Sony Told To Pay Finnish Man 100 Euros For Removing OtherOS

from the time-for-others-to-ask dept

As you may recall, Sony decided to delete its OtherOS feature on PlayStation 3 devices, despite it being a key selling point for many. It was a rude reminder that thanks to today’s laws, sometimes you don’t really own what you think you own. Of course this has also resulted in a class action lawsuit against Sony (and, less directly to Sony’s legal attack on Geohot for restoring the feature). However, Slashdot points us to the news that the Finnish Consumer Complaints Board has said that Sony should pay 100 euros to a guy who complained about the deleted feature:

The CCB said that the removal of OtherOS crippled console features that were present at the time of purchase, and agreed that consumers should be compensated. It recommended that the manufacturer and seller of the console pay €100 jointly to compensate the man.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Consumer Complaints Board has no enforcement ability… but that its rulings are frequently used by courts in dealing with disputes. Thus, it seems that Finnish PS3 owners might want to see if they can start some sort of legal action to get their €100 back from Sony for taking away a key feature that was used in marketing the PS3.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony Told To Pay Finnish Man 100 Euros For Removing OtherOS”

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Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Do it

“Thus, it seems that Finnish PS3 owners might want to see if they can start some sort of legal action to get their ?100 back from Sony for taking away a key feature that was used in marketing the PS3.”

Do it, doitdoitdoit. Sony needs bitch slapped for taking advertised and used features out of someone else’s hardware. I can see no better place to bitch slap them then in their wallets.

DCX2 says:

Re: Do it

It’s not so much that Sony needs bitch slapped. I have been Sony Free since the rootkit.

What needs bitch slapped is this idea that we do not own the hardware that we paid good money for. We need court precedent that either says “yes, you own your hardware” or “no, you lease your hardware”.

It bodes ill for consumers if manufacturers are permitted to require mandatory updates that revoke advertised features from a product after it has been sold.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:


This isn’t just about Linux on the PS3. This is about companies having the legal authority to remove features from the devices you payed for. Imagine if one day your satellite radio just stopped being able to use the FM modulator because other people could listen in? Imagine if your iPod just stopped being able to play MP3s? If we let Sony get away with removing an advertised component after purchase, anyone else could do it.

Though, the Linux thumpers should be foaming at the mouth over this. Getting a Linux box in every house could have been the tipping point to topple the monolith that is Microsoft.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well, then here's what's next...

Let’s simplify the issue for you. You go buy a Sony combo DVD and VCR unit in order to watch DVD’s and convert your VHS videos to DVD. Couple months later Sony decides that they don’t like people using the VHS part so they fimware-brick that half of the unit, no more VHS playback or, for you, converting your home movies. By your logic I guess my advice to you would be ‘okay it was a great feature but get over it all ready’, correct?

Greevar (profile) says:


Just because you think it’s a hacking and infringement tool, doesn’t change the fact that Sony sold people a product that did certain things and then broke it. It doesn’t make it any less significant that it was a niche feature that only Linux enthusiasts would want, it was promised to do this and they took it away. That’s no different than disabling the wipers on your car. The reason they did it doesn’t even matter. The fact that they did does matter though.

Sean T Henry (profile) says:


The Other OS feature did not allow the play of games or full access to the hardware but let you run the other OS. By removing the feature Sony gave people a reason to try and hack the system to bring back the feature they wanted, in doing so they unlocked the remaining portion of the hardware now allowing them to play unauthorized games.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: OMG

In itsmartie’s defense, the Other OS option was removed because some guy figured out how to use it to play unauthorized games. From what I understand, the hack wasn’t going to be released until it could be used for something other then pirated games. Sony just decided to cut him off before that something could be found. Then followed exactly what you said in your second sentence.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re: OMG

I think you’re a bit mistaken.

Hotz originally hacked 3.15 using a Tweezer Attack. A Tweezer Attack consists of taking tweezers and touching them to the memory chip at the right time, hoping you glitch one of the memory accesses. Hotz’s code just made it more likely to succeed with the tweezers. You still need to short out address pins.

Read that carefully again. shorting address pins with tweezers[/b]. Sounds like the kinda thing that’s likely to destroy a PS3.

Other OS did not enable piracy for Joe Pirate. Other OS was just a potential attack vector for reading protected memory. Removing Other OS once the attackers breached the front gate is like closing the barn door after the horse has left.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s a simple analogy. Most people have a car, which makes it relatable. It also has hardware and software components, which is similar to a PS3. If the manufacturer fucks with the software on your hardware to stop it from doing something they don’t like, but in the process removes a legitimate feature that you paid for, then you’d be right to bitch.

Example: You take your car in for a recall and they modify the software on your computer module so that you can’t roll down your windows, you’d make a stink about that right?

Overcast (profile) says:

this is getting rediculous its not a major part of the PS3 okay it was a great feature but get over it all ready other os has gone its not coming back. so you can download illegal game sand films or try and hack your way into the ps3 with it

lol, it hasn’t stopped that… It’s only stopped hobbyists from messing around with it.

That’s ok, Linux loaded just fine on my non-sony PC. I’m not a Sony hater or Fanboi – but it was a STUPID move by Sony.

My son has one – just for gaming… If I could have loaded Linux on it and ran it as a media server/data server – I might have bought 4 of them. No lie.

But as it stand now, just have the one in my son’s room for games.. that he rarely plays.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Thus, it seems that Finnish PS3 owners might want to see if they can start some sort of legal action to get their ?100 back from Sony for taking away a key feature that was used in marketing the PS3.”

So they’re going to spend $100 + (insert large number) to get back $100. Our legal system at work.

FuzzyDuck says:

Well all the Sony Fanboys

Well all the Sony Fanboys just found out that someone may have stolen their personal information including credit card info…. 7 days ago. That’s right Sony waited 7 days to tell them, I guess that was just to give the scammers and spammers a head start.

Maybe if they had spent a bit more time securing their network instead of trying to prevent their paying customers from running Linux on a PS3 they wouldn’t now be facing this new PR disaster (one seems to surpass all of Sony’s previous PR disasters).

The lesson is clear: stay as far away from Sony products as you can.

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