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Sony Bans Homebrew Talk From Official Forums

| 7 Sep 2007 16:18
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Sony has banned all talk of homebrew applications and custom firmware on its official forums and threatened repeat offenders with "disciplinary actions."

A post by a Sony Computer Entertainment America representative said that homebrew applications void the PSP warranty, and as such Sony cannot provide any sort of official support for such activity, including a Sony-sanctioned forum. Posts violating this policy will be deleted immediately, and overly-persistent violators will fan bans or "other disciplinary actions as determined by the community Administrators." According to the post, the complete list of verboten topics includes:

  • Custom firmware
  • Themes, applications, custom bootup animations/sounds, and other materials made available only with use of homebrew
  • Programs that may be used to aid or facilitate copyright violations (such as Eboots, ripping software, decryption software)
  • Debugging software
  • Programs designed to emulate firmware
  • TIFF applications
  • Programs designed to provide for modification of the PSP code or firmware, or that would allow for any exploitation of the PSP system firmware flashing software
  • Applications designed to bypass PSP system and game security features
  • Emulators, ROMs, CSO, ISOs or any other unauthorized copies of copyrighted material
  • Software or hardware designed to aid or facilitate in cheating

The article also quotes "a few relevant pieces" of the System Software License Agreement, which specifically restricts users from bypassing PSP security and encryption mechanisms and using any form of the System Software to violate Sony's rights.

Although considerably more advanced technologically, Sony's PSP hand-held console has been consistently outsold by the Nintendo DS since its release, leading some to question why Sony would take such aggressive steps against its own community. The homebrew scene is unlikely to feel any noteworthy effects as a result of the ban, since numerous unofficial forums to support the activity already exist.

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