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Sony Games

Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission 700

Stoobalou writes "Sony's latest firmware update comes with a revised End User License Agreement which allows the company to change any part of the console's operating system without notification or permission. You might think you own the console you paid for, but Sony has a very different idea."
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Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission

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  • Future of consoles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jacks smirking reven ( 909048 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:04PM (#31941584)
    Who else can see all consoles going this way? Part of the appeal to content producers and the console makers themselves is having consistent and complete control over the platform. It's things like this that will hopefully keep the PC relevant as a gaming and entertainment platform
  • by kusanagi374 ( 776658 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:05PM (#31941600)

    This pretty much disgusts me as a customer, because most likely it means I won't be able to play newer games on my PS3 without worrying that they might be messing around with my system and removing functions I enjoy using on my system. The summary fails to add that Sony also says it's not their fault if they end up bricking your PS3. So, besides having a new flash pushed down your throat, if it fails you have to pay to have it fixed.

    No, thanks. I'll stick to my DS Lite and Wii (which is still running System Menu 4.0 and had the IOS files updated using DopIOSMod), where I actually do have enough freedom of what I can or cannot do with my BOUGHT hardware.

  • It is time (Score:1, Interesting)

    by KillaGouge ( 973562 ) <<moc.nsm> <ta> <71ceguog>> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:09PM (#31941674)
    It is time for PS3 owners to take SCEA to court over Theft of Services [wikipedia.org] and also over their EULA being a contract of adhesion [wikipedia.org] This has to be illegal, but a class action suite won't do anything, every PS3 owner in America needs to take SECA to small claims court and slowly bleed them.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:12PM (#31941718) Homepage Journal

    How many devices are out now that give the manufacturer complete remote control of the device?

    A lot, but most of them have an alternative without such a leash. Game consoles have PCs, iPod Touch has the Archos 5, iPhone has phones that run Android OS such as Nexus One, iPad has the Touch Book, and soon handheld game systems will have the Pandora PDA [wikipedia.org]. This leaves cable boxes, but those aren't tied to the manufacturer as much as to the MPAA-puppet cable companies.

  • Hmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:23PM (#31941890) Journal
    If Sony wishes to house a device under their control on my premises, I hope they won't mind being invoiced for my (very reasonable, I assure you) colocation fees...
  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:27PM (#31941970) Homepage

    Is that legal?

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:30PM (#31942050) Homepage Journal

    What are the consequences of refusing this firmware update?

    You should have thought of the consequences of buying computer gear from a company who would put rootkits on music CDs before you bought it. Having XCP root my computer when my daughter ran the software on it, never dreaming that a big name like Sony would install malware, was the end of my Sony purchases. It's not a boycott, it's self-preservation. There's no way I'll ever trust them again, and neither will my daughter.

    I have no sympathy for anybody who buys Sony, no matter how shoddily Sony treats them. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

  • Curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dhermann ( 648219 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:31PM (#31942060)

    A strange maxim to apply: the principles of capitalism say that if Sony decided to discontinue the PS3 and brick every system (say, directly after the release of the PS4), consumers would be free not to purchase Sony products anymore and a competitor would exploit the company's poor behavior and corrective action would naturally result. On the other hand, the principles of jurisprudence over property say that the same action would be trespass to chattels (i.e. something similar to destruction of property) without the normal coupling of aftermark modification. A party cannot interfere with the lawful possession of property by another.

    But that argument returns to the client/server nature of the property in question: is it intentional conversion if your wireless company stopped accepting connections from your particular model of phone? The phone is clearly property that you own and free from restriction beyond the federal regulations regarding airborne communication, but so are the towers owned by the service provider.

    These questions just go to show that a large portion of property law is theoretical and has not been litigated. Fascinating nonetheless.

  • Re:New Overlords (Score:4, Interesting)

    by miggyb ( 1537903 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:31PM (#31942064) Homepage
    Seriously, why doesn't Sony just start leasing their consoles instead of selling them? Just pay $20 a month. If it breaks, you get a replacement at no charge. If you do anything they don't want you to do, they can argue that it was never *yours* to begin with. Kind of how I can't hack around with my cable modem because it's technically not mine.
  • by wrightrocket ( 1664871 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#31942102)
    When I decided to buy the PS3, it made that choice based on the fact that I could legally run Linux on it, as well as use it for a game console. What happened to the promise in the commercials that "It does everything?" I refuse to install any update that takes away this important functionality, and will continue to use the system as a computer. I have already filed a complaint against Sony with the Federal Trade Commission. I will never buy any more games for it, and I will never buy another Sony products again. Sony you can stick it to everyone else, but you've lost this customer, and any profit that you will ever gain from me again.
  • by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nam.retskkaB.> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:34PM (#31942128)

    With cable boxes in particular, I'm not surprised the hardware is locked down. Since it has exactly one legitimate use (watching cable from your provider), there's little need to hack it. But really, any limits on that hardware is really a limit on the service provided.

    That said, it's interesting that Sony has chosen this method to counteract (I assume) hacking and piracy. Microsoft just kicks people off their network when they mod their 360, I'm surprised Sony cripples all use.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:37PM (#31942190)


    Aaaand that was the sound of the network cable being unplugged from my PS3.

    No more chance of my buying games from PSN (not like there were any good ones I don't have on a PS2 disc anyways), or bothering with their updates, or anything else. Fuck 'em. MS at least asks me up front to accept the update, and tells me point-blank that I can play as I will in the solo mode, just not on Xbox Live with a non-updated game. If Sony's going to pull this shit behind my back after bricking two loads of PS3's with faulty updates recently, I'm out.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:41PM (#31942272)
    I too am boycotting Sony, having purchased a Sony DVD Dream System that was more like a nightmare. I also once bought a Sony MP3 player that would only play music with Sony's DRM wrapper added by SonicStage, NOT unmodified MP3 files. I returned this to the store on the basis that labeling it as an "MP3 Player" was fraudulent.
  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:43PM (#31942312)

    "MPAA-puppet cable companies" is a ridiculous sentiment.

    Comcast alone is on equal footing with Walt Disney (never mind that the portion of Disney that is a MPAA member is not the largest part of that company, by far). If you added things up, the MPAA studios probably have less revenues than Comcast, and they are almost certainly less profitable (especially if you ask them what their profits were).

    Comcast plays hard ball with their customers because they think it is the profitable thing to do, not because they have the MPAA's hand up their ass.

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Genom ( 3868 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @02:05PM (#31942744)

    This isn't about linux. It never was. This is about getting what you paid for, and keeping it.

    Let's say you bought a fairly expensive item - like a car. Let's also, for the sake of simplicity, say you paid for it in full. You are the owner of the car.

    Included in the price you paid, there are a bunch of features - some you'll use, others you won't. Regardless of whether you use them, you paid for them. Moonroof, heated seats, air conditioning, etc...

    Let's say one of those features is free maintenance every 6 months, at the manufacturer's dealership. You bring in the car, and they change the oil, fill the fluids, check the air in your tires, replace the windshield wipers, etc...

    Now, a year after you bought the car, you bring it in for service. When you get it back, the heated seats have been replaced with physically-identical un-heated seats.

    This may not upset you too much if you never actually used the heated seats. However, was it right for the manufacturer to remove them?

    The next time you bring it in for maintenance, you ask what they plan to do. In addition to the usual stuff, they tell you they intend to remove your air conditioner - not because there's a problem with it, but because the manufacturer has decided they don't want to support air conditioners anymore. You protest - you paid for the air conditioner, and it's something you use. You don't want to lose it. The dealership says "OK, take the car and leave then. We're not working on it unless you let us remove the air conditioner. Oh, and you won't be able to play any new CDs in your CD player until you let us remove the AC."

    This is what Sony's already done. This is what folks are complaining about - and what they have a right and duty to complain about.

    What Sony's doing now is equivalent to the dealership saying: "We can come in the middle of the night and remove your AC if we so choose, without telling you or giving you the right to refuse".

    Who owns that car again?

    Who owns your PS3?

  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wickedskaman ( 1105337 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @02:52PM (#31943674) Journal
    IANAL but if you choose to be part of an agreement wherein the other party has more power in altering the agreement due to specific language, that can really not be nullified by the courts. It may not be ethical but it sure can be legal.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @02:56PM (#31943748) Homepage Journal

    In California, several times - Unilateral contracts tend to go against the Consumer Protection laws we have here.

    I kicked the shit out of EA by completely bypassing their EULA in court and making it a full property rights issue instead of a contractual one. I'm very sure the EXACT same methodology I used to break down EA can be used against Sony.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @03:04PM (#31943872) Homepage Journal

    "I doubt you could even list 30 companies who have had their EULAs slapped down by a court."


    I could keep going on but I'm not allowed to talk about pending litigation. Way more than thirty on my list, pal. WAY MORE.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @04:25PM (#31945198) Homepage Journal

    "How exactly did you bypass EA's EULA? Sounds very interesting."

    Their claim was that there was enough mention in the EULA of DRM to prevent liability, however, I made the case that because of the insufficient disclosure as to the nature of the DRM, I was not properly informed to make a decision and that decision caused damages to my computer. I then argued that at that point and time, their negligence to properly inform me of the potentially harmful software put this into the realm of property damages instead of a matter of EULA.

    And a class-action suit for property damages is not what any company wants as that usually leads to far stiffer penalties.

    Do the same thing to Sony - this modification of the EULA/contract causes damage to my system by impairing functions I paid for. It goes out of the realm of contract law and starts hitting property rights.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tecnico.hitos ( 1490201 ) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @06:18PM (#31946816)

    Is this clause legal either?

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie