Sony Sued Over "Other OS" Option

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Sony Sued Over "Other OS" Option

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Sony Computer Entertainment America has been slapped with a class action lawsuit over the decision to remove the "Other OS" option from the PlayStation 3.

Sony revealed at the end of March that it would remove the option to install other operating systems on older models of the PlayStation 3 in its next firmware update. Sony claimed the decision was made in order to increase security on the console, after hacker George Hotz revealed that the function could be used as a security exploit, and defended the move by pointing out that the firmware update wasn't mandatory and that PS3 owners who wanted to keep the feature could do so by simply not installing it. Of course, anyone who chose to do so would lose access to the PlayStation Network and any of the console's other online features.

Now raise your hand if you saw this coming: Anthony Ventura of California has filed a class action lawsuit against Sony, claiming that the removal of the "Other OS" option constitutes a breach of contract between the company and its customers by forcing users to either install the firmware update or lose the system's online functionality. Furthermore, the suit alleges that by advertising support for the "Other OS" option and then disabling it, Sony has broken specific Calfornia laws against any "unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice."

The case could be made a little extra interesting by the fact that another user who complained about the disabled feature was able to earn a partial refund of the purchase price from Amazon, despite the fact that the device was out of warranty. The decision to refund the money was based on European consumer laws and was made by Amazon, not Sony, but also tends to reinforce the suggestion that the PlayStation 3 no longer functions as advertised.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, "restitution and disgorgement of all profits unjust retained by Sony" and whatever else the courts deem appropriate.

Source: IGN

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I heard about the refund by Amazon and I just figured the inevitable class action suit would also come from EU.
Go figure.
At either rate.
I'm surprised it took this long.

Go get 'em! If Sony told me my laptop would no longer be able to connect to the internet unless I installed their software, I'd pitch a bitch about it as well!

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

Pretty sure it says in the legal bumf that they have the right to change the way the machine operates as they see fit, so as much as it sucks, can't really do jack s**t about it.

the problem is that if you read the eula at the back of the manual sony reserves the right to change ANYTHING about how the ps3 operates at any time and without prior notice. if they continue to advertise the other os option after the fact then someone would have a lawsuit for false advertising, but as it stands there is no potential lawsuit.

of course there will be in the eu since they sue EVERY company every time anyone takes a shit but otherwise sony is within their rights.

I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.

Of course this came from California. I never used the Other OS feature, you can't do squat with it, as anything and I mean ANYTHING that can run linux, runs linux better than the PS3 for normal productivity usage.

Not surprised at all. Knew it would happen from someone.

I don't think it will be successful but should still be intresting to monitor

I wonder what the user agreement that you have to agree too says about this. Since you have to agree to it when before every update. I didn't read all of it but I read enough to see that if it bricks your system oh well not Sony's problem so I wonder if they added something in there about the OS.

What is with people suing all the time. Sue if you plug it in and it bursts into flames killing your family but not for shit like this. Seriously wtf is wrong with people?

Pendragon9:
I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.

Yeah, but computers take up more space, and are just as expensive. Imagine spending $600 on a PS3, and having no money left over for a computer, and having no room at your college desk because the PS3 is on the computer shelf.

So you buy a keyboard, and install the "Other OS" Yellowdog Linux I think? Then suddenly that option is taken away, and you either have to cough up $1,000 for a computer, plus the games, or give up a ton of functionality. In order to keep the dorm room from becoming overcrowded.

I'm not too broken up by it, as the RISC ports of Linux were not well supported (app wise). Either for the old world Macintosh computers, or the PS3. You really didn't even have Flash support (well, there was gnash, but it gets less useful as time goes on).

wonder what the OS lock-down meant for those PS3 units the Air Force was using in imaging clusters

though i guess they don't care so much about the downsides of not updating to the lock-down patch

Wonder if there is another lawsuit on it's way. Sony's latest firmware upgrade for the PS3 also bricked some consoles and broke Bioware's Dragon Age game. Lots and I mean lots of players are hot over this one.

I'm sorry, but in the UK this move essentially makes the PS3 unfit for purpose. At the time of buying the PS3 it advertised the ability to have a second OS, if they remove that then they are breaking the buyers statutory rights, not taking into account European law which would also be broken.

You accept an EULA, yes, but when you buy a product you are making a contract there too, one which stipulates that the product will act as intended and as advertised. When they took away the other OS option the PS3 no longer worked as advertised and that contract is effectively being broken.

Ventura, please go jump in front of a moving train. You'll be doing the world a huge favor.

Just a quick question... Did Sony ever actually make any reasonable profit off the PS3 console? I know they made a huge loss off the first batch of phat units, but I'm not sure if they managed to recuperate the losses they originally made.

Since the lawsuit is requesting "disgorgement of all profits unjust retained by Sony", doesn't that require that they actually made profit in the first place?

This guy is going to get his ass kicked so hard. I'm quite sure that Sony has made precautions for this, and I'm very sure that somewhere in the EULA they reserved the right to pull that function.

In the words of Dr.House: Sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they kick your ass.

Oh God, this whole suing culture is really hitting its stride within the gaming industry now... its becomming ridiculous, people suing one another over the smallest things =\

I mean, cmon, who really cared too much about "other OS's" in the first place? 98% of PS3 owners don't use the damn option in the first place, and removing it improves the security of the PS3 apparently... so I'd rather have a more secure PS3 without an option that I never use.

Pendragon9:
I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.

They don't, but they wanna be ABLE to do it...
It's the ability to sue for it thats important, thinking that SONY will settle with huge loads of money, just to avoid bad publicity... which they probably will.

Also, Sony won't probably allow that feature back into the PS3, because that would make it wide open for hackers to soft-mod it and play "copies".

Monster_user:

Pendragon9:
I still don't get why people would want to install another OS. Again, you can always just buy a computer for that stuff.

Oh well. People surprise me sometimes.

Yeah, but computers take up more space, and are just as expensive. Imagine spending $600 on a PS3, and having no money left over for a computer, and having no room at your college desk because the PS3 is on the computer shelf.

That's positivity the worst excuse for such a complaint I've ever heard. You'd have to be an idiot to take along a PS3 and not a Laptop/computer to college in the first place. What's more - the PS3 can be placed on the floor, or better yet; not taken...

This whole thing is absolutely pathetic - and the lawsuit will fail. Why people would want to use Linux on a PS3 based on how abysmal the internet in general works on a PS3 is beyond me (apart from pirating games of course - the reason I assume Sony took it out in the first place).

ratix2:
the problem is that if you read the eula at the back of the manual sony reserves the right to change ANYTHING about how the ps3 operates at any time and without prior notice. if they continue to advertise the other os option after the fact then someone would have a lawsuit for false advertising, but as it stands there is no potential lawsuit.

of course there will be in the eu since they sue EVERY company every time anyone takes a shit but otherwise sony is within their rights.

In Europe the EULA is not a legal document.

DarkHuntress:
Wonder if there is another lawsuit on it's way. Sony's latest firmware upgrade for the PS3 also bricked some consoles and broke Bioware's Dragon Age game. Lots and I mean lots of players are hot over this one.

It did?
I've been playing DA:O lately with no problems.

Eh I never used it to begin with. It sounded a little weird to me ... I always figured that desktop in the corner worked well enough on its own ...

I have to agree here, Sony should have found ways to address the security issues (if they were being honest to begin with) and maintained this feature as it was a big selling point for some people.

What's more considering that content purchused from PSN requires one to be online, in practice they are also holding whatever you might have bought from them hostage as well. That means your PSOne Classics, Games, etc... all will cease to function if you can't connect. So basically by not complying your also losing all that money you potentially invested as well.

Honestly I think Sony needs to grow up, I'm already miffed about the fact that they don't have backwards compadibility on the new model PS-3s and such. Now they want to actively remove features?

I hope this paticular suit succeeds on principle, because I think it's anything but frivilous. I used Sony's default OS, but thought the abillity to change it was kind of cool. I can't really jump on the bandwagon having never bothered to exploit it though.

I can only hope this makes it to a higher court that will rule EULAs aren't enforceable. Chances of that happening are close to 0 but a man can dream.

I always thought that the Install other OS function was rather stupid. In that the console could be more easily hacked. So, why Sony didn't rectify this situation earlier is beyond me. It's a HUGE security risk, and should never have been implemented in the first place, in my opinion.

ratix2:
the problem is that if you read the eula at the back of the manual sony reserves the right to change ANYTHING about how the ps3 operates at any time and without prior notice. if they continue to advertise the other os option after the fact then someone would have a lawsuit for false advertising, but as it stands there is no potential lawsuit.

of course there will be in the eu since they sue EVERY company every time anyone takes a shit but otherwise sony is within their rights.

tk1989:
I'm sorry, but in the UK this move essentially makes the PS3 unfit for purpose. At the time of buying the PS3 it advertised the ability to have a second OS, if they remove that then they are breaking the buyers statutory rights, not taking into account European law which would also be broken.

You accept an EULA, yes, but when you buy a product you are making a contract there too, one which stipulates that the product will act as intended and as advertised. When they took away the other OS option the PS3 no longer worked as advertised and that contract is effectively being broken.

Thanks tk1989 for saving me from writing out a response to this. I guess I could include with that some links for those who might be confused on the semantics of how Sony is breaking the law, so here you go:
http://www.business.gov/business-law/advertising-law/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_advertising
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanham_Act
http://www.asa.org.uk/

In all honesty, they deserve this. Removing a function you advertised, especially towards the people who bought it for €600,- is just an ignorant hating bitch-move.

I hope they succeed and refund everyone out there. At least a partial re-fund and hit a dent in their bankaccount.

I seriously hope that this lawsuit makes Sony smarten up.

To the lawsuit people.....GO GET THEM! THEY DESERVE EVERY PENNY TO BE TAKEN FROM THEM! WOOHOO!!!!!!!

The PS3 isn't advertised as that anymore though, is it? The Slim hasn't been able to do that at all, and they gave adequate notice

Well, I saw it coming, but I don't think there's much that can be done. The Amazon refund was more of a refund for services that weren't offered, but Sony is still entitled to modifying their console as they need to in order to protect the console as they see fit. That the PS3 has only been successfully reported hacked once is still pretty damn astounding, and it seems Sony aims to keep it so.

You know, it's easy to say they should just suck it up, and get over it, but I don't judge lawsuits on whether the act is severe enough to justify one, as most people think that pretty much nothing is severe enough to justify a lawsuit, and lawsuits help keep companies in check, by forcing them to be somewhat ethical for fear of a lawsuit if they mistreat customers. That's why I think a few lawsuits here and there is actually a good thing, it reminds companies that there are rules they need to follow.

So I judge lawsuits on whether or not I think they're legally justified, and I think this one is.

BehattedWanderer:
Well, I saw it coming, but I don't think there's much that can be done. The Amazon refund was more of a refund for services that weren't offered, but Sony is still entitled to modifying their console as they need to in order to protect the console as they see fit. That the PS3 has only been successfully reported hacked once is still pretty damn astounding, and it seems Sony aims to keep it so.

This isn't true, they aren't entitled to modify their console however they see fit, because things like advertisements, and EULA's are double edged swords, through advertisements or contracts, Sony is promising in a legally binding way to provide the stipulations of the advertisement or contract and if they breach that contract by taking away a promised service, they are subject to legal penalties.

Megacherv:
The PS3 isn't advertised as that anymore though, is it? The Slim hasn't been able to do that at all, and they gave adequate notice

I'm not sure if it is, but that doesn't matter, because the people who purchased their PS3's BEFORE they stopped advertising that feature, can't use the feature anymore.

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