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Piracy PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Sony Gets Nasty With PSBreak Buyers 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-it-a-rest dept.
YokimaSun writes "The war between hackers and Sony over the PlayStation 3 has now taken an even more sinister turn, with Sony going after not just shops but actual buyers of the PSBreak dongle, threatening them with fines of many thousands of Euros and forcing them to sign cease-and-desist letters. It seems Sony will use any means necessary to thwart both homebrew and piracy on the PS3."
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Sony Gets Nasty With PSBreak Buyers

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  • by millennial (830897) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:42AM (#33958758) Journal
    "Sony is now requesting every buyer to transfer the rights to request the package back from customs over to Sony Computer Entertainment and to agree on the destruction of the device." Only happening in Germany, and likely has to do with lenient laws there that would allow it.
    • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:08AM (#33958888)

      Are Sony seriously going to sue people for not handing over their legal property to Sony?

      What is it with this company? Just how far up their own arses can they go?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Damn, now I want a PS3 just so I can break it, load on another OS and share mp3s of Sony artists on a hacked restaurant connection nearby.
        I won't cease or desist till Sony lies in ashes.

      • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @07:20AM (#33959398)
        Far enough that Ouroboros itself will think they're pushing it up a few inches too far.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That clearly depends on how the device stands legal in a given country. The DMCA and it's offspring around the world has very intended consequences. Strange coming from a country where it's fine to have firearms designed to kill, yet we mustn't have a device that *may* allow copying entertainment media.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Just how far up their own arses can they go?

        Viol8, I'd like you to meet Sony. Obviously you two have never met before, so I'll just let you talk.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:27AM (#33960008) Homepage Journal

        What is it with this company? Just how far up their own arses can they go?

        As far as they want; XCP showed them that. Root and vandalise people's computers (including mine) and have no repercussions whatever -- nobody went to prison, even jail, they not only didn't go bankrupt it didn't affect sales at all. I can't for the life of me figure out why ANYBODY, especially nerds, would buy computer equipment from a company with a history of rooting their own paying customers' computers.

        If there is anybody who still buys stuff from Sony, please tell me how you can trust them any farther than you can throw a car?

        • I still use & buy sony gear, and i'll probably continue to do so in the foreseeable future, however, the gear i do buy is not hindered by drm, rootkits or whatsoever (sofar they''ve not figured out how to stop camera's from working during concerts etc), and as long as those bits work as advertised, and well, i'll use & buy them.
    • by fnj (64210)

      Sign zzzze paperzzzz or elttttttzzzz.

    • Ooo, forbidden hardware. I sort of want one now.

    • The Germans wanting to destroy your "freedom". That's not good PR. Also, that doesn't sound like Germany is being "lenient" with its laws here. This request implies that all those dongles were stopped (or are going to be stopped) at the border by custom officials. Also, I would like to know how they got the names and addresses of the people who ordered those dongles (did the custom officials give it to Sony)? It sounds like there was a serious breach of privacy as well.
  • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:42AM (#33958760)

    A PS3, I mean.

    It's not really a principled stand, but it could become one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by somersault (912633)

      I'm unsure how to feel about this. I think Sony are going about it the wrong way. If they have security holes in the system they should patch them up, and if the holes are in the hardware then I suppose they should just make sure to fix them up in the PS4. I am however happy for them to remove as much possibility as possible that there will be people cheating on online games. That's one of the few real benefits over playing on my PS3 as opposed to PC gaming online.

      • by Eraesr (1629799) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:23AM (#33959000) Homepage
        You're right in that they're going about this the wrong way. However, I think the closed nature of the console is exactly what causes these cracks and hacks to appear. What Sony should do is open up a sandbox environment in the PS3 in which homebrew developers can run their own software without problems. I don't see why piracy and homebrew are always treated as one by these console developers. I do understand that it's probably harder to combat piracy if homebrew is allowed, but if this is taken into account when designing the system, the problem is probably much smaller. At least you take away the incentive of the homebrew communities to crack your system. That just leaves the pirates and you can continue fighting them while supporting the homebrew community.
        • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:35AM (#33959092) Homepage Journal

          What Sony should do is open up a sandbox environment in the PS3 in which homebrew developers can run their own software without problems.

          It did, until the slim PS3 came out and Sony left out the Other OS drivers to cut cost. Then the first hints of cracks came out with the stated goal of reenabling Other OS on the slim PS3, and Sony pushed out PS3 system software 3.21 to shut them down on the original PS3. Then the cat and mouse game started in earnest.

          I don't see why piracy and homebrew are always treated as one by these console developers.

          I explained the rationale against homebrew in another comment [slashdot.org].

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by marcansoft (727665)

            They didn't leave Other OS out to cut the cost, as Linux has been proven to run on the Slim pretty much exactly the same way as it does on older consoles. It was deliberately disabled because they felt like it; there is no good technical reason.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              I heard on somewhat good authority that it was disabled due to pressure from companies wanting to sell emulation packs on the PSN store. The Linux support made this business model nonviable because MAME and other emulators had already been ported to the open source Linux platform on the system. Sony were only bowing to pressure from their corporate peers.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by gorzek (647352)

                That certainly makes Sony sound like an innocent victim or at worst a hapless bystander, which is laughable. Seems more likely some companies approached Sony about their ideas to sell emulated games on the PS3, and pointed out that the Other OS feature significantly reduces the sales potential of emulated games. "Don't worry," Sony said, "We'll take care of it." After doing the math and figuring up how much more they'd make in license fees, of course.

          • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:58AM (#33959210) Homepage

            Yes.

            Why has everyone IGNORED the glaring fact in the room.

            None of this crap was going on with any strength until sony became idiots and shut down the OtherOS function.

            It's their fault. They caused it, and they will lose.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by CronoCloud (590650)

              Actually, Geohot caused it, Sony was just being paranoid and overestimated his abilities.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Moryath (553296)

                Bullshit. Geohot's hack required inserting a fucking wire into the console after taking it half apart, then slamming a switch like mad to cause the console to glitch.

                This is ENTIRELY $ony's fault for being a bunch of paranoid-delusional morons. I wonder if the people responsible for this debacle are the same morons $ony poached from Nintendo who were responsible for the mind-bogglingly stupid design idiocy of cartridges on the N64 and mini-dvds on the Gamecube.

              • People are still blaming Geohot for Sony's actions? Let Sony be responsible for their own decisions.
    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlieNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:32AM (#33959068) Homepage

      I am actually rather tempted to buy a PS3 now and one of these dongles, and then take several pictures of me using the said dongle and send those over to Sony. Oh, and advertise the pics and the dongle on my website, too. Sony wouldn't have any legal leg to stand on if they tried to sue so I'd just get to laugh and annoy the hell out of them :]

      Oh, sometimes I'm just so glad to live in Finland :]

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Oh, sometimes I'm just so glad to live in Finland

        Many of us envy those of you who live in First World countries.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vadim_t (324782)

        Don't reward those assholes by paying for one of their products.

        If you really want to annoy them, do something to publicise the existence, and improve the distribution of things like PSBreak. Having something like it fully documented so that anybody can assemble it from components and then posted everywhere would annoy Sony quite a bit more than a couple of photos on a website.

      • Fuck that. Take the money you would have used for a PS3, and buy as many dongles as you can.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by richwillal (541816)
      I've been avoiding products from Sony for years. It started with the whole CD rootkit debacle, but Sony continually makes short-sighted decisions related to how it treats its customers (in some cases, breaking the law to do so). If people stand for this kind of treatment, companies will continue it.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Well, I'm not buying one

      Actually, now that there's a PSBreak, I might finally be convinced to buy my first PS3.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      I won't buy anything from Sony, and principles have nothing to do with it. They rooted and vandalized my computer, I would be insane to trust them again. It's not a boycott, it's a matter of wanting to own what I pay for. It's a matter of not letting thieves and vandals in my house.

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  • by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:00AM (#33958848)
    I'm selling - cheap - kits for creative ways to eliminate lawyers (and best selling kit so far is all chainsaw + jason mask)

    It's only me who have the impression that lawyers are going crazy? What most lack happen, someone wanting to sue humanity to breathe without a contract for this?
    • It's only me who have the impression that lawyers are going crazy?

      Behind every sleazy lawyer is a sleazier client. Blame Sony, and vote with your money. That's one reason why I have a Philips TV, stereo, and DVD recorder in the room where I'm typing this.

      • by WCMI92 (592436)

        Behind every sleazy lawyer is a sleazier client. Blame Sony, and vote with your money. That's one reason why I have a Philips TV, stereo, and DVD recorder in the room where I'm typing this.

        I've been boycotting Sony since SOE (their MMO publisher) destroyed Star Wars Galaxies in a sleazy bait and switch (announced the day after they charged us for an expansion half of which was being rendered useless two weeks later). I am speaking of course about the NGE.

        I am in a position of influence in electronics pur

    • If you breath close to their console, they may claim you're using part (the air) of the lincensed (not owned!) property (the console) in a way it was not licensed for.
      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        But if you breath on it and it goes in the cooling intake then couldn't you claim that they hadn't licensed your breath to be used as cooling in their machine? See how they like that frivolous law suit!

    • by ultranova (717540)

      It's only me who have the impression that lawyers are going crazy?

      "There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do." - Terry Pratchett, Small Gods.

  • Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:08AM (#33958894)

    How do they expect this to work?

    Sure you can sue if they use trademarked names like "Sony" or "PS3", but a dongle with a name like "Freedom" and containing no code or hardware copyrighted by Sony cannot be stopped.

    Yes, it is a device to circumvent copy protection but far from all European countries have laws banning such devices, and once they're in a European country the device can be moved freely to other countries.

    I would buy such a device, mostly just to spite Sony and their megalomania.

    • Trademarked names (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      Sure you can sue if they use trademarked names like "Sony" or "PS3", but a dongle with a name like "Freedom"

      And in countries with sane trademark law, nominative use to specify compatible products made by other companies is not an infringement: "FREEDOM service tool by TropeCo, for use with PLAYSTATION 3 console by Sony".

      and containing no code or hardware copyrighted by Sony

      Sony can claim non-literal copying. But even in the U.S., whose Digital Millennium Copyright Act is widely thought on Slashdot to be stricter than its European counterparts, copying small pieces of code solely for interoperability has been shown not to infringe. Sega v. Accolade; Lexmark v. Static

  • Bubble (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kurtis25 (909650) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:09AM (#33958902)
    This rash of crazy lawyer stories leads me to believe we are in a law suit Bubble. Eventually garbage law suits, Cease and Desists, threats, extra will come to an end bursting the bubble lawyers have grown so accustom to.
    • by WCMI92 (592436)

      This rash of crazy lawyer stories leads me to believe we are in a law suit Bubble. Eventually garbage law suits, Cease and Desists, threats, extra will come to an end bursting the bubble lawyers have grown so accustom to.

      Lawyers who practice this sort of "law" are not productive members of society but are parasites. There will be tort reform eventually. Or the lawyer class (which dominates Congress, btw) will come face to face with the pitchfork and torch class. There are so many opportunities that have

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:18AM (#33958962)

    If Sony didn't plan for this in the beginning, then I understand why they have resorted to this as a last gasp. That means there was a major hole in their business plan.

    Sony once held the mindshare Apple has now. For me, so many Sony items have had problems, that they are off my radar.

    The world moves on and a major player must move ahead of it, or at least with it or it dies. I just don't get the concept of a company suing the retail consumers of its hardware.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The answer to your question is yes. Litigation is all Sony has. You don't sue your customers unless you otherwise lack a viable business model. Sony is the SCO of computer gaming. The same is clearly true of Blizzard today. [slashdot.org] People don't want to play their game the way they want it played, and they are willing to shit on them to try to stop them. This is what happens when the hands and the brain are disconnected.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        You don't sue your customers unless you otherwise lack a viable business model. [..] The same is clearly true of Blizzard today.

        You'd have a point if Blizzard wasn't making truck loads of money.

        • by znerk (1162519)

          You'd have a point if Blizzard wasn't making truck loads of money.

          ... right this second? Sure.

          In another couple months, when they've disconnected and shut down all their users for cheating in single-player mode? Hmm... Might not be such a good idea for them to have all this negative publicity at the same time as they're losing players in droves over the Cataclysm gameplay changes.

          To get back on topic, I don't own a PS3, but if I did, I would have sued Sony for false advertisement and fraud when they removed the ability to run OtherOS on it (it was an advertised feature, t

          • by Raenex (947668)

            In another couple months, when they've disconnected and shut down all their users for cheating in single-player mode?

            I bet you Blizzard will be doing just fine.

            To get back on topic, I don't own a PS3, but if I did, I would have sued Sony for false advertisement and fraud when they removed the ability to run OtherOS on it

            People have sued Sony over that. There's a class action lawsuit going on as well as individual lawsuits.

            Sony simply hasn't given me any reason to trust them at all, while showing me constantly that I shouldn't trust them.

            I respect your decision. Personally, I bought a PS3 because I wanted a next-gen gaming console and there aren't very many choices. Even Nintendo is aggressive with anti-piracy measures.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Yesterday's interview with John Sculley compared Sony with Apple, and I think was quite appropriate here.

      Apple think about the experience as a whole and work their way down to the components that are necessary to deliver that experience. Sony start with getting the components and build that up to an experience.

      Which worked fine back when we were using analogue or mostly-analogue products for home entertainment. I include CD players in this list because 99 times out of 100, they go from digital to analogue

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andydread (758754)
      I am a former Sony reseller and former Sony fanboy. Lived the Sony Style life etc. We have installed and recommended tens of millions of dollars worth of Sony equipment (pro and consumer) over the decades from the 80s-late90s. Sony at one time used to be an electronics company and therefor was more on the side of the electronics consumer rather than the content creators who want control over all electronics. They fought a battle with the MPAA/RIAA back in the 80s for the right of the consumer to recor
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:39AM (#33959116) Homepage

    Really? After so many years of producing shit that they can't even sell TV's (something Sony used to be famous for making the best) under their own name anymore, why do people still buy ANYTHING Sony?

    The premise of threatening OWNERS of a piece of hardware for doing with that hardware whatever they please, which they have the absolute right to do (including burning it or running over it with the car) is ridiculous. And if someone is finally going to be stupid enough to sue a customer over violating a shrinkwrap, unilateral, "we reserve the right to change anything at any time at our SOLE discretion" EULA, please, PLEASE for the love of God let it be a company as stupid, corrupt and intellectually bankrupt as Sony.

    Threatening end users who make modifications to the console that they PURCHASED is as ridiculous as Ford suing me for buying one of their cars then changing the rims so I can put a different size of tire on them...

    • why do people still buy ANYTHING Sony?

      Sony owns RCA Records, the record label that published a song by Rick Astley [wikipedia.org]. Sony also makes movies, including the Spider-Man movies [wikipedia.org]. (And before you object that these are separate divisions, the division that makes TV sets is likewise separate from the Computer Entertainment division that makes PlayStation products.)

      • by WCMI92 (592436)

        Sony owns RCA Records, the record label that published a song by Rick Astley [wikipedia.org]. Sony also makes movies, including the Spider-Man movies [wikipedia.org]. (And before you object that these are separate divisions, the division that makes TV sets is likewise separate from the Computer Entertainment division that makes PlayStation products.)

        I've never seen the Spiderman movies (superhero turned into love story doesn't appeal to me at all), and I don't own very much music made after 1993, as prett

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @07:12AM (#33959320) Homepage

      Why do I buy SONY?

      Because nobody makes a better Professional HD camcorder.
      Because nobody makes a better Windows Video editing platform outside of AVID. (No Adobe's products are not pro level)
      Because nobody makes a LIVE video production suite that is as capable...
      Because nobody makes a digital Video recording format that is as good as AVCHD or XDCAM.
      Because nobody makes a better digital video stream processor like Sony's.
      Because nobody makes a pocked field editing system like the PDWHR1.. I can have only 2 guys in the field to shoot and edit a small event and upload the thing before they pack up the car and leave, the thing will DIRECT SFTP the files to the server as they drive down the road.

      That's why. SONY OWNS the commercial production video market hands down. Because the other choices are mediocre or half assed with bad work-flows. Panasonic and JVC utterly suck in workflow.

      • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:49AM (#33960260)
        Just how many of those examples of professional video creation and editing equipment are in any way comparable to the consumer PlayStation 3 game console?

        This isn't apples and oranges, this is 12w food blender electric motor and Ferarri Type 056 2.4L V8 petrol engine.
      • by znerk (1162519)

        They also own YOU, and don't have any qualms about taking you to court to prove it.

        You're obviously ok with that, and that's your choice to make. The rest of us think it's stupid to respond to someone spitting in your face by saying "Thank you, please keep making the gear that my livelihood depends on."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BigSes (1623417)
        My 52" 240hz Bravia Z series was a pretty damn nice tv until a Wii-mote cracked the LCD. I wanted to blame Sony or Nintendo, but in the end, had to blame Captain Morgan.
    • Threatening end users who make modifications to the console that they PURCHASED is as ridiculous as Ford suing me for buying one of their cars then changing the rims so I can put a different size of tire on them...

      Sony doesn't mind if you open up your PS3 and start soldering bits yourself. Sony is actively trying to stop the distribution of these dongles. It sounds like a petty distinction, but it is an important one. Ford wouldn't have sued you for modifying the rims. He would have sued you for purchasing third party rims whose sole reason for existence is modifying one of his cars.

      I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying that Sony isn't pursuing the physical modifications themselves as much as they are pur

      • by znerk (1162519)

        Ford wouldn't have sued you for modifying the rims. He would have sued you for purchasing third party rims whose sole reason for existence is modifying one of his cars.

        Logic and reality failure.

        Car manufacturers don't sue you for purchasing aftermarket modifications, nor do they sue the parts suppliers for those modifications. They may not honor your warranty if you modify your car with aftermarket parts, and your insurance company won't insure aftermarket modifications, but they don't sue you for doing silly things to your car.

        Now, if you were leasing the car, I could see an issue... but this is a purchased product.
        Similarly, when you run down to the store and purchase a

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Erm.... actually, I think they could probably do this in the US as well.

      Four letters for you: DMCA.

  • by lemnik (835774)

    When Sony removed the "Other OS" option from the PS3 they locked people out of a legitimate and relatively safe homebrew environment. Somewhere that people could play with the device without voiding their warranty. It was an option that really "sold" the device to many people who now own one.

    While someone would have eventually jail-broken the device, I doubt it would be as widely used as these dongles are; if Sony had (a) left the "Other OS" option in, and (b) possibly added said-option to the "slim" PS3

  • I bought a PS3 to run linux and play around with cell programming...

    Sony broke my ps3 by updating the firmware to 3.30, so i bought a dongle which i intend to use to repair the otherwise broken system:

    http://www.ps3hax.net/2010/10/asbestos-running-linux-as-gameos/ [ps3hax.net]

    All i'm doing, is fixing advertised functionality which was present in the ps3 when i bought it.

    • All i'm doing, is fixing advertised functionality which was present in the ps3 when i bought it.

      Show me an actual SCEfoo paid advertisement featuring OtherOS.....you can't. While the feature got mentioned in a few interviews with tech journalists and got mentioned on sites like Slashdot and Joystiq it was never "advertised".

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Here you go, current [playstation.com] and a copy from 2006 [archive.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vanderhoth (1582661)
        Word of mouth is advertising. If a Sony said the PS3 had the capability to run another OS in a TV commercial, an interview, a magazine article or otherwise. That's advertising the feature.

        I bought my PS3 partly because I could run Linux on it. However, it doesn't matter anymore, I kept my Other OS and I'm not buying anything else from Sony.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Pikoro (844299)
        Sony OtherOS Manual [playstation.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I couldn't agree more. They ought to have *rented* the boxes out like 1970s telephones if they wanted to attempt this business model. Its funny. I had intended to buy a PS3 until the Other OS lock down. I considered it again once that was dealt with. But now, their heads are so far up their arses I don't want to give them a dime. Glad to hear their market share is still terrible.
  • Use to think that Microsoft was the evil company and I'd never buy a 360. Glad I didn't buy either the 360 or the PS3. Though if I was a hardcore gamer, I'd have to say that this makes the 360 look a heck of a lot more enticing than the PS3. Congratulations Sony, you managed to find a way to kill off the PS3 faster than any would-be hacker
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:22AM (#33959954)

    Will sony sue the air force over there use of ps3 for non gameing / PS3 media use?

    Will sony try to say you are braking the EULA by not installing the update that removers other os?

  • In my humble experience, 3 out of 3 pieces of Sony kit I bought were pieces of shit and ended up in a landfill. I have bought other pices of junk kit from other manufacturers too, but they did not have the overblown price and brand name and not 3 from the same brand were bad either. So I don't buy Sony kit anymore. Nuff sed.
  • Buying one of these devices is stupid when there are ways to accomplish exactly the same thing from any number of devices that Sony can't ban, restrict or block including at least one model of calculator.

  • This is EU, people are not afraid of these stupid actions in here. Nobody goes bankrupt for having to go to trial to defend themselves in here. So if they want to sue, let them sue. In the end most of the courts in here will force Sony to pay the court and representation fees to the persons they are suing when they lose.

  • I only bought a PS3 so that I would not have to run games on Windows. There have been many issues, including three returns for repair of defective components, two just out of warranty. The operating system is limited and buggy. The browser sucks beyond belief. Sony has been horrible to deal with at every step. PS3 hardware now falls well behind budget PC hardware. After this PS3 it is back to PC gaming for me, and exclusively on Linux. By the time this PS3 is ready for the scrapheap there will be ple

  • Ever since that rootkit crap Sony pulled some years ago I will not buy any Sony products. Here's yet another example of essentially illegal activity on their part. We have options to buy non-Sony products for most of the electronics and optical computer drives we use so join the boycott.

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