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

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icame:

gibboss28:

icame:

You know what the word OVERRUN means right? An Activision employee said (Out of context mind you) that they might shut down the PS3 servers because its getting so bad. That means there's a hell of a lot of them. That means it probobly a huge chunk of the hackers that are doing it.

Source please.

SomethingAmazing:

Actually that isn't correct.

When you buy a PS3, you are NOT buying the console. You do not own it, sony does.

...When you buy a PS3 you ARE buying the console, you do own it. Just like other bits of computer/console hardware.

http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/call-of-duty-black-ops/news/activision-could-close-call-of-duty-black-ops-servers-on-psn-due-to-security-breaches/a-20110119155226722099/g-20100430155441848063

There's your source

I've read the article and I read his blog, where's this bit about them closing down the servers because of hackers?

icame:

Garak73:

icame:

http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/call-of-duty-black-ops/news/activision-could-close-call-of-duty-black-ops-servers-on-psn-due-to-security-breaches/a-20110119155226722099/g-20100430155441848063

There's your source

That has nothing to do with whether or not you own the PS3 you bought. Wrong link?

You quoted me saying source please when I stated Activision said they might shut down ps3 servers due to the level of hacking.

No, I quoted you. Not Garak

Ya know, I'd be a lot more supportive of hackers if they actually acted accountable for what they do.

"I'm just gonna provide y'all with the means to pirate games and cheat on PSN, but uh yeah, don't you go doing that! LOL"

Then, when the majority of people use the crack for doing JUST that, they feign innocence.

Too many blackhats masquerading as whitehats nowadays.

gibboss28:

icame:

gibboss28:

Source please.

...When you buy a PS3 you ARE buying the console, you do own it. Just like other bits of computer/console hardware.

http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/call-of-duty-black-ops/news/activision-could-close-call-of-duty-black-ops-servers-on-psn-due-to-security-breaches/a-20110119155226722099/g-20100430155441848063

There's your source

I've read the article and I read his blog, where's this bit about them closing down the servers because of hackers?

"Publisher Activision may consider shutting down Call of Duty: Black Ops servers on the PlayStation Network due to the rampant hacking and cheating that has made online multiplayer a miserable experience for many PS3 owners."

First F'ing line D:

gibboss28:

icame:

Garak73:

That has nothing to do with whether or not you own the PS3 you bought. Wrong link?

You quoted me saying source please when I stated Activision said they might shut down ps3 servers due to the level of hacking.

No, I quoted you. Not Garak

I dun goofed

icame:

gibboss28:

icame:

http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/call-of-duty-black-ops/news/activision-could-close-call-of-duty-black-ops-servers-on-psn-due-to-security-breaches/a-20110119155226722099/g-20100430155441848063

There's your source

I've read the article and I read his blog, where's this bit about them closing down the servers because of hackers?

"Publisher Activision may consider shutting down Call of Duty: Black Ops servers on the PlayStation Network due to the rampant hacking and cheating that has made online multiplayer a miserable experience for many PS3 owners."

First F'ing line D:

Stupid smiley face and inabilty to say fucking aside, I did. How about you go and read the blog where they're getting their information. Other than in their title there is no other information about it.

icame:

Again, isolated parts of society.

It doesn't matter if they're isolated parts of society, I'm showing the flaw of your logic.

You're saying that because lots of people hacked MW2 that means that most hackers hack multiplayer. This simply doesn't make sense, you're missing a step in between to get to this conclusion. A huge number of people died in WW2, but that does not mean that most people died in WW2. Lots =/= Most.

Haelium:

icame:

Again, isolated parts of society.

It doesn't matter if they're isolated parts of society, I'm showing the flaw of your logic.

You're saying that because lots of people hacked MW2 that means that most hackers hack multiplayer. This simply doesn't make sense, you're missing a step in between to get to this conclusion. A huge number of people died in WW2, but that does not mean that most people died in WW2. Lots =/= Most.

1st off, does that really matter? If they could just stop hacking altogether everything would be awesome again. 2nd, I'm inclined to believe that when a game that has sold millions upon millions on the ps3 has been overrun by hackers, I'm inclined to believe that a metric asston of the hackers are hacking multiplayer. Do you have anything to suggest that most people hacking aren't using it for piracy or multiplayer hacking?

gibboss28:

icame:

gibboss28:

Source please.

...When you buy a PS3 you ARE buying the console, you do own it. Just like other bits of computer/console hardware.

http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/call-of-duty-black-ops/news/activision-could-close-call-of-duty-black-ops-servers-on-psn-due-to-security-breaches/a-20110119155226722099/g-20100430155441848063

There's your source

I've read the article and I read his blog, where's this bit about them closing down the servers because of hackers?

"The publishers have the right to shut down the servers for their game at any time as well which based on the number of reported posts from users may be a viable solution over the free PSN."

Treblaine:
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.

The star wars fanboy in me is squeeling like a teenage girl.

The adult in me is squeeling like a teenage girl.

You just made my day. =^-^=

As long as it doesn't affect online interaction then it will become legal. Once people start hacking the PSN though...all hell is going to break loose.

A friend of mine made an interesting point, saying this PS3 case is perfectly acceptable is very similar to saying it's okay to take a key and cut it to open the door to someone else's house.

It's not what it was made to do, but you own the key so you can tinker with it however you like - even if the result could very easily lead to illegal activity. You wouldn't think that was acceptable, so how is this any better?

Charley:
A friend of mine made an interesting point, saying this PS3 case is perfectly acceptable is very similar to saying it's okay to take a key and cut it to open the door to someone else's house.

It's not what it was made to do, but you own the key so you can tinker with it however you like - even if the result could very easily lead to illegal activity. You wouldn't think that was acceptable, so how is this any better?

It's perfectly legal to cut up any key any way you want. It's still illegal, and most importantly an entirely different type of action, to try and break into someone else's house without permission.

Add this to the list of reasons I don't care for Sony. The fact it is a COMPUTER destroys their case. Maybe they should change the name of their next console. Or maybe Sony should give up on being assholes.

What about the rights of the software developers? What about the loss of sales due to piracy, and the subsequent loss of jobs? What about the projects that possibly won't be put into production now that the security of the PS3 has been comprimised. It doesn't appear that one of you stops to think about anything but yourselves, and it personally SICKENS me.

You guys want what happened to the PSP game market to happen to the rest of the consoles just because you want to be able to throw yet another asinine SNES emulator on your console instead of using your PC? You scream about your rights to modify and circumvent securities, in the same breath as demanding the latest system features and anti-cheater features.

Before you people start jumping on your bandwaggons and beating your drums, how about spending a minute or two and think about this situation from the point of view of game devs?

Charley:
A friend of mine made an interesting point, saying this PS3 case is perfectly acceptable is very similar to saying it's okay to take a key and cut it to open the door to someone else's house.

It's not what it was made to do, but you own the key so you can tinker with it however you like - even if the result could very easily lead to illegal activity. You wouldn't think that was acceptable, so how is this any better?

Breaking into a house that is not your own is not comparable to breaking into a PS3 that you do own.

Besides, you can make a key to fit a lock you don't own. It's when you use it that you broke the law.

Andy Powell:
What about the rights of the software developers? What about the loss of sales due to piracy, and the subsequent loss of jobs? What about the projects that possibly won't be put into production now that the security of the PS3 has been comprimised. It doesn't appear that one of you stops to think about anything but yourselves, and it personally SICKENS me.

You guys want what happened to the PSP game market to happen to the rest of the consoles just because you want to be able to throw yet another asinine SNES emulator on your console instead of using your PC? You scream about your rights to modify and circumvent securities, in the same breath as demanding the latest system features and anti-cheater features.

Before you people start jumping on your bandwaggons and beating your drums, how about spending a minute or two and think about this situation from the point of view of game devs?

On this site, we can't go more than 30 seconds without "thinking about the devs". What's tough is getting people to think about the consumers.

thepyrethatburns:
Yes, it does. It's just that you're saying "The car analogy works when it serves my purposes and doesn't when it doesn't serve my purposes." Both analogies are as comparable/non-comparable as the other.

Two different comparisons. Just because they both involve cars doesn't mean a thing. What you were saying was wrong. What the other guy was saying was right. Deal with it.

As is the defense of pirates who are sticking it to the big bad corporations. People also know damn well that they're defending thieves who have the long list of rationalizations and similarly ignore logic and reason.

You're being pedantic again. You know the difference and you're choosing to ignore it. I'm not sticking up for piracy and I said nothing about sticking it to 'the man!'. I'm saying what the hacker has done is perfectly legal and sony has no leg to stand on. If people can use this for piracy or not is 100% irrelevant. People are allowed to do whatever they hell they want to hardware they've bought. They bought it.

Stop twisting what people are saying to suit your means. It's childish and any one with a brain just see's right through it anyhow.

I'm on Sony's side on this one.
"could 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."
Well, duh... I mean if I found a way to sneak into your house and steal all your money from your credit cards, but I didn't actually do it yet. I'm a nice guy. That's OK, I guess. But telling everybody else how to do it is just inviting them to do it for you.

I study law and this is actually pretty simple.

Will Sony lose (risk losing) money if such hacks are openly revealed? - Yes.
It's their right to protect their assets. Sue away...

Garak73:
On this site, we can't go more than 30 seconds without "thinking about the devs". What's tough is getting people to think about the consumers.

Ooooo... That's a bitter pill to swallow for you when you happen to be using a forum frequented by software devs, isn't it? Contrary to popular belief, devs DO have the consumer in mind. The ones who DON'T consider the developers are the retailers, and the hackers.

9_6:
And how about you think about it from the point of view of a console and a PC essentially being the same nowadays and the implications of that before giving in to your moralizing bigotry?

I don't need to consider that because I actually know what the differences between the two are. I honestly don't think you're looking at the big picture here. For those users who want to use the PS3 console for the purpose it was intended for, those who enjoy features like FREE ONLINE PLAY, Trophies, and being able to buy digital purchases worry-free, these features are now in jeopardy. Hackers are now attacking the trophies system, and encouraging devs to shut down servers of games people were enjoying just because these "people" thought it'd be fun to write some code to mess with it. Is the FAIR for the users who use the PS3 for its intended purpose?

Why are your desires to circumvent the PS3's securities any more important than those who want the system to remain the way it is? You're pretty quick to pull the bigot card on others when in reality you're really only thinking of yourself.

Shirokurou:
I'm on Sony's side on this one.
"could 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."
Well, duh... I mean if I found a way to sneak into your house and steal all your money from your credit cards, but I didn't actually do it yet. I'm a nice guy. That's OK, I guess. But telling everybody else how to do it is just inviting them to do it for you.

I study law and this is actually pretty simple.

Will Sony lose (risk losing) money if such hacks are openly revealed? - Yes.
It's their right to protect their assets. Sue away...

You study law? Then how has this man modifying his own hardware which Sony chose to sell him directly or indirectly breaking the law? If I bought a a impounded car that doesn't have a key that fits the ignition, am I somehow breaking the law by "overiding the built-in security features" on MY vehicle that I own by installing a new keyless ignition myself? What if I pay someone else to install it because I don't have the skills? Well the hackers are the mechanics, and Linux is the keyless ignition.

Licences to use the network are irrelevant, because we aren't asking if it's still legal to drive. We are focusing on if modifying my own property is somehow illegal just because the original seller didn't intend the modification. I believe the ambiguity of the DMCA has led to this mess, because the companies are suing to try and make hardware an extension of the software "de facto" simply because the defendants can't afford the lawsuit, even though there is no merit.

Back to the vehicles again, Harley-Davidson couldn't sue someone for adding a side-cart to one of their cycles just because they believe it looks tacky and the consumer doesn't "need" it.

Andy Powell:

Garak73:
On this site, we can't go more than 30 seconds without "thinking about the devs". What's tough is getting people to think about the consumers.

Ooooo... That's a bitter pill to swallow for you when you happen to be using a forum frequented by software devs, isn't it? Contrary to popular belief, devs DO have the consumer in mind. The ones who DON'T consider the developers are the retailers, and the hackers.

Then why did you frame it as "think of the devs" in a conversation that boils down to consumer rights?

The software industry hasn't treated the consumer well and sometimes it's necessary to think about consumers instead of always "thinking about the devs". If you only rent a PS3 from Sony today, tomorrow you may only rent your PC from Dell or your TV from Vizio.

Garak73:
The software industry hasn't treated the consumer well and sometimes it's necessary to think about consumers instead of always "thinking about the devs". If you only rent a PS3 from Sony today, tomorrow you may only rent your PC from Dell or your TV from Vizio.

Is it not also a consumers right to use a closed network for its intended purposes by the manufacturer? I don't know about you, but there's a lot of us who actually like the trophies system and the way the PS3 functions as is. You say it's a matter of consumer rights to be able to modify a device that they own. You and I both know that all this is going boil down to is the systematic ruin the entire experience for all the other consumers who use the system for its intended purpose.

What's the point? When you want software developers to continue making the games you enjoy, why do you also encourage the destabilization of the platform aswel?

Andy Powell:

Garak73:
The software industry hasn't treated the consumer well and sometimes it's necessary to think about consumers instead of always "thinking about the devs". If you only rent a PS3 from Sony today, tomorrow you may only rent your PC from Dell or your TV from Vizio.

Is it not also a consumers right to use a closed network for its intended purposes by the manufacturer? I don't know about you, but there's a lot of us who actually like the trophies system and the way the PS3 functions as is. You say it's a matter of consumer rights to be able to modify a device that they own. You and I both know that all this is going boil down to is the systematic ruin the entire experience for all the other consumers who use the system for its intended purpose.

What's the point? When you want software developers to continue making the games you enjoy, why do you also encourage the destabilization of the platform aswel?

They haven't done anything to hack the closed network. Sony is suing because their actions *COULD* allow someone to do something wrong. Do we start arresting car engineers for all the DUI's their new car *COULD* allow?

Sony, Sony, Sony, Why you gotta be hatin? I mean really. People breaking security measures on your system means that they are spending unseemly amounts of time with it, and in the end that's what really counts.

Andy Powell:

Garak73:
The software industry hasn't treated the consumer well and sometimes it's necessary to think about consumers instead of always "thinking about the devs". If you only rent a PS3 from Sony today, tomorrow you may only rent your PC from Dell or your TV from Vizio.

Is it not also a consumers right to use a closed network for its intended purposes by the manufacturer? I don't know about you, but there's a lot of us who actually like the trophies system and the way the PS3 functions as is. You say it's a matter of consumer rights to be able to modify a device that they own. You and I both know that all this is going boil down to is the systematic ruin the entire experience for all the other consumers who use the system for its intended purpose.

What's the point? When you want software developers to continue making the games you enjoy, why do you also encourage the destabilization of the platform aswel?

Why do YOU want to rent game consoles to consumers for $300 - $600? If that's the deal then I don't give a damn if they don't make games, I won't rent the console to play them.

Firestorm65:
They haven't done anything to hack the closed network. Sony is suing because their actions *COULD* allow someone to do something wrong. Do we start arresting car engineers for all the DUI's their new car *COULD* allow?

OPEN YOUR EYES! The PSN trophy system is under FULL attack! It's all over the web. (example) http://gamerant.com/ps3-trophy-hack-tao-61254/

These homebrewwers that you're defending are devaluing one feature at a time for everyone else who enjoys the system. So what's next?.. NO trophy system for everyone? Is that what you want? Because that's exactly what you're getting. That's exactly what everyone is getting weather we want it or not. I can't think of a better example of what's not fair to consumers, than what's happenning right now.

Firestorm65:

Shirokurou:
I'm on Sony's side on this one.
"could 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."
Well, duh... I mean if I found a way to sneak into your house and steal all your money from your credit cards, but I didn't actually do it yet. I'm a nice guy. That's OK, I guess. But telling everybody else how to do it is just inviting them to do it for you.

I study law and this is actually pretty simple.

Will Sony lose (risk losing) money if such hacks are openly revealed? - Yes.
It's their right to protect their assets. Sue away...

You study law? Then how has this man modifying his own hardware which Sony chose to sell him directly or indirectly breaking the law? If I bought a a impounded car that doesn't have a key that fits the ignition, am I somehow breaking the law by "overiding the built-in security features" on MY vehicle that I own by installing a new keyless ignition myself? What if I pay someone else to install it because I don't have the skills? Well the hackers are the mechanics, and Linux is the keyless ignition.

Licences to use the network are irrelevant, because we aren't asking if it's still legal to drive. We are focusing on if modifying my own property is somehow illegal just because the original seller didn't intend the modification. I believe the ambiguity of the DMCA has led to this mess, because the companies are suing to try and make hardware an extension of the software "de facto" simply because the defendants can't afford the lawsuit, even though there is no merit.

Back to the vehicles again, Harley-Davidson couldn't sue someone for adding a side-cart to one of their cycles just because they believe it looks tacky and the consumer doesn't "need" it.

The software in the hardware (i.e., the firmware) is Sony's copyrighted intellectual property. That aspect of a PS3 (i.e., the firmware) is licensed to the end user. It isn't owned outright by the user. I believe that in order to initially use a PS3 -- and an XBox and a Wii -- the user is somehow prompted to accept or decline the terms of a EULA (i.e., an end user license agreement). As part of the reservation of a host of legal rights to the copyright holder-licensor, the terms of all Big Three EULAs state that the end user does not own the firmware and prohibits its modification.

Putting aside the EULA terms, there's also the anti-hack provisions of the DMCA which prohibit circumvention of access control mechanisms with knowledge that the circumvention is being done for the illegal purpose of piracy.

These are the legal bases (i.e., EULAs and the anti-circumvention section of the DMCA) upon which the end user of a game console is prohibited from modifying the software (or firmware -- call it what you want) within a console. The former is an absolute prohibition (i.e., there's simply no modification whatsoever). There are multiple exceptions to the latter, but circumvention in furtherance of piracy ain't one of them.

I suspect that your position that the firmware in the console is your property to do with as you please is mistaken (as thus, too, your Harley-Davidson analogy). It isn't. It belongs to the copyright holder-licensor who has only licensed, not sold, it to you.

Garak73:
Why do YOU want to rent game consoles to consumers for $300 - $600? If that's the deal then I don't give a damn if they don't make games, I won't rent the console to play them.

Wait.. What? That makes no sense at all. Are you saying you would rather own a console with NO software support whatsoever, than to allow the manufacturer to moderate a controlled experience for everyone? What's the point in that? If that's your attitude then why not just remain a PC/Linux user? Why even bother with the console experience at all when a Linux PC can give you your purely user-driven open source environment?

JDKJ:

Firestorm65:

Shirokurou:
I'm on Sony's side on this one.
"could 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."
Well, duh... I mean if I found a way to sneak into your house and steal all your money from your credit cards, but I didn't actually do it yet. I'm a nice guy. That's OK, I guess. But telling everybody else how to do it is just inviting them to do it for you.

I study law and this is actually pretty simple.

Will Sony lose (risk losing) money if such hacks are openly revealed? - Yes.
It's their right to protect their assets. Sue away...

You study law? Then how has this man modifying his own hardware which Sony chose to sell him directly or indirectly breaking the law? If I bought a a impounded car that doesn't have a key that fits the ignition, am I somehow breaking the law by "overiding the built-in security features" on MY vehicle that I own by installing a new keyless ignition myself? What if I pay someone else to install it because I don't have the skills? Well the hackers are the mechanics, and Linux is the keyless ignition.

Perhaps more relevant, should we outlaw P2P technology since some of it's uses include pirating software? Nevermind the countless legal uses of this type of technology, but some people use it wrong so better make the technology itself illegal? This is the kind of argument that leads to objects or ideas being accountable instead of people for actions. Why not attack the pirates and criminals instead of the people who found a legal service to offer.

Some agencies have lockpicks that open car doors for people without breaking them LEGALLY. How is this not the same idea? Because Sony doesn't approve so it *must* be wrong?

Licences to use the network are irrelevant, because we aren't asking if it's still legal to drive. We are focusing on if modifying my own property is somehow illegal just because the original seller didn't intend the modification. I believe the ambiguity of the DMCA has led to this mess, because the companies are suing to try and make hardware an extension of the software "de facto" simply because the defendants can't afford the lawsuit, even though there is no merit.

Back to the vehicles again, Harley-Davidson couldn't sue someone for adding a side-cart to one of their cycles just because they believe it looks tacky and the consumer doesn't "need" it.

The software in the hardware (i.e., the firmware) is Sony's copyrighted intellectual property. That aspect of a PS3 (i.e., the firmware) is licensed to the end user. I believe that in order to initial use a PS3 -- and an XBox and a Wii -- the user is somehow prompted to accept or decline the terms of EULA (i.e., an end user license agreement). As part of a reservation of a host of legal rights to the copyright holder-licensor, the terms of all Big Three EULAs state that the end user does not own the firmware and prohibits its modification.

Putting aside the EULA terms, there's also the anti-hack provisions of the DMCA which prohibit circumvention of access control mechanisms with knowledge that the circumvention is being done for an illegal purpose.

These are the legal bases (i.e., EULAs and the anti-circumvention section of the DMCA) upon which the end user of a game console is prohibited from modifying the software (or firmware -- call it what you want) within a console. The former is an absolute prohibition (i.e., there's simply no modification whatsoever). There are multiple exceptions to latter, but circumvention in furtherance of piracy ain't one of them.

Reverse engineerings not illegal for personal benefit. And sharing the knowledge gained from that is also not illegal. To use patented technologies or redistribute copy written code as your own is illegal. The DMCA also punishes piracy. Not technologies that *could* allow piracy. Again, we better start outlawing cars because they *could* be used for murder/DUI/property damage/etc. US law specifies the actual illegal action has to be taken. Simply having and even distributing the knowledge that *could* lead to illegal activity is not.

Its interesting. I generally frequent an American forum where this issue is much more divisive (and the majority of people are anti-hacker). The broad support I see in this thread suggests a cultural factor in approach to such things.

Apparently most Americans didn't understand what Orwell was on about.

I believe that under Sony's EULA terms (and I suspect the other Big Two), reverse engineering is indeed prohibited. As I recall, they mention "reverse engineering" by that exact terminology in prohibiting it. It may or may not be under the DCMA. It depends on what objective is sought to be attained by the reverse engineering.

Firestorm65:

JDKJ:

Firestorm65:

You study law? Then how has this man modifying his own hardware which Sony chose to sell him directly or indirectly breaking the law? If I bought a a impounded car that doesn't have a key that fits the ignition, am I somehow breaking the law by "overiding the built-in security features" on MY vehicle that I own by installing a new keyless ignition myself? What if I pay someone else to install it because I don't have the skills? Well the hackers are the mechanics, and Linux is the keyless ignition.

Perhaps more relevant, should we outlaw P2P technology since some of it's uses include pirating software? Nevermind the countless legal uses of this type of technology, but some people use it wrong so better make the technology itself illegal? This is the kind of argument that leads to objects or ideas being accountable instead of people for actions. Why not attack the pirates and criminals instead of the people who found a legal service to offer.

Some agencies have lockpicks that open car doors for people without breaking them LEGALLY. How is this not the same idea? Because Sony doesn't approve so it *must* be wrong?

Licences to use the network are irrelevant, because we aren't asking if it's still legal to drive. We are focusing on if modifying my own property is somehow illegal just because the original seller didn't intend the modification. I believe the ambiguity of the DMCA has led to this mess, because the companies are suing to try and make hardware an extension of the software "de facto" simply because the defendants can't afford the lawsuit, even though there is no merit.

Back to the vehicles again, Harley-Davidson couldn't sue someone for adding a side-cart to one of their cycles just because they believe it looks tacky and the consumer doesn't "need" it.

The software in the hardware (i.e., the firmware) is Sony's copyrighted intellectual property. That aspect of a PS3 (i.e., the firmware) is licensed to the end user. I believe that in order to initial use a PS3 -- and an XBox and a Wii -- the user is somehow prompted to accept or decline the terms of EULA (i.e., an end user license agreement). As part of a reservation of a host of legal rights to the copyright holder-licensor, the terms of all Big Three EULAs state that the end user does not own the firmware and prohibits its modification.

Putting aside the EULA terms, there's also the anti-hack provisions of the DMCA which prohibit circumvention of access control mechanisms with knowledge that the circumvention is being done for an illegal purpose.

These are the legal bases (i.e., EULAs and the anti-circumvention section of the DMCA) upon which the end user of a game console is prohibited from modifying the software (or firmware -- call it what you want) within a console. The former is an absolute prohibition (i.e., there's simply no modification whatsoever). There are multiple exceptions to latter, but circumvention in furtherance of piracy ain't one of them.

Reverse engineerings not illegal for personal benefit. And sharing the knowledge gained from that is also not illegal. To use patented technologies or redistribute copy written code as your own is illegal. The DMCA also punishes piracy. Not technologies that *could* allow piracy. Again, we better start outlawing cars because they *could* be used for murder/DUI/property damage/etc. US law specifies the actual illegal action has to be taken. Simply having and even distributing the knowledge that *could* lead to illegal activity is not.

I believe that under Sony's EULA terms (and I suspect the other Big Two), reverse engineering is indeed prohibited. As I recall, they mention "reverse engineering" by that exact terminology in prohibiting it. It may or may not be under the DCMA. It depends on what objective is sought to be attained by the reverse engineering.

I think what's important to bear in mind is that the end user doesn't own the firmware. They've only licensed it. And unless they can successfully challenge a term or terms of the EULA, then they're usually stuck with those terms.

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