Penguinistas Strike Back: Sony Sued For Killing Other OS Functionality - HotHardware
Penguinistas Strike Back: Sony Sued For Killing Other OS Functionality

Penguinistas Strike Back: Sony Sued For Killing Other OS Functionality

When Sony announced it was terminating the PlayStation 3's ability to run Linux operating systems about a month ago, we knew it was a decision that could send ripples through the small community of users that relied upon the function. It also struck a nasty chord with gamers who might not utilize the feature, but were wary of Sony's ability to alter the core functionality of a system with a unilateral declaration. Sony has just been sued over its actions by a California man, Anthony Ventura, who claims to have purchased the system for its "Other OS" functionality and alleges that the electronic giant has broken its sales contract, breached good faith, and engaged in false/deceptive marketing practices.

The lawsuit claims that Other OS support has been a key feature of PS3 marketing since the console launched in 2006, and quotes numerous statements from various top-level executives that emphasize that fact. Until recently, Playstation.com stated that: "it was fully intended that you, a PS3 owner, could play games, watch movies, view photos, listen to music, and run a full-featured Linux operating system that transforms your PS3 into a home computer." Over the past four years, Sony has released Linux Distributor Starter Kits (2006-2009); one-time president Phil Harrison (2005-2008) is on record saying: "We believe the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other computer functions. The Playstation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC."



Statements like this could come back to haunt Sony in the months ahead. Sony has always rejected the idea that its Playstation products are mere consoles; the company is on record insisting that the PS2 was a computer and should be taxed as such as far back as 2000. Pages 3-5 of the PDF detail a number of statements to this effect, including a rather damning one from Geoffrey Levand, Principle Software Engineer at Sony. Speaking in August 2009, Levand said: "Please be assured that SCE is committed to continue the support for previously sold models that have the "Install Other OS" feature and that this feature will not be disabled in future firmware releases."

Did Sony's Updates Legally Break The PS3?

Technically, PS3 owners don't have to update to the 3.21 firmware that removes Other OS—but if they don't, they lose access to virtually any other reason to buy one. Gamers who don't upgrade lose the ability to sign into the PlayStation Network, are denied access to any game or features that requires PSN connectivity, and will not be able to play PS3 titles or Blu-ray movies that require the 3.21 firmware. Downloaded copy-protected videos that use DTCP-IP will no longer play, and improvements that require the 3.21 firmware are not available.

The case will likely hinge on whether or not the court rules that Sony's actions materially impaired the functionality of the PS3. While the number of people and institutions negatively impacted is an exceedingly small percentage of the PS3's overall sales, as of February 2010, Sony had sold some 33.71 million units. If just one-half of one percent of those systems use the Other OS capability, that's over 165,000 PS3 owners shafted with choosing between Linux and everything else.



The entire reason Sony made all these changes was in response to news that exactly one person had hacked the PS3. In a beautiful twist of irony, the company's knee-jerk decision to yank Linux support annoyed said hacker enough that he vowed to put it back. As of April 7, he's reported moderate success and has demonstrated Other OS functionality while running 3.21.

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Much like I said when we were talking about Consoles killing PC's which I find to be a ludicrous idea. Come on a console is basically a mini PC that hooks to your TV, in many cases as functional if not more so than many Netbooks. Yes it has it's limitations as well, but so does a a Netbook or an E-machine for that matter.

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I don't like the response of this. I would rather enable PS2 Games on all PS3s instead of Linux support. That is why I have a computer for.

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"I don't like the response of this. I would rather enable PS2 Games on all PS3s instead of Linux support. That is why I have a computer for."

The PS2 is still selling, so you can count on the PS3 not getting PS2 functionality at all at least until the PS2 becomes obsolete. Hopefully this will be soon, since Sony has always planned on giving all of its consoles a ten-year lifespan at least, but the PS2 was introduced...ten years ago. :P

***** Sony, when the PS3 first came out they gave it "other OS" and "backwards compatibility" to entice buyers, and now those features are gone. Weaselly backstabbing marketing decisions, of course. I mean, I'm not the one who can be vocal about this issue since I don't even own a PS3 (or a 360 for that matter), but if it had backwards compatibility and Linux support I'd definitely consider it.

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I hope said hacker would make it come true! :D

Sony dosn't know what hackers can do, nothing can stop them but only slows them down a bit.

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News:
In a beautiful twist of irony, the company's knee-jerk decision to yank Linux support annoyed said hacker enough that he vowed to put it back. As of April 7, he's reported moderate success and has demonstrated Other OS functionality while running 3.21.

Normally I don't care much for hackers, but I kinda like this one! I would like to see Sony lose this case, too.

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As I've said multiple times before, I'm all for suing Sony over this. I bought the PS3 at least *50%* due to the OtherOS functionality. When they removed it, they took back half my purchase. (I didn't actually install the update, but they took back my 50% in the form of new games and online features not working unless I accept the update)

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Typical behavior from same folks that included Rootkit Viruses with their music CD's without ever telling anyone. Their Virus screwed up the functionality of their paying cutomers. (the same folks that legally BOUGHT the music from SONY) When they were caught, butter suddenly wouldn't melt in their mouths.

Just trying to play a Sony music CD infected your computer without notification and there was no way to uninstall it either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

 

Sony Sucks.

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I think the sue against Sony for removing the Other OS Function could be turn in another scandal and all because a small group of users that were using this feature wants to get back.

Lets remember the bad moments of the console:

First the cases of the YLOD, bad sellings becuase it was expensive, the Y10K issue on March 1 and now this.

If Sony lose, will be force to bring back this feature and blame the hacker for their situation?

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YLOD?

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YLOD: Yellow Light Of Death.

This light indicates there is a hardware problem, most of it are relate when CPU or the GPU separate from the motherboard and the system can't work. Is a similar problem with X-Box 360 but in this case is call it: RROD: Red Ring Of Death.

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