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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony The Courts Games

PS3 Owner Refunded For Missing "Other OS" 353

Toxicgonzo writes "Amazon has given a European PS3 owner a 20% refund for removal of the PS3's OtherOS feature. (We recently discussed hacker Geohot's efforts to restore this feature.) The owner cited European law Directive 1999/44/EC — which states that goods must (1) comply with the description given by the seller and possess the same qualities and characteristics as other similar goods, and (2) be fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase. How many other European PS3 owners will follow suit? If Amazon forwards the bill to Sony, how will Sony respond?"
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PS3 Owner Refunded For Missing "Other OS"

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  • by JoeCommodore ( 567479 ) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:08AM (#31788910) Homepage

    I'm sure a lot of folks would rather see their paid-for features returned than a few dollars back from a retailer.

  • Re:Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coopjust ( 872796 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:09AM (#31788920)
    Justice for anyone who lives and purchased their console from a European retailer.

    In the US, the best I can probably hope for is a class action in which lawyers will make millions and I'll get a $10 coupon off of a PS3 game.

    And Geohot's hack only works if you are on 3.15 or below, if you're on 3.20 (which has the other OS feature, last firmware to do so), you're out of luck.
  • Re:Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:12AM (#31788964)

    The issue is it was Amazon that had to pay out not Sony. That being said if Amazon had to pay out to a S*** load of people they'd probably take Sony on. One large corporation taking on another has a better chance then a bunch of Linux geeks, but at best Sony would just have to pay out. I bought my PS3 for the other OS feature and I want to keep it.

    If I had kept the receipt for my PS3 I might go after EB games for a refund. After all Sony took my $800 PS3 "super computer" and turned it into a cheap $150 PS3 Slim. I wonder if Sony re-enables the feature if the guy would have to give the money back?

  • by JoeCommodore ( 567479 ) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:16AM (#31789026) Homepage

    >> If enough people do it, it will cost sony more than they thought it would, and be a warning to others. It's all too late anyway, if they haven't completely opened the door to piracy, they've certainly put down a welcome mat and turned on the porch lights.

    Hardly. Would show to manufacturers that the feature was really valuable and maybe they can make more money by repackaging it at a higher cost. Also that removing features on the currently installed customer base is something they can get away with. (Of course many companies can claim prior art on that - i.e. Apple with Qucktime and iTunes and many others)

  • by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:19AM (#31789050)

    This is a classic bait-and-switch that Sony did...

  • Re:Car analogy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget ( 43516 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:19AM (#31789052) Journal

    Better analogy:
    You are a nice happy nuclear family, mother, father, three kids.
    You buy a 5 seat car for your family.
    You get a Safety Recall notice, take the car in.
    When it returns it only has 4 seats, the 5th has been removed 'For Safety!'

  • Re:Car analogy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoeCommodore ( 567479 ) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:21AM (#31789092) Homepage

    How about this, car co a made this nifty car that could take regular gasoline or diesel all you had to do was flip a switch.

    One day you take it into the shop and the mechanic removes the switch, regular gas only, even though diesel had better than twice the mpg- "company told me to, sorry. Hey, here's a couple bucks for your troubles."

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:32AM (#31789198) Homepage
    It's not entirely clear, but I hope that the owner tells them to suck on it, and insists on a full refund or repair.
  • Re:Amazons bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dk90406 ( 797452 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:35AM (#31789218)
    Amazon listed correctly. Sony just decided to change the product after the customer bought it. If Amazon has any brains they (and other resellers caught up in this) whould pass the bill on to Sony. Sony may even decide to revert the "update" and reenable the feature in order to save costs.

    It is not as if newer firmware wont be hacked. Quite the contrary, now hackers who has left the platform alone, will attack it out of spite.

    I can't understand why Sony keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Re:Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pvt_Ryan ( 1102363 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:37AM (#31789258)
    True but they actually help our cause even if it is out of their own greed. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
  • Re:Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#31789338)
    Those "change at any time" clauses are illegal in a lot of jurisdictions. Contracts require mutual informed consent on a fixed wording; otherwise your agreement to purchase a console could be rewritten into a marriage contract because you agreed that the agreement "could change at any time". Yes, it's an intentionally absurd example, but legally speaking, it's effectively equivalent (aside from those pesky activist judges who might make a decision based on the real world instead of a legal fiction).
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:45AM (#31789366)

    Unfortunately in the UK (and I think most of Europe), sales of goods law covers the contract between retailer and consumer. Not manufacturer.

    Amazon can't (easily) update the firmware of his PS3 to put that feature back again, so their options are pretty limited. The consumer can't get an injunction against Sony to reinstate the feature (because they never had a contract with Sony) and they can't get an injunction against Amazon to reinstate the feature (because it's not physically possible for Amazon to do so).

    Myself, I think this demonstrates a huge flaw in current legislation - business to business sales (which Amazon buying a bunch of PS3s from Sony would come under) have nothing like the same level of protection as business to consumer sales. So if a retailer sells a bunch of products which then have functionality removed remotely by the manufacturer - entirely outside of the retailers control - the retailer winds up being held responsible.

    Note: IANAL.

  • Re:Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:46AM (#31789380)

    Why does Sony keep frakking up? Did they lay-off the old management in 2005 and replace them with new guys who make dumb decisions?

    - "Yes the PS2 only cost $300 at release, but we believe customers will want to throw-out the PS2 and pay $800 to get a new machine that has the same games but in HD! No we're not worried about the $250 Wii." [Wii is now the #1 seller.]
    - "This firmware won't damage your console." "Ooops guess it did. No you won't get a refund for your broken PS3."
    - "This firmware will turn off the Other OS function. Ooops guess we owe you a $20 refund under EU and US law for false advertising."
    - "Ooops looks like we owe billions in EU taxes too since the PS3's Updated Firmware makes it a taxable game."
    - "We have a new Bluray Disc that holds 150 gigabytes! Sorry you'll have to throw-out your old players to get the new 150 HD 3D movies."

  • Re:Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:50AM (#31789452)
    I wonder if you could argue that this sets precedent for how much Sony has to shell out to each owner. $80 x 20-30 million owners and I think we'll suddenly get our feature back instead of Sony shelling out the roughly 2 billion dollars.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:52AM (#31789474) Homepage Journal

    I don't license my hardware, I buy it.

    Then consumer electronic entertainment products will become no longer available for sale. Instead, they are leased to you for 20 years in a contract among you, the retailer, and the manufacturer. Don't like it? Don't buy consumer electronic entertainment products.

  • Re:Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:58AM (#31789572)

    In the US, the best I can probably hope for is a class action in which lawyers will make millions and I'll get a $10 coupon off of a PS3 game

    Not true.

    A US citizen has the same legal protection as an EU citizen, either to demand a refund from sony, or else sue them in court for violating US law.

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @10:59AM (#31789584)
    In EU, even if it said it doesn't matter. An EULA (or any other agreement between parts), cannot override the transaction law (or any other law for that matter). So, imagine, even if you signed something saying that you have only 1 year warranty (like Apple once was trying to make us believe in EU), it doesn't matter, you can sign it, go on with your life and still have exactly the same rights as you had or any new purchase ... meaning 2 years warranty.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:08AM (#31789710) Homepage Journal

    If retailers take a big enough hit over this, they'll go after Sony for it (they DO have a contract with Sony) and they'll tend to drive a much harder bargain with Sony when the next product comes around.

  • Re:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:08AM (#31789722) Homepage

    Yeah, because Amazon (who provided the refund) benefited from the TARP funds. Geez dude, get a grip on reality and stop using talking points for every conversation. This has nothing at all to do with politics...take that malarky elsewhere.

  • Re:Justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ipeunipig ( 934414 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:45AM (#31790210)

    That was 84 GBP so it's a good bit higher that $2 billion.

    84 GBP = 129 USD

    Range of $2.6 to $3.8 billion

  • Re:Justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:49AM (#31790248)

    Or AMAZON is more customer friendly. If you tried this with the EU's version of Walmart, you might be told "no refund" even if the law says you're entitled to one.

  • Re:Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#31790726)

    The standard way of settling these charges in the US is Small Claims Court, which is reasonably fast and inexpensive. If you've got a $60,000 claim against a company, you might be facing five years and a hundred thousand dollars to collect it. If you've got a $600 claim, you're in much better shape.

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