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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony The Courts Your Rights Online Games Linux

Sony Sued Over PS3 "Other OS" Removal 546

Stoobalou writes "A Californian Playstation 3 user has filed the first class action lawsuit against Sony over removal of the 'Install Other OS' function from the Playstation 3. The action seeks to redress Sony's 'intentional disablement of the valuable functionalities originally advertised as available with the Sony Playstation 3 video game console.' The suit claims that the disablement breaches the sales contract between Sony and its customers and constitutes 'an unfair and deceptive business practice perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers.'"
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Sony Sued Over PS3 "Other OS" Removal

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  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:41AM (#32028550) Journal

    You should also file a complaint at your own national consumer agency. I asked the store I bought my PS3 from to restore the Other OS function or offer a refund on the product because the ability was stated in the box. In this case the seller is breaking the law if such stated features are later removed.

    They initially refused to offer a refund, so I filed a complaint to the consumer agency. It's important you try to talk with the seller first, and if both parties don't come into a good conclusion, then file a report. They contacted the seller, who then again contacted me and asked me to return the PS3 and they would give me a full refund.

    I'm sure stores will first try to say that they cannot offer a refund and it's up to Sony, but if law states they are liable, just take it a bit further and you will get a refund. It will teach Sony a lesson too.

  • FYI (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:46AM (#32028606)

    In Europe, EULA's have been testen in court and found to be non-binding.

  • by redscare2k4 ( 1178243 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:49AM (#32028640)

    Sony officially stated they had not paid a penny of those $50 and that any similar issues are a matter between the final seller and the client and had nothing to do with them.

  • by Shrike82 ( 1471633 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:49AM (#32028642)
    Sony are refusing to reimburse retailers if they give refunds.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:58AM (#32028756) Homepage

    Indeed that is. That said, you do need to notify the judge/court/something that you are a member of the class, and therefore entitled to compensation under any ruling (after all, the court can't know you're a PS3 owner unless you tell them).

    That said, I *think* you are given some period *after* any ruling to send that notification.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:12AM (#32028936) Journal

    I love class-action lawsuits. I get lots of free money:

    - $25 from the U.S. versus RCA, Sony, et cetera
    - $75 from U.S. v. Paypal
    - ~$4000 from U.S. v. Equinox (of course I actually gave them $10,000 so that was a bit of a loss)

    And so on. I wonder what I'll get out of the PS3 class action deal?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:14AM (#32028966)

    Er, of course a contract can take your rights away. As long as doing so is not an illegal act.

    It is routine to contract away legal remedies, for example. (E.g., all disputes will be handled by third party arbitration, or "damages are limited to replacement only.") Or to specify venue to someplace that favors the defendant.

    While it is unusual, there are probably remote legal circumstances where "you must give us your children" might hold up.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:14AM (#32028968) Journal

    Yes and my dad broke his arm at work. The lawyer official stated they admit no guilt and don't owe him a dime, but will happily pay to fix the arm plus lost wages. Sony's statement is the same deal - legalese - trying to protect their ass(ets).

  • by JohnFluxx ( 413620 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:18AM (#32029028)

    Sony have stated they will not give out refunds.

    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/38565/Sony-rules-out-OtherOS-refunds [mcvuk.com]

    "We do understand the frustration a small number of consumers may feel at SCE's decision to provide an upgrade to the firmware to disable the Linux operating system but we refute any suggestion that this action is in any way a contravention of the terms of Sale of Goods Act,” SCE UK’s David Wilson told ThinkQ.

    “The console packaging and the in-box manual for the console do not refer to the use of Linux on the console. Rather, the console packaging states that the product's design and specifications are subject to change without notice and that the system software within the console is subject to a limited licence between SCE and the consumer, and this licence permits SCE to update the system software and services offered from time to time.

    “The provision in the Sale of Goods Act which requires an item to be fit for a purpose made known by the consumer to the retailer prior to purchase and confirmed by the retailer applies only to the contract between the retailer and the consumer.

    “The decision by Amazon to give a consumer a partial refund is clearly between Amazon and the consumer, but we do not expect the decision to have a legal basis and we have no plans to compensate retailers.”

  • by ranulf ( 182665 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:31AM (#32029198)

    This law suite should fail. Not that I want to be on SONY's side but they were 100% clear in their intentions regarding the "other os" option from day one.

    You mean stating that the PS3 was an "open platform" and that "Other OS" and "Game OS" would always be able to coexist on the same PS3?

    They're even still publicising this fact here [playstation.com]...

  • by jx100 ( 453615 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:38AM (#32029282)

    Then you've lost the use of the PSN and anything that requires it.

    Either way, you've lost a serious amount of functionality that was claimed on the box. If you don't install, the functionality happens to be "play games"

    Just because someone tells you they're making a dick move doesn't mean they're no longer making a dick move.

  • by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:43AM (#32029342) Homepage Journal

    Oh I see what you did there. You don't have a rational argument, so you just made some stupid shit up.

    This is much more like a bios update for a PC with no expansion slots that makes you choose between Internet access & being able to run Linux.

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

    by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:02AM (#32029572)
    Ladies and gentlemen, May I present to you a prime example of Motron's Fork [wikipedia.org]

    The choice is slightly different, though. Here we have "Lose Other OS functionality" or "Lose ability to use PSN and play any new games which require the firmware upgrade (you can bet that they all do)."

    Regarding the modded down comment above about "hyperbole inherent in the freetard system" (nice butchery of Monty Python, cockfungus) My PC runs Linux, I game using WINE. A happy freetard is me!
  • Re:Can't lose! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:13AM (#32029768)
    erm, Mr. little obnoxious brit.... Tire was the original spelling. Check the wiki entries (and sources if you're anal about that, which I suspect).

    The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the word derives from "attire", while other sources suggest a connection with the verb "to tie". From the 15th to the 17th centuries the spellings tire and tyre were used without distinction; but by 1700 tyre had become obsolete and tire remained as the settled spelling. In the UK, the spelling tyre was revived in the 19th century for pneumatic tires, though many continued to use tire for the iron variety. The Times newspaper in Britain was still using tire as late as 1905. The 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica states that "[t]he spelling 'tyre' is not now accepted by the best English authorities, and is unrecognized in the US", while Fowler's Modern English Usage of 1926 says that "there is nothing to be said for 'tyre', which is etymologically wrong, as well as needlessly divergent from our own [sc. British] older & the present American usage".

    You can't blame the Americans for sticking with the language, while you Brits divert. For most of the word diversions the "Yanks" use the proper original spelling.
    As Sheldon would say: "That is what is referred to as a 'burn on you'"

  • Re:FYI (Score:2, Informative)

    by Captain Centropyge ( 1245886 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:16AM (#32029792)
    ^Citation needed...^
  • Re:Can't lose! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:31AM (#32030114)
    I have the 60 GB model from Jan of 2008 and it is in my manual. This was a very widely publicized feature and it was the deal breaker for me. I was going to buy a Wii, but paid the extra $300 for the PS3 because of Linux. If you read the Lawsuit [archive.org] PDF it gives very concrete examples of how and when Sony and it's executives promoted about this feature. Balls in your court dumb-ass
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:46AM (#32030458)

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (http://www.accc.gov.au/) is great for smacking down organisations that try to rip off the consumer. Anyone can file a complaint with them about any corporation that is breaking the laws regarding competition, advertising, sales, customer relations, returns/exchanges/refund, etc, they will investigate and they will fine (can be quite large fines too) the company in question if the situation is not rectified (or the breach is big enough to warrant the fines even with a rectified situation).

    The only thing they have been soft on (but appear to be acting on now) is the pricing of petrol which tends to get more expensive on Thursday->Saturdays and during holidays/long weekends and go down on the rest of the time and the apparent price collusion between the big oil companies to help maintain profits and drive independent petrol stations out of business.

    You guys in the USA tend to reject any sort of government involvement in anything because you tend to only have regulations and laws which are biased towards the companies/corporations and give the consumers the short end of the stick. If you actually got some decent laws and regulations rather then the crap you get now, you probably wouldn't have caused a global recession.

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:55AM (#32030604) Journal

    The console packaging and the in-box manual for the console do not refer to the use of Linux on the console.

    Actually, it does tell you how to install the OtherOS and I believe it lists Linux as an option. I will have to dig out my user manual when I get home, but I'm pretty sure that statement is wrong.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@@@worf...net> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:58AM (#32030662)

    Even if it wasn't stated in the box, it was advertised that it did run Linux. Even people who doesn't need or care about this functionality should stay up to Sony on this. Next time they may remove a funcionality you do care about. Conceptually, it is the same thing as removing the capability of playing Bluray discs.

    Well, Sony certainly "advertises" it in their manual:

    http://www.playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/manual.html [playstation.com]
    http://www.playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/index.html [playstation.com]
    http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/3_15/settings/osinstall.html [playstation.net]

    Choice quote from the second link:

    There is more to the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system than you may have assumed. In addition to playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing photos, you can use the PS3(TM) system to run the Linux operating system.

    It may not be on the box, but it's certainly documented on Sony's own websites

  • Re:Can't lose! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Homr Zodyssey ( 905161 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:15AM (#32030998) Journal

    Hello there, you silly English ka-niggot.

    late 15c., "iron rim of a carriage wheel," probably from tire "equipment, dress, covering" (c.1300), an aphetic form of attire. The notion is of the tire as the dressing of the wheel. The original spelling was tyre, which had shifted to tire in 17c.-18c., but since early 19c. tyre has been revived in Great Britain and become standard there. Rubber ones, for bicycles (later automobiles) are from 1870s.
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

    So, in 17c-18c, when the Brits were populating America, the spelling was "Tire". We can't help it if you people decided to change your minds. We didn't.

  • Consumer laws do now work like that.

    If things are advertised as being able to do things, they better be able to do them, including all required steps.

    You can't sell someone a car labeled as having air conditioning but without any actual switches to turn it on.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @02:33PM (#32034474)

    Quite dead on.

    The Wii is, IMO, best described as a "party console". The games require little, if any, training time to "compete", and competing at the games is actually not the main point of playing. Playing is. Watching the others gyrate and try to hit some ball or whatever with the wiggly stick. It's not about precision, it's not about good timing, it's all about fun. And that fun doesn't come from "beating" a game, not even from beating the other gamers, the console actually takes a back seat when it comes to the "fun generation" behind the fact that everyone's jumping and flailing.

    And there it also means jack whether the graphics are state of the art or as cartoonish as they usually tend to be on the Wii. As stated above, the console is just some tool to provide feedback to the players and their audience. Actually, playing with the Wii is a bit of a spectator sport, too. In general, I'd see the target audience in people who enjoy having friends over and, instead of playing some board game, let's play some Wii game.

    X360 and PS3 are aiming at a completely different market segment and a comletely different kind of gamer. Most games take a lot of practice to master and usually, if multiplayer, require networked consoles to play with each other. The games are also usually much more competitive and training and skill get usually rewarded a lot more. Watching someone play is also not necessarily something I'd consider entertaining. The target audience is pretty clear cut, people wanting to play their games at home, either alone or networked across the internet.

  • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:58PM (#32038316) Homepage Journal

    Hotels do the same thing. It's not a crime. It's supply-and-demand. Demand goes up; hotel price goes up. Demand goes down; price goes down, in order to attract people.

    The weekly price cycle for petrol in Australia isn't really supply/demand related, there is no supply shortfall on weekends nor any great increase in demand.

    The reason it exists is for price differentiation, to extract as much money as possible from the various sections of the customer base.

    In a supermarket you'll see multiple packets of pasta ranging (lets says) 90c from $1.80. The price sensitive part of the customer base will buy the cheaper one while other parts may choose to pay more for what is essentially the same thing.

    That isn't really possible with petrol so a weekly price cycle exists. On cheap Tuesdays (or is it Wednesday now) the price is lower and price sensitive customers flock to the service stations. Less price sensitive customers (at least those not in immediate need of fuel) will avoid the lengthy queues and go on a more expensive day. Thus the petrol stations extract more money for the same product out of customers who are prepared to pay more.

    This only works because all petrol stations "magically" fall into the same cycle and have the same "cheap" day (which is where allegations of price fixing come in).

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