Sony Enlists Copyright Law Muscle To Remove Leaked PS4 SDK From Internet

PlayStation 4

Sony has a reputation for being feisty when it comes to its PlayStation hardware, especially when users try to mod things. Nobody knows that better than George Hotz, the infamous PlayStation 3 modder who was sued by Sony for jailbreaking the console (the two reached a settlement in 2011). Fast forward to today and Sony is on a mission to keep its PlayStation 4 console locked down. That not only includes trying to remove every instance of of the PS4's software development kit (SDK) from the web, but also terminating any discussions on it, or so it seems.

It all started a few weeks ago when version 4.5 of the PS4 SDK was leaked online by a hacker known as "KromeMods." SDKs include a wealth of information and are intended for authorized developers. When modders get their hands on SDKs, they can use them to jailbreak a device, which in this case is the PS4. Sony is not keen on the modding scene, so it has been using copyright law to force websites to remove these SDKs.
Now it appears that Sony is taking things a step further and attempting to shut down discussions on the leaked SDK. On his website, PlayStationHax, GregoryRasputin notes that his server host received a DMCA complaint for an article he wrote about the PS4's leaked SDK.

"This has to be a false DMCA notice as I am not hosting any copyrighted material, you can see that for yourself if you look—there are no links or anything and I have even posted, 'These files are illegal so I will not be linking them'," KromeMods responded to his server host. "I do NOT host nor post any types of illegal files on any of my websites. I don't not believe in posting any such files either. I love my websites a great deal and would never do anything to destroy them, so I cannot understand this DMCA notice. Could you please advise me on what to do as there is nothing copyrighted here?"

Sony is a big company, and when it releases its legal hounds, it can be intimidating. As such, GregoryRasputin did find its server host to be very sympathetic. Just the opposite, he received a reply saying it had looked into the matter and found that he was hosting DMCA material.

GregoryRasputin is not alone. A console-hacking site called Wololo also received a takedown notice from Sony for copyright infringement. In that case, the notice was tied to an open source version of the PS4 SDK and not the actual leaked SDK. The unofficial SDK has been available on GitHub for several years and can be run on jailbroken PS4 consoles that still have the older version 1.76 firmware installed.

Wololo believes its links to the SDK were casualties of a "broad keyboard search" by Sony as part of an effort to "blast website owners and Internet providers with takedown notices" for anything that might be remotely related to copyrighted files.

Whatever the case might be, we do not anticipate Sony backing down.