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Sony PlayStation (Games) The Courts Games Your Rights Online

Sony Lawsuits Target PS3 Jailbreak Authors 205

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-more-expensive-than-admitting-they-were-stupid dept.
StikyPad writes "PS3News is reporting that Sony's latest legal salvo is targeting the creators of PS JailBreak, PSFreedom and PSGroove-related PS3 hacks, citing numerous court documents for those interested. From one of the documents: 'Having considered the Motion for Expedited Discovery of Plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (oeSCEA) [...] the Court hereby grants SCEA's Motion. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that [...] SCEA has leave to serve similarly targeted subpoenas or deposition notices to any other third party who SCEA learns may be involved in the distribution or sale of the oePS Jailbreak software, known as, for example, "PSGroove," "OpenPSJailbreak," and "PSFreedom," or who may have knowledge of the distribution or sale of this software.'"
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Sony Lawsuits Target PS3 Jailbreak Authors

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  • by rs1n (1867908) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @05:59PM (#33729320)

    While you don't need to jail break your PS3 to hook it up to XBOX live, you (apparently) need to do so to run other applications). The real issue here is how Sony will fight this. _IF_ they plan to use the copyright argument, the surely they will not prevail.

    To reiterate a quote from the GP:"The owner’s technological measure must protect the copyrighted material against an infringement of a right that the Copyright Act protects, not from mere use or viewing" If the jailbreaks somehow infringe on copyrighted material, then Sony has a case with respect to copyright. If I'm not mistaken, there were reports that the software used in some of the jailbreaking may have made use of an illegal copy of Sony's SDK.

  • by marcansoft (727665) <[moc.tfosnacram] [ta] [rotceh]> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:14PM (#33729450) Homepage

    lol! "the piracy code"!

    I would normally prefer the term "the copied-game-loading code", which is more correctly neutral, but sometimes I get so irritated by all the lying smartasses who use the term "backup" as a thin veil (and thus discredit the minority of people actually legitimately backing up their own games) that I feel like using a term that is biased the other way just to make it blatantly obvious what most people end up using the code for.

    Specifically, I'm talking about the Blu-Ray redirection patches which are still present in the PSGroove code (which is just a version of the PSJailbreak code hex-edited to trivially break, but not remove, this functionality). In other words, the PSGroove is technically a pirated PSJailbreak (not that I care about commercial game copying products getting copied, but there are legal implications to basing your stuff too much on a piracy device). It's a lot cleaner if you just take the required core concept of the exploit and develop an open product around it that shares nothing more than what is strictly necessary with the original.

    Wow - using an SDK is piracy?

    Torrenting it and then distributing code compiled with it both are, which is what everyone who is using the Sony SDK did. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. If Sony didn't grant you a license to use the PS3 SDK, then you aren't allowed to legally use it.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:37PM (#33729616)

    I don't even own a PS3 (or any console for that matter) but I have about had it with this DMCA crap. There isn't any Sony copyrighted code in the crack is there? If somebody can point me to a good description of how to jailbreak one of these damned things I'll host it on my homepage and then toss the gauntlet down to Sony. I'm a humble librarian but one benefit is I can use a page on our server. Ever seen how rabid the library world gets when the word 'censorship' gets tossed their way?

    Way I see it I can't be subject to a Sony EULA since the only Sony product I own is a fairly basic receiver. If there is no Sony code copied into the crack I can't be subject to copyright. And a text page describing something can't violate a patent. With the right disclaimers trademark is out. So that leaves it a pure DMCA play and I really don't think the bastards want that going to court. They will use em when they think they can get an instant takedown from a frightened ISP but I ain't one of those. Our lawyer happens to be the district attorney so we don't have to instantly fold at the threat of lawyering up.

    The most defendable position would be detailed instructions on how to crack a PS3 for the purpose of installing Linux back on one. So has that been accomplished yet?

    Haven't stuck a finger in the system's eye since my minor role in the Cuecat [beau.org] fiasco a decade ago. Looks like it is time to stand up again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:41PM (#33729642)

    hmmmm targetting a segment of the market of whom the majority have gone out of their way to avoid having to purchase games, yeah that sounds like a successfull business model for those struggling indie developers.

    Is that true? I find it hard to believe those people would get a console in the first place, PC games are a great deal easier to pirate.

    Are you really that niave? you think just because they can also pirate on the PC they won't on a console? I know a ton of people with hacked gaming consoles (in the order of 15-20), all of them do it so they can copy/pirate/share games, none of them would even consider doing it to give them access to more stuff to purchase, they do it to get something for free.

  • by xMilkmanDanx (866344) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:43PM (#33729652) Homepage

    Sony made it's initial money off a sliver of non-infringing purpose with the vcr (with its ability to record, not play that is). almost all uses of it were infringing but there was the one case of time shifting that was deemed non-infringing and that sliver was enough that the lawsuits were denied.

    Soooo, as long as there's a non-infringing use for it, even if 99% of the capability is infringing, it should be allowed as was allowed by the prior ruling.

    Of course, as IANAL and the law rarely does what is right (or even remains self consistent) when faced by big money.

  • by Pezbian (1641885) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:51PM (#33729714)

    * ...everything but what we originally touted.

    Scary you can build a supercomputer from PS3s and immediately have the system bricked without notice. True, if it were doing anything important it would be built from different stuff, but consider this: cellphones and a bunch of other devices made in China update firmware automatically. If China had enemies, they have a potential backdoor killswitch to disable these devices. Clever.

    So why can't we start making things like that? (I don't care where you are. The same strategy applies and would rock.)

  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @06:53PM (#33729728)

    Sony made it's initial money off a sliver of non-infringing purpose with the vcr (with its ability to record, not play that is)

    Huh? Sony was founded decades before VCRs were invented, and then probably lost a non-trivial amount of money, at least at first, by pushing Betamax.

    almost all uses of it were infringing but there was the one case of time shifting that was deemed non-infringing and that sliver was enough that the lawsuits were denied.

    I'm not convinced that "almost all uses" of the VCR were infringing; I'd be astonished if the proportion of uses of the VCR that were infringing is close to that of uses of the PS3 jailbreaks for infringing purposes.

    If memory serves, the SCOTUS also explicitly said that the VCR wasn't illegal solely by the reason that Congress hadn't made it illegal, and it was not a Constitutional argument. the DMCA has changed that too.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:22PM (#33729886)

    All that this means is that somebody needs to create a competing service. Sounds like there is a very fertile industry for it, especially if it s more lax than the default platform creator's choice. (Such as, actually ALLOWING halo map mods, etc.)

    See for instance, things like the successor to BnetD, and associated open servers. Creating an actual company geared toward servicing "blacklisted" consoles would fill a valid market niche. Last I checked, reverse engineering laws STILL provided safe habor for such practices when used for "Cross compatibility" and "Interoperability".

    *would LOVE to see an alternative to sony's PSN and Microsoft's XBOX Live! service; Especially if that same service was console agnostic, and would permit multiplayer games from both consoles to have mixed matches.

  • by jank1887 (815982) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:38PM (#33729948)

    I'll add a second anecdote: I have a hacked Wii. I have my whole (20-30, 90% used from gamestop) game library loaded on a hard drive. I like the convenience. At this moment, I could pull out any game disc for anything on my hard drive you'd like to see. For me, it's about convenience. The same reason people want a media library of ripped DVDs even through they own all 400 the discs. Heck, it's even easier to FIND the game you want when the count gets high. I first figured out the USBloader process after my 4 year old rendered the Wii sports disc unreadable. (it was able to rip, luckily). could I replace a disc? probably. is there a convenient way for me to avoid needing to replace discs and avoid that hassle? yes. so that's all I need.

    Then again, I also don't know you. so you're point stands. maybe you just need friends with a bit more moral fiber.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:42PM (#33729982) Journal

    Well I can't speak for them, but I can speak for myself, and I bought a Dreamcast even knowing it would probably be a loser PLUS buying games for said dreamcast specifically BECAUSE it had been jailbroken, thus allowing me to use emulators on it instead of having to keep my old consoles are wired together in a mess. I was more than happy to buy games for it PLUS buy games for my Xbox (which I had XBMC on) because they gave me MORE value for my money. The dreamcast was my one stop for all my classic games plus the newer Dreamcast stuff like Power stone, just as the xbox was my stop for playing lots of games PLUS it made a damned good media center.

    To me it has always been about giving me a good value for my dollar. same reason I buy tons of games from Good old games [gog.com] even though there isn't a single game there I couldn't pirate, but they give me lots of extras like soundtracks PLUS guaranteed x64 support on all games PLUS make it easy and cheap to pay them. I think the bigger problem is game companies charging $50+ for frankly shitty games that are nothing but eye candy without any gameplay and then looking for a scape goat. Sure there will always be some that pirate, most of the pirates I've known were poor college students that couldn't afford the product anyway.

    That is why I hope Sony gets the smackdown. Too many of these great new toys coming out are locked down tighter than a nun's thighs and there just ain't no sense in wasting all that good tech when it could do so much more. I might be tempted to get my family an x360 or PS3 if someone jailbroke it so I could have an HD XBMC and be able to run any format, along with emulators and homebrew and anything else cool someone thinks to do with one. If I buy the toy I want to play with it, no have some company tell me I'm only allowed to do what they say with it.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:44PM (#33729988)

    Offering a competing multiplayer backend (replacing WiiConnect24, PSN, and XBOX Live!) for "blacklisted" consoles would create an extensive reason to mod a console.

    The issue that such a fledgling company (threatening to steal the apples from these company's walled gardens) would need to assert is that such a service is not geared toward allowing pirated games to be played. As such to be legitimate it would need to also ban people that are found to be using it for this purpose.

    It's main function would be to allow people who have modified their consoles so that they can play modified multiplayer maps to continue to do so. (Currently this activity violates the PSN, XboxLive, and WiiConnect EULAs, resulting in being blacklisted.)

    If I wasnt deathly afraid of blood sucking vampir^V^V^V -- "Lawyers", I would consider investing the time with a copy of Wireshark examining raw packet dumps of the Live, PSN, and WiiConnect protocols. (I have a PSP, a 360 and a Wii, so I should be able to investigate all 3 authentication methods.)

    Once you have the language down, all you have to do is get the console to communicate with the new server; Something that might be doable by instructing it to use a "Special" proxy server. (IIRC, all of these consoles allow the use of a dedicated proxy for internet connectivity. Just point it at the rival service server's IP address, and it then masquarades as the real deal, by "internally" routing the target's IP address at itself, while opening the rest of the internet as a proxy is supposed to.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:45PM (#33729992)

    One of the reasons Sony initially put OtherOS capabilities into the PS3 was so that they could claim that the PS3 was a "General Purpose Computer" and dodge a bunch of European taxes... If I was a citizen of one of those countries I would be asking why they are not now suing Sony for those back taxes and/or the reinstatement of the OtherOS functionality.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:48PM (#33730520)

    The potentially massive amounts of data on a bluray disc count in Sony's favour there I would think, it could take a loooooong time to download 50GB. Not that many games are quite that big, but still.

    Anyway, screw 90% of people, this is slashdot, where we're supposed to care about whether you can run BSD on a toaster, or linux on a ps3.

    Do all the people that modded the Wii play pirated games? I don't. Likewise with the PS2. But then I would try to install linux/BSD on a toaster if I thought there was a chance of it booting.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:57PM (#33730580) Homepage Journal

    How is that?

    Instance A: You buy a phone and own it outright. You wish to chance carriers. Oops. carrier lock. Jailbreak/root and unlock it. Interoperability!

    Instance B: You buy a video game console and own it outright. You want to install Linux and use it as a cheap theater PC/media server. Jailbreak it and install what you want. Interoperability!

    How is either not an explicit exception?

  • by sixsixtysix (1110135) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:56PM (#33731010)
    then it is up to you, and you alone, to figure out how to let the legit segment use their fair use rights to make back-ups, whilst stopping those that pirate. what is your game plan? hell, i don't even own a console, but i don't like the idea of taking away some legit use because some people (majority or otherwise) use it in a bad way.

    side note: if console makers just had free, open development in the first place like they should, none of this would be a problem, but they don't because they are retarded.

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