Australia Once Again Decides You Have No Freedom To Tinker With Your Gaming Console

from the you-don't-own-what-you-think-you-own dept

While Spain and France have taken a more lenient approach to letting people modify hardware they (thought they had) bought, the Australian courts apparently are not fans of letting people modify their own equipment. Back in February, we noted that an Australian court ruled against the distributor of some mod chips for the Nintendo DS, and now (as a bunch of you have sent in), an Australian court has sided with Sony in (at least temporarily) banning the PS3Jailbreak dongle, which lets people play homemade games. Of course, the complaint from the console makers is that these products also let people play unauthorized copies of games, but it seems like quite a leap from "this might be used for things we don't like" to "you can't actually modify the hardware you thought you purchased."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    We all know where this crap is coming from.

    That copyright BS people keep defending.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    That’s Like Saying ...

    ... that guns should be outlawed because people only use them for blowing holes in things, when they’re useful for so much more than that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Call me old fashioned, but I come from the old US of A, where we were free to do with our belonging as we chose.

     

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  4.  
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    wolfy, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    Here's the "s" I left off the previous post.

     

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  5.  
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    Frank Drebin, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    The best idea ever!

    If Sony wants to get into the lucrative leasing business, it should just do so. I'll gladly mail a check for $3 each month to rent hardware from them.

    In fact, a better idea for Sony is to buy GameFly and solely rent PS3s and games; but they must be special PS3s that can only play one game. It should cost a dollar a day to rent and also be returnable by placing the used PS3 into any postbox. They would have a solid winner on their hands.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    who cares anymore about law

    its all broken just do as you want they cant put usall in jail and fine us all cause hten no ohter business makes money and it collapses the eocnomy totally

    YUP HOLLYTERRORISM

     

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  7.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Land Of The Not-So-Free

    Wolfy claimed:


    Call me old fashioned, but I come from the old US of A, where we were free to do with our belonging as we chose.


    Past tense seems appropriate, considering that most of these “intellectual property” restrictions we’re hemmed in by originated in the US of A...

     

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  8.  
    icon
    interval (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Land Of The Not-So-Free

    @Lawrence: "Past tense seems appropriate, considering that most of these “intellectual property” restrictions we’re hemmed in by originated in the US of A..."

    Atrocious English aside; I gave it two minutes before some angry Anglo git would blame something his/her/their country did on the US, and damned if I wasn't right.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    HuwOS, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    "Wolfy, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:59pm
    Call me old fashioned, but I come from the old US of A, where we were free to do with our belonging as we chose."

    How is it old fashioned to have been born somewhere?

    Admittedly, being born somewhere is something even our most ancient ancestors did, but it is also current universal practice.
    Please advise of the new trend you are hinting at that is more modern than the old fashioned, being accidentally born in a particular place.

    The second part of your statement suggests but does not state that being free to do with one's belongings what one chooses is a good thing.

    Was your intention to say that you believed that being free to do with your belongings what you like was a good thing and being thankful that you were randomly born in the United States was equally a good thing, for you, because you believe that in the pre-stated United States you are indeed free to do with your belongings what you wish.

    That would indeed be comprehensible, if unfortunately untrue as you are not for example legally allowed to break drm to make a backup of a movie, for example.

    Perhaps you would like to rephrase to simply state,
    that you believe that when a person buys something that are morally entitled to do what they wish with said, presumably non living thing and while your own country may not be perfect on legislation about this, some countries appear to be worse.

    Or perhaps I have misunderstood.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    HuwOS, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Note to self,

    If attempting to do what you were attempting to do in the above post, it would be most helpful not to leave out random words, letters or to write the phrase for example both before and after the example.

    Getting your grammar right would also be helpful.

    Furthermore, please find some way to identify to the poster whose comment you were commenting on and any potential readers that you simply meant to have fun with an opportunity presented and are doing so without malice.

     

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  11.  
    icon
    CJL (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: That�s Like Saying ...

    Obviously you haven't listened to those who are for outlawing guns. That is exactly one of the arguments used.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Papafox, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    Facts?? Who cares about facts

    Mike, usually I find your articles informative, insightful and interesting, but this one is not to your usual standard. In fact, it's rubbish.

    A few facts:

    1. The PS3 jail break uses a USB key. There is no hardware modification.

    2. Australian law allows mod-chips. The reasoning is important - mod-chips may allow legal activity (region coding is a restrictive trade practice) and even when it facilitates copying, it's secondary since the copying is real infringement.

    3. The USB key allows not only bypassing region encoding and playing copied games, but also copying games.

    4. It's the ability to copy games which (probably) violates Australian law.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    IronM@sk, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:33pm

    Re:

    What about the "o" you left out of "choose"

     

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  14.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Facts?? Who cares about facts

    Correct me if I'm wrong but can't people back up their games?

    That's legal in the US. What's not legal is making those copies available online.

    Also, I believe the EULA of Sony's PS3 is saying that you're licensing the PS3 and can't modify it without voiding the warranty. This is probably what was used to make this dongle illegal.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:20am

    Re: Re:

    It probably added it to "lose" ;-)

     

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  16.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:40am

    Re: That�s Like Saying ...

    ... what else is a gun for?

    that said, how good or bad that is depends on what is getting holes blown in it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Land Of The Not-So-Free

    ... I'm curious as to what atrocious English you're referring too. I can't see anything wrong in your post, the one you're responding to, or the one that's in response to either.

    I also don't know where Lawrence is from, but the article's about Australia... which, these days, is as 'Anglo' as the USA. (which means most of the residents are genetically of European stock and/or have a British culture base)

    Personally, i share the opinion on stupid IP laws, and US corporations and 'diplomats' do seem to be largely responsible for their spread... but there's plenty of arse-hattery to be found independent of that in that area too, and the ideas mostly started in Europe.

    (does not the term Yankee come from the dutch opinion that the Americans were a bunch of pirates due to a tendency to ignore foreign patents?)

    'course, i get to live at the bottom of the pacific, where we only have to worry about our politicians being morons and coping the least useful and compatible elements of American and Scandinavian policy with far more concern for ideology than reality. oh, and our government caving to US intelligence agencies when they freak out after a citizen reports iranians attempting to buy missiles ... it should be noted that no sale took place and the first response to the incident was to get hold of the relevant officials and point out that A: it happened and B: the sale in question would have been entirely legal had it gone ahead and they should fix that. for is trouble the guy got made bankrupt due to dodgy and possibly illegal manipulation of the tax system to get the American spies off the government's back. At the time he was setting up a company with a contract to make unmanned scout drones for the US military, and the only thoughts that had been had about the missile beyond proving it could be built for a couple of thousand NZ dollars was that maybe he could sell it to the US or NZ armed forces...

    i got distracted on a tangent there. whoops.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re: Facts?? Who cares about facts

    Voiding a warranty is not actually unlawful nor illegal. It just means that the company does not have to honour that warranty if something goes wrong with your product that would normally be covered by said warranty.

    Though this is not the case when a warranty is a statutory requirement as it sis in Australia. All products come with a mandatory warranty that the goods (and/or services) are fit and will work in a way that was advertised for a period of no less than 12 months. In other words Sony can quote the EULA and the voiding of a warranty all they want. If the product breaks due to faulty workmanship within 12 months and it was not caused by an external source then the warranty HAS to be honoured for a period of 12 months. That also includes 12 months warranty on all repairs as well. The only things that are not covered by warranty are consumable items such as batteries, and anything that would fail due to normal wear and tear. Most USA corporations hate the Statutory Warranty situation in Australia, because they have to provide 12 months whether they like it or not. And it can be considered a criminal act if they do not honour it.

    With the current "Status Quo" Order by the Australian Federal Courts. This only affects Australian retailers and not International retailers, so customers can if the want purchase from Overseas and receive the USB dongle if they so desire and NOTHING can stop that no matter what the Federal court decides.

    Which means if the Court in its infinite stupidity decide to fully Ban the importation and sale of this item after the 31st of August [I could see that going all the way to our High Court like the original Sony Modchip case did] unlike the early 1990's customers themselves have the ability to purchase elsewhere than within Australia. Sony would then only be hurting Australian retailers from selling a purely LEGAL product due to some apprehension on their part that maybe someone might use it for unlawful purposes. And this at the same time that Sony are in a highly precarious position with a case in The Australian Trade courts on whether there latest upgrade that removed the ability to have an "Other OS" [ie: Linux] is in breach of our very strict and highly consumer friendly Trade laws. If they lose that they will have to refund every single person who still has and uses a Phat Ps3 or release a patch that removes the restriction.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    slander (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Land Of The Not-So-Free

    ... I'm curious as to what atrocious English you're referring too. I can't see anything wrong in your post, the one you're responding to, or the one that's in response to either.
    The comment:
    Past tense seems appropriate, considering that most of these “intellectual property” restrictions we’re hemmed by originated in the US of A..."

    should have been:
    Past tense seems appropriate, considering that most of these “intellectual property” restrictions by which we’re hemmed in originated in the US of A...

    or even:
    Past tense seems appropriate, considering that most of these “intellectual property” restrictions in by which we’re hemmed originated in the US of A...

    Today's grammar lesson, presented in its entirety by the esteemen Captain Pedantic, is brought to you courtesy of the letter L and the Number 7...

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Land Of The Not-So-Free

    "(which means most of the residents are genetically of European stock and/or have a British culture base)"

    No! they are not genetically of European stock ... they are the criminals of the UK and should be fenced off and locked away. Their internet access should be removed for ever and for all time minus a day. The brits are of less pure genetic stock than europe just look at their teeth .... roflmao ...

    This is not dave ... Go ACTA!!!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    hmm, Aug 29th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    So if the PS3 is 'licensed' then surely its warranty NEVER expires?.....

    As a side note, anyone noticed how the PS3 is dying on its feet?...I have a sneaky suspicion that the 'how-to' for the dongle was leaked by Sony itself to bolster flagging sales (just look at the wii / xbox etc for an example)...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    hmm, Aug 29th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    Wonder if someone here could do some research into the different legalities/responsibilities in various countries of licensing an object to someone rather than having it owned by the customer outright?

    I'm sure Sony would be bitten on the ass in quite a wide variety of ways..................

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: That�s Like Saying ...

    Fruit salad.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    MAC, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Can't modify your own hardware...

    Consider the source...

    These are the same idiots that outlawed guns so that only outlaws have guns.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Interesting tidbit - I'm not 100% on this, but I'm pretty sure the lawsuit involves not merely banning the sale or further production of such dongles, but also attempts to force the manufacturer to surrender all previously (and legally) made dongles to Sony. Go figure.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11116416

    "The court order also gives Sony control of all of the dongles in the firms' possession and allows the electronics giant to test the devices - including "destructive analysis" - to see how they work."

    Link includes a link to the court order in question, if anyone has time to parse through it.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Keith (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Maybe this has more to do with online cheating than anything else? I'm not sure if cheating is possible with this device but it really sucks when you're getting clowned because someone is cheating. That said, I don't necessarily agree with how both Sony and Australia are handling this.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    Realy, I thought the DMCA outlawed most of the "doing what you want with technology you own" stuff, all that pesky anti-circumvention of DRM stuff. I would expect this device to be illegal in your "old US of A", where your laws seem to be more made to favor big content and corporate interests, and less to favor the individual.

    And yes the US did cram it down Australia's throat with the Free Trade Agreement, though the Government is realy at fault for not telling the US to F&@# off.

    Do doubt the ACTA will be forced on us too, and it seems to be driven by Big Content, so it will not improve the situation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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