)" will have tomorrow

Re:Piracy destroyed the PSP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496409)

When you are left referring to your customers as "hostile enemies", I think it's obvious that you're doing it wrong.

Re:Piracy destroyed the PSP (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496417)

Hostile enemies should be treated like hostile enemies.

Or in Sony's case....

Paying Customers should be treated like hostile enemies.

Let it go already! (2)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496253)

Expensive mobile device and overzealous company policy..oh proprietary format too.

The device flopped over Christmas here in the UK & retailers were desperately promoting special offers and discounts as soon as it was released.

Sony & Nintendo have to learn the mobile gaming sector has got a lot more competitive and in most cases competitor's games are cheaper too.

I'm afraid this business model is done.

I thought "Honeybadger" was stoopid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg [youtube.com]

Re:Let it go already! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496529)

Sony & Nintendo have to learn the mobile gaming sector has got a lot more competitive

What's the competing product that works well with video games in genres where a gamepad works much better than a flat touch screen? Or when will developers become able to expect their customers to have bought a $62 Bluetooth gamepad?

Grow up /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496289)

The average consumer doesn't give a fuck about all these things, they just to play the games that (sadly) only sony's hardware offers.

Until sony loses every exclusive game worth a shit, people will continue to buy their products.

You want people to stop buying sony? Instead of going on a religious quest to tell all the people to repent, go to developers and ask them to either not produce games for sony or produce for multiple platforms.

Nail sony (1)

DarkKaplah (861495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496435)

The solution here is for the hacker community to announce that they found a common flaw that affects a large percentage of sony games, then list about 62% of the catalog. A few titles can be dropped and they can take the fallout. Take down that many titles and the platform will be in trouble.

Wont and hasn't stopped anything (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496477)

i mean really now.. google Everybody's Tennis PSP torrent.... now that it is up in the cloud anyone can get it with out paying for it off their store anyways. Not paying + home brew apps and games = happy user. if you have Paid for the expensive unit already.. I will not get a Vita yet.. as their memory card that only works on that unit is the 2nd worst idea had since Sony came out with Beta Max.

Yes (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496565)

Is Sony being too overzealous in its fight against piracy?

If it means that customers who paid for games but are not going to receive them nor receive a refund, then yes, they are being too overzealous. But that isn't the word I would use here. I find that FRAUD is a better fit.

Typical. (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496587)

Harm everyone because you're paranoid of pirates. Same thing with DRM. Very nice collective punishment.

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