EFF Calls Sony's Lawsuit Against PS3 Hackers "Dangerous"

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EFF Calls Sony's Lawsuit Against PS3 Hackers "Dangerous"

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is worried by the lawsuit Sony recently filed against hackers of the PlayStation 3.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending digital civil liberties, has gotten behind the PlayStation 3 hackers Sony sued for cracking the console's security measures. The EFF's official stance on the suit is that it's downright "frightening."

The reasons behind this stance are twofold. For one, the EFF says that a Sony win would be a huge detriment to security research, because "legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure." Researchers could find themselves accused of a crime just for furthering their work on hardware made by a particular manufacturer.

Even worse, the EFF believes a ruling for Sony threatens any tinkerer that decides to pop the case of his/her electronic devices. Sony argues that the hackers violated the agreement of the PlayStation Network, though the hackers claim they never signed up. In the EFF's view, this is Sony saying it's illegal and a crime "for users to access their own computer in a way that Sony doesn't like." It says a "terms of use" agreement shouldn't give Sony total control over the devices people buy with threat of criminal punishment.

It's hard to disagree with the EFF's view that once you purchase a computer, you should be able to do what you want with it. If this is true, shouldn't you also be able to publish the results of those actions online, even if they're related to the dissolution of a piece of hardware's security measures? The U.S. government appears to think so, so I'm not sure that Sony intends its lawsuit to be anything but a scare tactic. If Sony loses, it'll probably only end up shooting itself in the foot, as hardware hackers will then go about their business with the law on their side.

Source: EFF, via GameSpot

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I agree whole heartedly with the EFF. Sony's right to protect their property (which isn't really theirs) should not be used to set such dangerous legal precedents.

EFF - /highfive

I totally agree.
Sony, boo. Boo, boo, boo. Boo boo? Boo!

I don't understand why Sony has to make it so hard for me to like them.

Whoever wins, we win.

If Sony is defeated we keep our freedom to do stuff with hardware we've legally purchased, whereas if they win then somebody who calls himself "GeoHot" gets slapped in the eyes. The latter would be a smaller victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Imagine, if Sony put as much effort into actually fixing the security vulnerabilities in the PS3 as they do pursuing the people who bypass them they might actually be able to focus on making it better than it is right now.

They still have to Buy the PS3 before they can hack them, so it's not like Sony is losing money. Sure all that money they invested in security was wasted, but it obviously wasn't a priority considering.

I very much agree with the EFF but I love their choice of phrase as - maybe it's the inner geek in me - but this scenario first comes to mind:

image

LAWYER: "Suing Hotz is dangerous. If word of this gets out, it
could generate sympathy for Piracy in the senate."

SONY: "I have traced the Rebel hackers to him. Now he is my only link
to find their secret base!"

LAWYER: "He'll lie before he admits anything."

SONY: "Leave that to me. Lawyer, tear their defence apart until you've found that master key
and bring me GeoHotz - I WANT HIM ALIVE!"

:D jk, I love you Sony but sorry you can't help but look like the bad guy here. Come on, I know there is good in you.

Wait, if the hackers never signed up for the PSN, why would they need to hack the thing in the first place? The update that removes Other OS is only compulsory if you want to sign in to the PSN.

Yeah. I call bullshit on the hackers "never joining". If they didn't join, they wouldn't have been required to update their systems.

OT: Yeah, this lawsuit could have massive ramifications if Sony is successful. While I don't agree with the way the hackers have gored the system's security, neither party is particularly innocent. Sony removed Other OS, and the hackers gave the world the tools to commit piracy on the PS3. It's a mighty big shitstorm that's to be brewing.

stinkychops:
I agree whole heartedly with the EFF. Sony's right to protect their property (which isn't really theirs) should not be used to set such dangerous legal precedents.

I agree to a point, you bought the console so we can do what we want with it. But when they cross the line when they opening it up for criminals to pirate games etc then sony has every right to protect it.

Screw off EFF. I like my developers having money.

mireko:
Whoever wins, we win.

If Sony is defeated we keep our freedom to do stuff with hardware we've legally purchased, whereas if they win then somebody who calls himself "GeoHot" gets slapped in the eyes. The latter would be a smaller victory, but a victory nonetheless.

I'd say whoever wins, we lose.

If Sony wins this case, then hackers are just going to get more aggressive, prompting Sony to further tighten their security measures with more updates, possibly removing more features, at the expense of the legitimate consumers.

If the hackers win, then the hackers will just go even crazier than now, prompting Sony to further tighten their security measures with more updates, at the expense of the legitimate consumers.

In the end, I don't think anyone is going to win out of this messy situation except the pirates, and they aren't even in this debacle, only in name.

HankMan:
They still have to Buy the PS3 before they can hack them, so it's not like Sony is losing money. Sure all that money they invested in security was wasted, but it obviously wasn't a priority considering.

Yeah... except PS3 barely breaks even on every unit they sell, and in most markets they sell the PS3 at a slight loss. They're in this business for the games, producing games to sell on their system and licensing third parties to sell on their system.

That's part of the reason why Microsoft don't give a damn about people hacking Kinect, because it costs them $50 to build and they sell it for $150! That hacking BENEFITS their bottom line.

Plus the kind of people who would hack Kinect aren't the type to find anything appealing about their casual shovel-ware lineup.

icame:
Screw off EFF. I like my developers having money.

You just don't get it do you?

Autofaux:
Yeah. I call bullshit on the hackers "never joining". If they didn't join, they wouldn't have been required to update their systems.

Absolutely. Well, unless they wanted to play any newly released games. But who would want to do that?

I am totally behind the EFF on this one. I can only hope jailbreaking of any form becomes fully legal.

Autofaux:
Wait, if the hackers never signed up for the PSN, why would they need to hack the thing in the first place? The update that removes Other OS is only compulsory if you want to sign in to the PSN.

Yeah. I call bullshit on the hackers "never joining". If they didn't join, they wouldn't have been required to update their systems.

OT: Yeah, this lawsuit could have massive ramifications if Sony is successful. While I don't agree with the way the hackers have gored the system's security, neither party is particularly innocent. Sony removed Other OS, and the hackers gave the world the tools to commit piracy on the PS3. It's a mighty big shitstorm that's to be brewing.

Actually, many of the newer games require you to update too.

The real thing Sony has not taken into account is the 'forbidden fruit' angle. If Sony wins it could very well open a flood gate of hackers. There will be several types, ranging from those holier then thou types that will see this as a insult to their very being right through to people who feel they are somehow threatened and need to lash out. The reasons are really moot at this point as the effect will be the same.

A large group of people all dedicated to targeting Sony for their 'hacking' attempts, enough that any measure of security Sony tries to make will be broken in less then 24 hours of release.

In effort to stop a handful of guys they may very well wake a horde.

Ugh, which ever happens the threats of a ps3 drm now seems viable. The sad thing is you'd think that'd lead to lower prices, but knowing Sony, they'll stay the same at best. Plus while I'm no fan of Gamestop, the used aisle for ps3 (or future systems) will be non-existent.

I'm just not supporting the hackers on this one. Whether they admit it or not what they discovered is gonna be used for illegal downloading of games. So I just can't support them in this.

However, sony isn't entirely innocent in this, and if they win I can only imagine the hurt thats gonna come to the average consumer.

icame:

theriddlen:

icame:
Screw off EFF. I like my developers having money.

You just don't get it do you?

Oh do tell

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

Numachuka:

icame:

theriddlen:

You just don't get it do you?

Oh do tell

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

For future reference, I don't like jailbreaking either for what it opens the doors to do.

Numachuka:

icame:

theriddlen:

You just don't get it do you?

Oh do tell

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

Exactly. And this lawsuit outcome will decide about the fate of all jailbreaks and hacks - that don't exactly have any connection to piracy, like Kinect hacks.

icame:

Numachuka:

icame:

Oh do tell

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

For future reference, I don't like jailbreaking either for what it opens the doors to do.

We could apply that logic of "It allows people to do other stuff" to many other areas. For example: Should we ban people from modifying cars purely because they could plant a bomb in the car and use it for a suicide bomb?
Should we ban people from modifying computers because they could be used for illegal stuff?
Should we ban the use of proxies because people could use them to download child pornography and/or copyrighted material?
Should we ban the use of game mods because they could be used to train people to commit massacres?

The list goes on, most people will only hack the PS3 so that they can mess around with their own mods in single player.

stinkychops:
I agree whole heartedly with the EFF. Sony's right to protect their property (which isn't really theirs) should not be used to set such dangerous legal precedents.

That PS3 is theirs though. In most Western, countries, buying a piece of electronic entertainment equipment does not mean you "own" that equipment; it means that you own the privilege to use that equipment. You can do pretty much what you want with it, but if the maker/designer catches you not being above-board with it, they have the reserved right to stop you or take it away.

Thats different from a "PC" or computer, in that no one faction truly "owns" that idea. But Sony wholly owns the idea and product of the Playstation, making it their toy, not yours.

And the EFF forgets the scale of this matter, and why Sony is doing this. What these hackers have done has compromised, nay, completely annihilated any semblance of integrity the PS3 had. They didn't just make so that their system could run homebrew games, or play illegal copies of games; they made it so that every little motherhubbard out-there can do whatever the fuck they want with the PS3, and Sony can't stop them. Unless they can fix it, its going to be JTAG Modern Warfare 2 all over again, except 7x worse.

The hackers may not have cast the first stone, but they left the big ass pile of rocks on Sony's lawn for everyone else to use. And that makes them just as guilty for what happens afterwards as the people who do it.

Haelium:

icame:

Numachuka:

Oh do tell

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

the list goes on, most people will only hack the PS3 so that they can mess around with their own mods in single player.

Thats why MW2 is overrun with hackers right?

Well this is Sony and they have some toes left to shoot off

Sony is absolutely right.

The PS3 that you pretend to own isn't actually yours. It officially belongs to Sony. You just bought the right to use it. This makes it easier to prosecute pirates like the PS3 hackers.

Does it make a difference to your average joe? No. It doesn't. You shouldn't open up the case to your PS3 anyway.

Haelium:

icame:

Numachuka:

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

For future reference, I don't like jailbreaking either for what it opens the doors to do.

We could apply that logic of "It allows people to do other stuff" to many other areas. For example: Should we ban people from modifying cars purely because they could plant a bomb in the car and use it for a suicide bomb?
Should we ban people from modifying computers because they could be used for illegal stuff?
Should we ban the use of proxies because people could use them to download child pornography and/or copyrighted material?
Should we ban the use of game mods because they could be used to train people to commit massacres?

The list goes on, most people will only hack the PS3 so that they can mess around with their own mods in single player.

1. Yes.
2. No, computers are much different.
3. Yes.
4. No, that's just a stretch.

Homebrew and jailbroke PS3s are more often used for piracy than not. Due to this fact, it is perfectly reasonable for Sony to rule against jailbreaking PS3s.

I see another Supreme Court Case in the works. You have one Court of Appeals say in a case: Vernor v Autodesk, which the EFF hated. Sorta tip toed around the issue by stating the software was a license to begin with and didn't need a license agreement.

Then you have federal regulators making exceptions to thing like Jailbreaking.

But those exception are:

*Mobile devices to switch carriers.
*Video Game DRM to find security flaws.

Nothing in the regulation about jailbreaking video game consoles to do other things. Don't most Jailbreaks on console have to do with software too? The minute you start messing with the software, then it is really going be trouble.

KeyMaster45:
Imagine, if Sony put as much effort into actually fixing the security vulnerabilities in the PS3 as they do pursuing the people who bypass them they might actually be able to focus on making it better than it is right now.

Security is a lost fight from the get go.

It doesn't matter how long, how much time or how much effort you put into the security, someone is going to crack it. And when it gets cracked, it gets cracked for everyone who wants it to be cracked.

SomethingAmazing:

Haelium:

icame:

For future reference, I don't like jailbreaking either for what it opens the doors to do.

We could apply that logic of "It allows people to do other stuff" to many other areas. For example: Should we ban people from modifying cars purely because they could plant a bomb in the car and use it for a suicide bomb?
Should we ban people from modifying computers because they could be used for illegal stuff?
Should we ban the use of proxies because people could use them to download child pornography and/or copyrighted material?
Should we ban the use of game mods because they could be used to train people to commit massacres?

The list goes on, most people will only hack the PS3 so that they can mess around with their own mods in single player.

1. Yes.
2. No, computers are much different.
3. Yes.
4. No, that's just a stretch.

Homebrew and jailbroke PS3s are more often used for piracy than not. Due to this fact, it is perfectly reasonable for Sony to rule against jailbreaking PS3s.

So people shouldn't be allowed modify cars? Does that include mechanics? And so we should monitor what people do on the internet purely because they might be downloading stuff that they shouldn't?

icame:

Haelium:

icame:

It wasn't about piracy. It was about the act of jailbreaking the PS3. Downloading games is still illegal.

the list goes on, most people will only hack the PS3 so that they can mess around with their own mods in single player.

Thats why MW2 is overrun with hackers right?

MW2 wouldn't be overrun with hackers if they just IP banned them.

Piracies bad Mmmkay. Even things that aren't piracy but could theoretically be used for piracy... well they're bad too mmmkay.

What Hotz does is perfectly legal. He bought the machine. He can do what he likes with it.

This will just turn out like the jailbreaking iphones case. Hackers win. Because they aren't doing anything wrong.

If not I want off this planet.

Haelium:

So people shouldn't be allowed modify cars? Does that include mechanics? And so we should monitor what people do on the internet purely because they might be downloading stuff that they shouldn't?

Yes. But that brings up a really good idea, all mechanics must be certified to work on cars. And modification without certification is illegal.

Yes.

Piracy is a huge problem. And while we're at it, we can do other things with the monitoring. Like stopping crimes before they happen. That sort of thing.

dathwampeer:
Piracies bad Mmmkay. Even things that aren't piracy but could theoretically be used for piracy... well they're bad too mmmkay.

What Hotz does is perfectly legal. He bought the machine. He can do what he likes with it.

This will just turn out like the jailbreaking iphones case. Hackers win. Because they aren't doing anything wrong.

If not I want off this planet.

Actually that isn't correct.

When you buy a PS3, you are NOT buying the console. You do not own it, sony does. You buy the permission to use it. And even if that isn't the case, it really should be to give Sony more control over the product and it will help quash piracy.

Haelium:
snip

I don't know why you're trying to logical with people like that. They've got their view of the world and they don't want it challenging.

SomethingAmazing:

dathwampeer:
Piracies bad Mmmkay. Even things that aren't piracy but could theoretically be used for piracy... well they're bad too mmmkay.

What Hotz does is perfectly legal. He bought the machine. He can do what he likes with it.

This will just turn out like the jailbreaking iphones case. Hackers win. Because they aren't doing anything wrong.

If not I want off this planet.

Actually that isn't correct.

When you buy a PS3, you are NOT buying the console. You do not own it, sony does. You buy the permission to use it. And even if that isn't the case, it really should be to give Sony more control over the product and it will help quash piracy.

I'd seriously like to see some evidence of that. Because I've got to go ahead and call 100% bullshit right there.

Edit: Also PS3's originally came with the capability to install Linux. They removed that and now the hack is essentially re-allowing you to take control of your system. And yes. It is your system. You own it. not sony.

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