Sony CEO: We Were Hacked By Freetards Who Just Want Everything Free

from the freedomtards,-perhaps dept

Ah, delusion in the CEO suite. Sony CEO Howard Stringer has been struggling to deal with the fact that pretty much everyone* in the tech world now hates his company. He famously called the month or so of downtime for the PlayStation Network, due to Sony’s own failure to properly secure its servers, “a hiccup.” He’s also continued Sony’s standard practice of going to war against makers, hackers and innovators, by trying to close off everything and then suing anyone who dares to try to do more with the products they thought they’d bought.

Stringer, at a recent Sony shareholder meeting, had to deal with critics concerning the PSN downtime, and his response was not to take any of the blame, or to admit that Sony might have been at fault, but rather to say that hackers pick on the company because it likes to “protect” its intellectual property:

“We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content, in this case videogames,” Stringer told shareholders at Tuesday’s meeting in response to a question about the background to the incident.

Of course, that’s an interesting version of revisionist history. There are all sorts of theories as to why Sony got hacked, with Occam and his trusty Razor suggesting the simplest answer: because Sony had crazy weak security that would allow malicious hackers to make off with useful information with which they could profit. But even if we grant Stringer’s unsupported assertion was true, what set many people off (though, not necessarily these hackers) was the fact that Sony sued George Hotz for doing nothing more than helping to re-enable a feature that Sony had marketed as part of the PS3… and then had retroactively disabled. That’s not “protecting Sony’s IP.” That’s breaking a product and false advertising… and then suing people for trying to help make your products more valuable.

But Stringer apparently wasn’t done there. You see, the real problem is just those damn freetards:

?These are our corporate assets,? Stringer told the meeting, ?..and there are those that don?t want us to protect them, they want everything to be free.?

Seriously, Howard? This has absolutely nothing to do with people wanting stuff for free. People are pissed because you’re suing people who are trying to improve your products — the ones they actually paid for (yes, with real money). If anything, they want “free” as in speech, not free as in beer. They’re looking for the freedom to tinker and to expand and to build.

And you’re giving them the opposite.

And let’s can the crap in which you pretend that Sony has to “protect” its intellectual property in this manner. It doesn’t. You can treat customers right, even without being overprotective. Why, just look at Samsung, one of your biggest competitors. When it came out with a new device, rather than freaking out about people jailbreaking it, it sent free devices to some of the top modders, and asked them to mod and hack them faster…

That’s called treating your community right, not treating them as criminals. It’s not because people want everything to be free. People are quite often happy to pay for something of scarce value to them. Where they get upset is when you make that product less valuable by locking it down in anti-consumer ways.

So, no, you weren’t hacked by freetards. You were hacked because you had dreadful security, and everyone’s pissed not because they want stuff for free, but because you treat them like crap.

* Yes, slight exaggeration. But no more than calling over a month downtime on a popular gaming platform a “hiccup.”

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony CEO: We Were Hacked By Freetards Who Just Want Everything Free”

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146 Comments
Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Freetards? I must disagree

Hey Mike, while I agree with the ability to respond better your customers and Sony’s lack of doing that, I actually disagree with the use of freetard here. I don’t see anywhere Stringer said freetard in any of the links. Seeing as this term is usually used as an attempt at being derogatory, I do not feel it fits. Yes, Stringer may be trying to talk down about the “evil” hackers, but I do not feel his response was derogatory. Just maybe a little delusional and insulting.
Maybe I am just being too picky about the meaning of the terms and how they are used but this is always the impression I have received from the ever so mean ACs here about the use of ‘freetard’.
As is, I must disagree with the use of freetard in the title on this one.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Freetards? I must disagree

?..and there are those that don?t want us to protect them, they want everything to be free.?

Sounds like he’s trying to be derogatory without saying those specific words. It’s PR speak; if you’re going to say something bad, say it in a nice way (or at least in a way that makes you look like a victim).

In his mind GeoHot threatened the influx of money, the hacks threatened the reputation of PSN and now his job. I’m sure if given the chance he would be using something much more vulgar then “freetard”.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

Perhaps you are right about the light of the public forcing him to keep it toned down some. Although, I still think he wouldn’t even know the meaning of freetard or be intelligent enough to use it. However, this could also be from him being forced to use his PR spin though, since what he has to say for the company just makes him seem terribly dim witted.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

keep in mind that the target audience for this article is not a group of out of touch 60 year old guys.

This section:
?These are our corporate assets,? Stringer told the meeting, ?..and there are those that don?t want us to protect them, they want everything to be free.? is where the freetard comment is coming from. and on this site how many times have you seen those that are staunchly pro IP used the term freetards to claim that people against the current abuses of IP protection are really just a bunch of angsty teens that want everything for free and dont want to pay for anything.

the word fits given where the article is being posted, its target audience and the words that stinger said.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Freetards? I must disagree

Well, it was a shareholder meeting, so Stringer won’t say “freetard”.

The entire problem here is just Stringer’s VERY pisspoor grasp of what’s happening. The article does state how Stringer has been asked to step down and I believe that should be addressed. With all of the pressure on him, it’s pretty simple for him to point fingers and blame someone else.

In this case, Sony being true to precedent, blames Anonymous for their own bad security.

I was actually rooting for Stringer because for a while, I thought he would bring Sony to the 21st century. He’d bet on Blu-Ray and made it the defacto standard by offering the better product.

But essentially, by allowing Sony to sue Geohot…
By pointing fingers instead of fixing their security…
By laying off their security

By making their products anathema to those that want to make it more valuable…

Stringer has rightfully gained a reputation as a failed CEO. It’s disappointing, but all we can do is watch Sony fade into the 20th century in response.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

With all of the pressure on him, it’s pretty simple for him to point fingers and blame someone else.

That seems to be most CEOs jobs these days to me. To do almost nothing, make tons of money, and then blame everyone else when something goes wrong.
Oh, and get a bonus after making decisions that send the company downward and then leaving the company.

With the more Sony responds to the 21st century in a negative light, I feel they cannot fade fast enough. Which makes me sad because I loved the PS2 (and still do).

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

nah.

good CEO’s actually do something, in fact a lot for their companies.

Bad ceo’s just make money, give themselves bonuses, and don’t do shit to help the company. It’s really short sighted, because in addition to giving themselves bonuses, their job incentive is quite literally to help the company. So by not doing so, they are putting their career on the line and the same money that they are seeking to earn for a living.

It’s pretty much the definition of cutting off the nose to spite one’s face.

Paul (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freetards? I must disagree

Good CEOs learn how to listen to the people who are generally right, and learn how to disregard people who are generally wrong. The fact is, one person can only do a few things, can process a relatively finite amount of information, and carry in their heads a finite set of facts. In a business, these shift constantly, so the CEO isn’t in the position to learn themselves all they need to know.

So what they do is learn who to listen to, and how to make decisions based on *their* knowledge and data.

So in the end, even if you have a *Vonderful* CEO, it really isn’t the CEO who is good, but the team which the CEO represents. And yet we routinely reward CEOs as if they were personally responsible for the decisions made in companies, and for the performance of these companies.

The fact is nobody can contribute, on their own, value to a company that is worth ~95 dollars per minute (the average compensation for an S&P 500 CEO).

It reminds me of the calculation we laughed about during the dot-com bubble that if Bill Gates paused to pick up $20,000 dollars on his way into work, and gave it to Microsoft at the desk on his way to the office, that Microsoft would LOSE money on the effort (based on his total compensation from Microsoft / the huge number of hours worked). The idea is that the math put Bill Gates time as being worth upwards of 50,000 dollars for the few seconds required to pick up and drop off something found in the parking lot.

None of this is true. We do not pay CEOs these sums because it is rational to do so. We pay them because largely they decide what they should be paid, and they reward others with huge dollars to agree that they should be so paid.

Good CEO’s contribute to a company when they can guide the company, and they can resist sucking their company dry just to pad their own accounts, or to feed their egos, or to pursue their own fantasies.

I obviously have a relatively low opinion of CEOs and the credit we give them, despite being one myself a few times in my career (though never one so successful, so maybe I am just jealous? Nah, that can’t be it!).

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Freetards? I must disagree

“Yes, Stringer may be trying to talk down about the “evil” hackers, but I do not feel his response was derogatory. Just maybe a little delusional and insulting.”

“A little delusional and insulting” certainly qualifies as derogatory in my book!

Sony sold a product with X,Y,Z capabilities and then, after taking the money from the consumers for these products with said features,they took back feature “Y”.

Bait and switch, false advertising, fraud, theft, racketeering are terms that all come to mind when viewing what Sony did to consumers post-sale.

If Ford Motor Company came to my house and tried to take something off my vehicle after I bought it, I’d shoot that bastard dead in my driveway. That’s NOT his car anymore!

The companies who run our corporatocracy need to stay the eff out of my personal possessions just as much, if not more so, than the government. The fact that the law (currently) supports this criminal behavior by these entitled companies practically calls for a revolution the size and depth of the one that led to the founding of this country in the first place.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

Bait and switch, false advertising, fraud, theft, racketeering are terms that all come to mind when viewing what Sony did to consumers post-sale.

Don’t need to tell me Ron. I have been here the whole time and have shaken my head in disgust at Sony’s responses over the last few years.

Please do not interpret my comments above about the choice of words as in Any way supporting Stringer. I do not. I just didn’t think they fit in this case is all.

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Freetards? I must disagree

I don’t disagree with you, but those differences are based on opinion, and can be viewed differently by different people. Given that, I (personally) wouldn’t think it appropriate to dismiss one persons view of something as derogatory only to replace it with the word insulting… PoTAYto – PoTAHto I guess haha.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Honestly, do you think that the people using this “hack” are doing it to get back the OS option so they can run linux on their PS? Or do you think that the vast majority of them are using it to be able to “back up” games to the hard drive, to “enhance” their online games, and to “add features” to allow them to win more often?

If it was only about getting back a narrow feature, you might have something. In practical terms, it isn’t about that at all. It’s all about being back to rip games to the hard drive, to run unsupported patches on online games, and so on.

The moral high ground here doesn’t belong to the hacker or the hack users.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The moral high ground here doesn’t belong to the hacker or the hack users.”

Let’s pretend for a moment that we all agree with you that the most used function on the “hack” was for piracy and/or cheating on games.

So fucking what? Honestly….what difference does that make?

This REALLY simple equation is being muddled by attacking the integrity of potentially dubious “hackers”. Here’s the real equation at play here:

Sony Sells PS3 + Sony Removes Features It Sold * Pissed Off Customers = Hackers Restore Features

All this talk about what the uses for the features it sold is meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. Sony sold product. Sony took part of product away. Sony did not refund percentage of purchase for removal of product features.

End of fucking story….

Jeremy7600 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you even know what you are talking about? Let me make this very clear to you: “cheats” were going on BEFORE geohot and fail0verfl0w broke through the hypervisor.

Do you understand what that means?

“Enhancing” and “adding” to their online games was happening all along without any help from geohot et al.

And buddy, the moral high ground is as far away from sony as you claim it is from the hackers and the hack users.

Learn something before you speak of what you do not know. You sound as ignorant as the sony lovers who defended sony because they thought this is where the cheating was coming from. The cheating was going on long before the “hack” was even realized.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ahh, yes, the old “the other car was driving faster” defence.

It fails, and fails every time. The existance of other hacks and other hackers doesn’t suddenly make Geohot’s things acceptable. It is horrible logic that only comes from what Mike calls “freetards”.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The existance of other hacks and other hackers doesn’t suddenly make Geohot’s things acceptable.

Are you trying to spin reverse engineering as unacceptable?

What planet are you actually from? Reverse engineering has been and always will be acceptable. From the HUGE aftermarket for automobile parts to little Johnny taking apart his first mechanical toy to see how it works.

Heck, even the DMCA has an explicit exception to the anti-circumvention clause for reverse engineering.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You are being inconsistent here. You claim that what others are doing should have no bearing on what you are doing (others making hacks and cheats should have no bearing on what geohot did). But you had a totally different attitude about it just a few minutes ago. Geohot hacked his PS3 so he could have the OtherOS functionality. What others do with that hack should have no bearing on what geohot did.

Which is it? Should the actions of others come into play here or not?

Jeremy7600 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m replying to this weeks later because I never saw the response..

First of all, I wasn’t defending anyones hacking or cheating. So the claim that I am using “the other car was driving faster” defense is dubious.

YOU said people were “enhancing” and “adding” to their games BECAUSE of the hack, here: “Or do you think that the vast majority of them are using it to be able to “back up” games to the hard drive, to “enhance” their online games, and to “add features” to allow them to win more often?” Since you mentioned the “hack” in the previous sentance, “it” must be the hack.

I was showing you that they were doing the hacks BEFORE the hack. Not because of. That was my point, and if you read my comment with any sort of comprehension, you might get that.

I was in no way defending or saying because others hacked and cheated that this hack is somehow OK. Nice way to try to turn the argument on its head when it wasn’t even what I was saying.

Again, you sound as ignorant as the users who think that geohots hack caused the cheating that was going on when the cheating was already going on. I think I cleared that up in my post.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“to “enhance” their online games, and to “add features” to allow them to win more often?”

cant get on the PSN witht the hacked firmware so 0 for this option.

But fuck people who dont want to swap discs all the time and want to play homebrew right? Quit whining cause people cheat at COD that happened before the hack and continues since, but is not related because hacked consoles can’t get on PSN

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Re:

I don’t think any corporation wants you to give them money for nothing. It’s always a trade between their goods and the money you have earned via your hard work and talent.

I think you are thinking of the Democratic National Committee, there is an entity that likes to take your money and deliver NO RESULTS.

Robert says:

Re: Re:

What value these attacks to M$ investors. If you used say, just 10% of the gains made by the XBox franchise and those that profit by, would it have paid for the attack and then some. So not necessarily M$ but there are always the long list of of major shareholders including many banks and other financial institutions of very dubious track records and all with very considerable computer security expertise on tap (that expertise also often being fairly wealthy investors).

Anonymous Coward says:

Sony needs to look no further than what Microsoft is doing with Kinect. They tried to chase the “hackers” when they made the open source driver for Kinect, but they soon realized that the hacking community is getting them a lot of free press through their mods of Kinect.

Now, they are actually encouraging hackers to tinker with Kinect like that, and I believe they even made a SDK to make “hacking” it easier.

And as you said about Samsung, but I believe other manufacturers will follow them and start being more friendly with the Android hacker community.

Di Fiasco (profile) says:

AC said: “A big thumbs up to Howard Stringer for speaking the truth, the one the “freetards” don’t want to hear. It’s just too bad that Techdirt is trying so hard to bury reality.”

I have a Sony BluRay player (currently anyway)that will play DVDs. Now TECHNICALLY it is a BLURAY player designed to play BluRay discs BUT I bought it because it plays DVDs as well.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that Sony decides that BluRay discs aren’t taking off as good as they’d like and they release a firmware ‘update’ to block DVD playback because those pesky DVDs are screwing up consumer incentive to use Sony’s own services.

1. Sony just broke my player and I want my money back -or-
2. If Sony gives me the finger, I will find any way possible to reactivate my lost feature.

Should I be sued?
No.
Get a grip.
Sony can kiss my buttooty.

Joe says:

security

side issue but one that has always kind of bugged me, i take issue with the line ‘due to Sony’s own failure to properly secure its servers’. I don’t know what precautions Sony took to secure their servers, obviously they were not sufficient, but at one time in my life, I worked as a locksmith and people would often come in and look at locks and ask – ‘is it secure?’. I noticed over time that ‘secure’ is a magical word that after it enters the ear transforms into the word ‘invulnerable’. Secure is not a place, it’s a continuum. You can have a lock on your door, you can have a better lock, you can have an alarm system, you can have a security guard, you can have a small army – at what point are you ‘secure’? The answer is never, at all stages you are vulnerable if someone wishes and is able to devote enough resources to overcoming your security. Most people choose a level of security that matches cost with estimated risk. Maybe Sony’s systems were ‘insecure’ or maybe they were appropriate up until the point someone devoted enough resources to overcome them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: security

Sony left Apache servers running that had not been patched in 5 years and laid off their security people a while before the breach.

If you own a business and leave your front door open and fire your security, you have no one to blame but yourself, because guess what? NEWSFLASH! There are thieves out there!

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: What about corporate responsibility?

Given what kind of data Sony is keeping, they should be held up to some standard for safeguarding it and not just given a free pass because “there are bad people out there”. There should be a standard of care in this situation and Sony should be obligated to live up to it.

out_of_the_blue says:

The split is between those who sell hardware,

and regard software as somewhat incidental to use of that hardware, and those who use hardware sales as a hook for a constant income stream from services and new software. The latter group definitely includes Apple by intent, and Microsoft at least partly by incompetence.

We now have some really impressive hardware, YET the actual cost of all hardware develpment amounts to little more than that of feeding cheese curls and cokes to dedicated uber-geeks. Problem is that grifters insert themselves between users and those who actually created the hardware. By now you should know my solution: tax the HELL out of those grifters (even if they call themselves “venture capitalists”); they aren’t actually needed, that’s just an almost accidental variation on mercantilism. (By the way, Luddites were NOT against machinery as such; was social protest against workers getting a tiny fraction of the profits and middle-men getting far more.) Returning to tax policies and levels of the 60’s is the first step to stopping all sorts of imminent tyranny.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Which is a dangerous and scary slippery slope indeed. What if Microsoft, through Windows Update, kills my disc drives, because I’m suspected of ripping movies?
Plus the bullsh*t of “Sony still owns the software”. No they don’t. When you and I pay cash at the till for a boxed PS3, at no point are we sat down to sign a document, stating that we agree that Sony owns the software. We press X to agree AFTER we pay for it. In my opinion, that is outright theft, as in, I pay for something and after the sale I learn that my ownership of that property has been reduced. Want to pay upfront for a car, only to learn that, the first time you put in the keys, you’re only allowed drive at 10 mph? Or a washer that is programmed to wash at 40 degrees only?
Besides, how does Press X to agree equal giving a legal agreement on a document? What if a 30 year old mother buys her 10 year old son the PS3, and he presses X? He’s not of age yet, he can’t legally give his word…so does that mean the EULA is null and void? What happens then?

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Which is a dangerous and scary slippery slope indeed. What if Microsoft, through Windows Update, kills my disc drives, because I’m suspected of ripping movies?

Let’s compare Apples to Apples here. MS does have a right to brick your Xbox 360 after you Mod it. They already do so. It’s because modding requires reverse engineering. Which is illegal no matter if you hit X on the TOC or not.

Plus the bullsh*t of “Sony still owns the software”. No they don’t. When you and I pay cash at the till for a boxed PS3, at no point are we sat down to sign a document, stating that we agree that Sony owns the software. We press X to agree AFTER we pay for it. In my opinion, that is outright theft, as in, I pay for something and after the sale I learn that my ownership of that property has been reduced.

This is the modern day software licensing model. A freetard such as yourself likely doesn’t have any talents, so I understand why you see such things as an affront on your “right” (please note the quotes). The freetard in you says — hey this stuff that requires talent to build just magically appears, no one works on it. No one goes to school and goes into debt to create a better life for themselves. Let me just take this tech and call it mine. Just having physical ownership of a product doesn’t make all the technology in that product yours.

Besides, how does Press X to agree equal giving a legal agreement on a document? What if a 30 year old mother buys her 10 year old son the PS3, and he presses X? He’s not of age yet, he can’t legally give his word…so does that mean the EULA is null and void? What happens then?

TOS is not the end-all be all. Reverse enginnering laws are pretty specific about who has what rights with technology they have invented (and just didn’t buy off the shelf).

Your level of understanding of intellectual property makes me think you should move to China, over there they don’t give 2 sh!ts, they stomp on peoples rights all the time. Sounds like home for you though.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Let’s compare Apples to Apples here. MS does have a right to brick your Xbox 360 after you Mod it. They already do so. It’s because modding requires reverse engineering. Which is illegal no matter if you hit X on the TOC or not”

The Microsoft response to Kinect hacks disagree with you. Also, in regards to Microsoft Windows, if you want to tinker with the internal source code and improve it yourself, you can do so. It’s not deactivating a service if you also decide to input programs that Microsoft doesn’t like, such as gaming software. Please, next time compare apples to apples.

“This is the modern day software licensing model. A freetard such as yourself likely doesn’t have any talents, so I understand why you see such things as an affront on your “right” (please note the quotes). The freetard in you says — hey this stuff that requires talent to build just magically appears, no one works on it. No one goes to school and goes into debt to create a better life for themselves. Let me just take this tech and call it mine. Just having physical ownership of a product doesn’t make all the technology in that product yours. “

Sorry, but reading your comments, you’re looking to bring in the disingenuous arguments that try to blur a line. What is happening is the law and litigation is being used to control what people are capable of doing through “tinkering”. Sony has a history of not allowing people to tinker with their products. The Aibo, the Sony vs Bleem lawsuits, and Geohot. The Geohot lawsuit backfired because Sony did NOT update their own security, doing nothing while people complained about the Linux capability being deactivated. Having read parts of the lawsuit, all Sony truly did was put up a mud wall around it and a sign that said “Thou shall not pass”.

Also, people build technology all the time. From emulators to streaming technology, most can be done for free, based on the needs of the person or group. If Sony had given more value to the PS3, rather than take it away, this wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly, they pushed a really bad position.

“TOS is not the end-all be all. Reverse enginnering laws are pretty specific about who has what rights with technology they have invented (and just didn’t buy off the shelf).”

That makes absolutely no sense. A person that is interested in hardware can work on a Sony/Microsoft product any time they want to. Having the law come in to say “you aren’t allowed” is beyond ludicrous since people will still do it anyway. It’s the same as modding a PSX to play Japanese games, or a game boy to watch TV on.

My suggestion would be to stop acting as if you know IP and what it does. You really don’t sound like you’re doing a bang up job of explanation, merely here to throw out insults with bad arguments.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

He’s correct that there’s rules against it from the DMCA

I believe, (not quite sure), that the DMCA makes “circumventing the technological restrictions” illegal (the DRM), but the reverse engineering itself is legal. The DMCA even has an exception for reverse engineering in order to gain interoperability between devices and programs (although it’s language is very restricting on how you can do it).

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It’s kind of a blur of words. Geohot was basically reverse engineering, but the problem lies in spreading that information around on the internets.

Then you have all of the DRM for all of the games.

If you think about it, you have to purchase a copy in some way shape or form in order to “hack” into it. You won’t know where the files are unless you have the programs to run the software.

So while the cracking/modding/hacking of a game may be legal, it gets into such a grey line as to become a huge swamp of litigation.

I believe the law really can’t judge intent. No matter how much guys like Darth try, the law isn’t a good enough marker for what is capable out of technology.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

So while the cracking/modding/hacking of a game may be legal, it gets into such a grey line as to become a huge swamp of litigation.

I completely agree. The DMCA laws have made reverse engineering of software illegal without making it illegal.

It’s similar to trying to use content on a DVD in a fair use situation. The use may be fair, but circumventing the DRM on the DVD to do it is illegal.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Let me shred each and every one of your arguments.
“Let’s compare Apples to Apples here. MS does have a right to brick your Xbox 360 after you Mod it. They already do so. It’s because modding requires reverse engineering. Which is illegal no matter if you hit X on the TOC or not. “

Microsoft does not brick your Xbox 360 if you mod it. All that they do, is kick you off of Xbox Live. As long as that’s all they do, then I’m not going to argue with them. They have a point when they say they don’t want modders and cheaters to muck up the online play, so if they don’t modded machines online, okay. Oh, and reverse engineering is not illegal, as the commentators below say, its not black and white illegal, there is a huge grey area.

“This is the modern day software licensing model. A freetard such as yourself likely doesn’t have any talents, so I understand why you see such things as an affront on your “right” (please note the quotes). The freetard in you says — hey this stuff that requires talent to build just magically appears, no one works on it. No one goes to school and goes into debt to create a better life for themselves. Let me just take this tech and call it mine. Just having physical ownership of a product doesn’t make all the technology in that product yours. “

I’ll admit, I do infringe on copyright. Just like tens of millions of other people do every single day. Guess what else I do? I buy stuff! I bought a second hand PS3, it works, and then went and bought about eight new games. Of course, I realize that it takes talent, time and effort to build a machine. I’m willing to compensate Sony for that effort – as long as they are not violating consumer law, in taking away features from me AFTER the sale, or in imposing restrictions on use AFTER the sale. I absolutely hate the entire concept of the EULA/TOS, where you are shown a legal document AFTER the sale, and if you don’t agree to it, you then can’t return the game, because stores don’t do returns on opened games (at the most, they might do an exchange for equal value). I am not a freetard, and your use of the insult is the second sign that you are unable to argue effectively with me – the hallmark of someone losing a debate is if he starts calling his opponent names.
A car, a washer, a television, practically any other device that runs on electronics is mine once I pay for it, every single piece of it. Yet, when it comes to consoles, they’re locked off, and we’re told, AFTER the sale, we don’t actually own them. I wouldn’t mind if once I get to the till, I was offered a document to sign so that Sony could actually retain the rights to the software. But I’m not. As far as I’m concerned, I’m at the till, I pay cash, I should retain ownership. You can’t get more basic than that, and to change something so fundamental about economics suggests to me you’re being dishonest with your customers.

“TOS is not the end-all be all. Reverse enginnering laws are pretty specific about who has what rights with technology they have invented (and just didn’t buy off the shelf).”

Funny I could have sworn in your previous paragraph, about how this is the modern licensing agreement. Mind quoting me some of those reverse engineering laws? I’m pretty sure its okay to dissemble a car, and learn from its components how it was built. So why is it so different for consoles?

“Your level of understanding of intellectual property makes me think you should move to China, over there they don’t give 2 sh!ts, they stomp on peoples rights all the time. Sounds like home for you though.”
Again, an attempt at an insult. While I admit that I wouldn’t pass a law exam, given I would need to actually name the laws and be able to speak in legalese, I do have a good layman’s understanding of I.P. law. From where I’m standing, in the U.S., they stomp on your consumer rights all the time. How about the TOS for the Nintendo 3DS? Where, if they suspect your unit is modded, they’ll brick it? How anti-consumer can that be? Their detection method won’t be 100% accurate, so if they do follow through, Little Joey could wake up one morning and find out his handheld is broken, simply because Nintendo ACCUSED him, (not convicted in a court of law) that he violated their TOS, even though modding hardware you own is perfectly legal.

DarthDiggler says:

Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

I have to agree with Stringer here. Hacking back in the day was never this attention whoring sh!tstorm it has becoming today. Most of these kids are just pecking away with scripts that other smart people have coded for them, while they relinquish their individual thought to a hive mind.

The smart ones are socially inept at best who have little to no regard for the responsibility they have with their talents. Just because a man is huge doesn’t mean he should go knocking in doors. Just because someone knows how to break into a computer doesn’t mean they should. Furthermore, this attack on Sony appears to be fanboyism at it’s worse. To make an “example” of Sony for taking Other OS (a feature that only 10 people on the globe actually used), just goes to show how immature and asinine the groups involved were. Their disregard for others rights just goes to show none of their activities are altruistic and ultimately they are just out for the Ego Boost. MS has been bricking Xbox 360’s for some time due to mods, why where they immune from “hackivism”. To say Hackers need to take down the man was appeased with Open Source Kinect seems to further mar the integrity of these so called hackers. You are in effect saying that any of these movements can be bought off with a little free tech (again also making my point about Modern Hackers being FREETARDS).

Let’s call a spade a spade, these guys are thieves specializing in digital breaking and entering.

So far the Hackivist movement has yet to produce any real permanent results. Overall their actions have been graffiti on the over-passes of the super information highway. But bloggers will gladly lap this stuff up and sensationalize a story. Put some lipstick on the pig and give these guys credibility with BS claims of “tyranny”. Hey if you don’t like the way a company does business you can just not do business with us.

But that’s how ADULTS do things. If you disagree perhaps you do not have the benefit of perceiving the world through adult eyes. Lucky for you only time will tell.

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

No I don’t work at Sony, I just don’t think you need to harass a company because you don’t like them. It’s immature. It’s the equivalent of a temper tantrum. To suggest that I work at Sony because I suggest that perhaps people should act like adults just showcases your ignorance to how the adult world works.

I don’t have time to join Hackers in their bullsh!t claims for “electronic freedom” that only amounts to attempts to legitimize stealing. Some of us have talents and something to offer this world, others seem to think that other people’s talents should be free (a form of slavery when you think about it).

Sony has never done anything to someone who has modified their products behind closed doors without the scrutiny of the internet. Now when you take your “hacking work” and publish it to the world (including the root key), that is illegal. Sorry you aren’t allowed to reverse engineer peoples work and subjugate technology they have created to generate a revenue stream (which in turn creates jobs). If you don’t get that then you are not living in the world of adults. You are living as children. Period, end of story.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

I was not “suggesting” anything. I was asking. If you have a look at the line I quoted, you ended with the word “us” after a whole spiel about Sony. That made me wonder if you worked there.

If you did, I wouldn’t say that it renders your opinions necessarily invalid. I just felt that if that was the case you should disclose it, so I asked.

And I’m not sure I have any idea what that has to do with the “adult world” – last I checked there is one world and we all live in it. Guess what? Not every “adult” agrees with you, and your attempts to belittle them as immature won’t get you very far.

Now when you take your “hacking work” and publish it to the world (including the root key), that is illegal. Sorry you aren’t allowed to reverse engineer peoples work and subjugate technology they have created to generate a revenue stream (which in turn creates jobs).

Why? If I bought it, and I figured out how to modify it, why shouldn’t I be able to tell others what I did and how? Sounds like a major violation of free speech to me. Driving a car with a nitrous injector is illegal, but the law doesn’t stop people from offering instructions on how to do it or selling kits for it. In fact, it doesn’t even stop people from making the modifications – just from using them on the road.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

Now when you take your “hacking work” and publish it to the world (including the root key), that is illegal.

Well, publishing the root key may violate copyright laws, but publishing a how-to on doing something illegal has been upheld as free speech by the courts.

Sorry you aren’t allowed to reverse engineer peoples work and subjugate technology they have created to generate a revenue stream (which in turn creates jobs).

Um. Wrong. How exactly do you think aftermarket parts for automobiles get created?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

I don’t think you have a very good grasp of reality,
(a feature that only 10 people on the globe actually used)
Theres more than ten universities(that i can think of) using ps3 clusters with linux(other OS) on them. the US air force uses a cluster of 2200 ps3s with linux on them. theres literally hundreds maybe thousands of individuals who still have linux on their ps3 because they never upgraded the firmware to the point it broke it.

so don’t mind me if i take this one quote of yours and decide the entirity of your post was just you making an emotional judgment about the situation because of fanboyism/jealousy/idiocy and that every single word you wrote was wrong

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

None of those Universities were effected if they did not upgrade their PS3s. I highly doubt any cluster (let alone a PS3 cluster) was connected to the Internet.

I help design and sell clusters in my line of work. I can tell you that next to nobody uses the PS3 as a cluster node. Overall the GigaBit Ethernet is a poor cluster fabric.

so don’t mind me if i take this one quote of yours and decide the entirity of your post was just you making an emotional judgment about the situation because of fanboyism/jealousy/idiocy and that every single word you wrote was wrong

Saying 10 people use that feature was obviously a joke, sorry that you didn’t have the intelligence to recognize humor. I have 100 people on my PSN friends list. None of them have used the feature. I bet you haven’t used the feature. I bet you can’t find anyone on your friends list that used the feature. You have to go to the internet and hit up hacking communities before you find people who are really effected by the removal of the feature. Oh and guess what — those people are the freetards, so why would Sony concern themselves with a demographic of customers hell bent on getting things for free? Sure the “homebrew” stuff is nice for PSP and PS3, but at the end of the day the homebrew movement was created as cover for people to get free software. You can’t make much of an impact to people whining you want free games. Now turn OtherOS into a political statement, NOW you have something the bloggers can sell — and they all fall for it hook line and sinker without even considering what it means to the industry they like to write about. In effect if hackers have their way, the tech industry would be MUCH MUCH smaller with LESS INNOVATION because there would be less money in it. People gravitate to where they get paid that is why we have had so much innovation in the past 10 years. Because money is a very good motivating factor. The altruism that hackers espouse is a Marxist pipe dream.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

“None of those Universities were effected if they did not upgrade their PS3s. I highly doubt any cluster (let alone a PS3 cluster) was connected to the Internet. “

Ever heard of wear and tear?

“…None of them have used the feature. I bet you haven’t used the feature. I bet you can’t find anyone on your friends list that used the feature. You have to go to the internet and hit up hacking communities before you find people who are really effected by the removal of the feature”

Ah, so *someone* used that feature.

” those people are the freetards, so why would Sony concern themselves with a demographic of customers hell bent on getting things for free? “

[citation needed] -> The hacking community has a diverse background and you can’t speak for all of them, be it the 15 year old hacker or the 50 year old security specialist that Sony laid off.

“Sure the “homebrew” stuff is nice for PSP and PS3, but at the end of the day the homebrew movement was created as cover for people to get free software.”

Wow… Smart… The homebrew movement makes its own software. How long did that take you to think about?

” You can’t make much of an impact to people whining you want free games. “

Say, genius. Free games are getting more popular. I would love to see how you twist this one…

“In effect if hackers have their way, the tech industry would be MUCH MUCH smaller with LESS INNOVATION because there would be less money in it.”

Odd… The Kinect sure is popular with those “hackers” and you’re still raving like a lunatic. Got anything else, Sparky?

“Because money is a very good motivating factor.”

Money isn’t the only motivator. See also: Wikipedia, Google, and The Pirate Bay, since you hate “freetards” so much. How about just stop using google searches and pay for every search you need on the internet? That sounds like the perfect way to make money for yourself and this idea that “freetardism” is running rampant and hurting the US economy.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

“I help design and sell clusters in my line of work. I can tell you that next to nobody uses the PS3 as a cluster node.”

The United States Military doesn’t appreciate you calling them “next to nobody”.

http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2009/12/09/military-purchases-2200-ps3s/

So here’s the obvious question: why do you hate American troops?

Hothmonster says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

“In effect if hackers have their way, the tech industry would be MUCH MUCH smaller with LESS INNOVATION because there would be less money in it.”

If people who wanted to innovate for free were allowed to there would be less innovation because the people who do this shit for fun couldn’t make money? Fuck Sony and M$ and there innovation bottlenecking business plans. If there were no consoles and we all had to use computers there would be more innovation because we wouldn’t be handicapped to 6 year old hardware. We would have more boundaries being pushed and less COD, darn.

IDK about you but the shit hackers have been making for kinect is much more impressive than any of the games ive seen

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

Only 10 people huh? My research department in grad school had a cluster of PS3s, I even bought one myself so I wouldn’t be in the lab all night and I could run a few simulations at home. One day while at work, my girlfriend’s 12 year old cousin came over, saw the PS3 and went out to rent a game. I came home to find my research box had been made completely unusable because the “update” nuked my Linux partition along with all of my data not currently backed up.

Go to hell you corporate shill. It doesn’t matter how many people use a product, if you remotely remove a feature, you have crossed a line. I hope your entire company goes down like the Hindenburg, you are anti-consumer, and the fact that your CEO is not serving time for criminal negligence on user security and robbing customers of features is simply a testament to how in-the-pockets all politicians of the world are.

I will never buy a Sony branded product again, and you’d better damned well believe that while geeks don’t necessarily buy as much as overpaid yuppies, our opinions still carry a lot of weight.

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

Corporate Shill? WTF just because I go against the grain and I don’t agree with your fabricated causes I am a Shill?

NO I Believe in individual rights. I have talents that I want protected. If we legitimize modding via reverse engineering then you will upset the very balance in the marketplace of real innovators and inventors vs. the consumer. I am an innovator and I would like to get paid for that.

People have a right to profit off their talents. People do not have a right to steal (by any means or medium).

So what would you have done as Sony? People have published your root key which is intellectual property. Sony had a DUTY to their STOCKHOLDERS and CUSTOMERS to protect their property. If they had not, PSN would have been a mess. Hacks, Cheats, Glitchers would be much more predominate.

You imagine this utopian open software world, which is great for those who want to volunteer their technology to the open source. For those that do not they have a right NOT to.

Don’t buy a Sony product again, see if I care — however at the same token is it really necessary to come to the internet and whine about it? If you are so against Sony why are you boo-hooing your OtherOS sob story? Why aren’t you playing your Xbox 360?

Should I immediately jump to the conclusion you are just a hacker shill?

Jesus – wipe your tears away guys and change your diapers. If Sony has really had this much effect on you perhaps you take your technology, gadgets and electronics a little to seriously. It’s a goddamn game console and not a religion. A companies rights to their own property is far a bigger issue then an end users fabricated rights to largely unused features.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

You imagine this utopian open software world, which is great for those who want to volunteer their technology to the open source.

Hmmm…been to SourceForge lately? That Utopia is pretty much already established.

For those that do not they have a right NOT to.

That is true. But I also have the right to reverse engineer software code if I choose too. (Publishing such findings may pose legal problems though).

A companies rights to their own property is far a bigger issue then an end users fabricated rights to largely unused features.

No, no, my friend, a individual’s right to do what they wish with hardware (remember software may be licensed, but the hardware is owned) they purchased outright is much, much bigger than that.

By the way, WTF is a fabricated right? And for the “largely unused features”, you got a citation for that?

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

NO I Believe in individual rights.

A companies rights to their own property is far a bigger issue then an end users fabricated rights to largely unused features.

First of all, companies should never have individual rights. The fact that they are is what is getting us into the most problems these days. As soon as a company can sit on death row for murdering someone, or sit in prison for committing a crime is the moment that a company should have individual rights. And don’t get me started on work for hire…which should be illegal since it is little more than slavery.

Second, when I buy something, I should have the right to do with it what I want so long as I do not infringe on your rights. If I choose to use the software you created to do something for which you did not intend it to be used for, that should be my right so long as I am not infringing on your rights, and copyright is not a right.

Whether or not I can distribute my modifications, I’ll agree is something you have every right to prevent, but making modifications to what you sold me should never be legally prevented. If you do not agree, fine…let us know what company you work for so that we can avoid you in the future and we can move on.

Retroactive says:

Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

I’m one of those “10” people too. Guess what no refund even though I can no longer use it fir what I wanted Linux + good games… Jokes on me. As for the asshole who suggests how adults do business. Yes people don’t do business with a company who they hate, but what happns if you buy a product that is fine until the company remotely steals a feature from said device. As far as how adults handle it, we usually kick the asses of those who wrong us, at least that is how I go about it. What do I know though, just an innocent 30 y/o consumer freetard.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

> if you don’t like the way a company does business
> you can just not do business with us.

Ok.

I don’t intend to do business with Sony. Ever.

I had already decided when Sony thought it was okay to place a rootkit on people’s computers. I felt no need previously to mention my decision here.

Sony’s recent persecution of Hotz merely reinforced that Sony needs to acquire a basic grasp of property ownership concepts — the difference between mine and thine.

> if you don’t like the way a company does business
> you can just not do business with us.

Sony, please use that in your marketing materials. No, really. That way it has a much better chance of accomplishing the effect you obviously want it to have.

DarthDiggler says:

Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

I don’t intend to do business with Sony. Ever.

Good for you, an adult decision, but the “ever” part was a bit immature.

I had already decided when Sony thought it was okay to place a rootkit on people’s computers. I felt no need previously to mention my decision here.

OH NOES Sony was trying to protect the rights of their music artist. How dare they. Music is a right! We should get it for free. Musicians are our slaves and they work for free because I can just torrent anything I want and not have to actually pay the band or distributor.

I agree this wasn’t Sony’s best moment but where was the real harm done here? This attempt to secure the rights of musicians did not really negatively effect the majority of people. The whole story was largely a “HOW DARE YOU!” and not really much substance to it. It was a bad move and Sony paid for that, should we look back even further, we shouldn’t do business with Sony because Japan was apart of the Axis powers in WWII!!!!!

Sony’s recent persecution of Hotz merely reinforced that Sony needs to acquire a basic grasp of property ownership concepts — the difference between mine and thine.

See this is the problem with hackers and those who sympathize with them. So far I have found no-one who agrees with what you say has a very good understanding of rights and how they work.

My rights end where yours begin. That goes for Sony and anyone. You can’t just say HEY I purchased this PS3 so I have ownership of all the technology that goes into this. You own the console, you can do what you want with it, but if you do things that reverse engineer the product you cannot share that with the internet. That is because even though you physically have ownership of the product that doesn’t not give you intellectual ownership over the technology. That is why Geo Hotz was prosecuted, Sony had to protect their property.

Meanwhile no one seems to care that you have to pay taxes on property you actually own in the form of land. Funny how these things seem to matter more for Electronics and Entertainment, but no one is bitching about the real issues of substance.

Sony, please use that in your marketing materials. No, really. That way it has a much better chance of accomplishing the effect you obviously want it to have.

The US was a typo. πŸ™‚ Sorry to burst your bubble I don’t work for Sony. I believe Sony will pull through this like they always have. Most reasonable people recognize the hackers for what they are, they are criminals. There is no fight for your rights here. If you really believe there is the wool has been pulled over your eyes completely. You have little to no understanding of rights and property and that is sad.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

See this is the problem with hackers and those who sympathize with them. So far I have found no-one who agrees with what you say has a very good understanding of rights and how they work.

You, obviously don’t read Techdirt very often.

That is because even though you physically have ownership of the product that doesn’t not give you intellectual ownership over the technology.

I still have the right to reverse engineer that technology if I wish.

That is why Geo Hotz was prosecuted, Sony had to protect their property.

Really? Then why was Sony so quick to settle if their case was so tight?

Meanwhile no one seems to care that you have to pay taxes on property you actually own in the form of land. Funny how these things seem to matter more for Electronics and Entertainment, but no one is bitching about the real issues of substance.

Not really sure what your argument is here. Why would I pay taxes on a piece of hardware I already own?

There is no fight for your rights here. If you really believe there is the wool has been pulled over your eyes completely. You have little to no understanding of rights and property and that is sad.

Yes, there is a fight for rights here, whether you like it or not. And I think you are the one with some misunderstandings concerning this issue.

Hothmonster says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

“believe Sony will pull through this like they always have. Most reasonable people recognize the hackers for what they are, they are criminals.”

You know whats criminal, not using industry standards to secure customer information. You know storing passwords in plain text and being vulnerable to 5 year old attacks, that should be fucking criminal.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

Meanwhile no one seems to care that you have to pay taxes on property you actually own in the form of land. Funny how these things seem to matter more for Electronics and Entertainment, but no one is bitching about the real issues of substance.

Heh, finally something I agree with.

The government should tax intellectual property. I suggest they do so on a yearly basis, and anyone delinquent in their tax payment should lose their copyright. This will remove all issues with orphaned works and should bring copyright back into the workable realm. If you want intellectual property to be like real property, this would go a long way to bringing it in line.

That way Disney gets to keep Mickey Mouse as long as they want, and I get to use the words of Aldous Huxley on a website without having to pay off a company who has nothing to do with Huxley or his descendants taking taxes from a work that was written 80 years ago.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Most Modern Hackers are Freetards....

An intellectual property tax? That’s actually brilliant.

In interest of full disclosure, it isn’t an original idea. I’ve heard other people suggest it before.

However, I agree, it would be awesome to see them squirm, even though in reality such a tax would just be passed on to us, the customers.

A.R.M. (profile) says:

JIC Stringer reads these comments...

Dear Jerry,

I am the definition of “lost sale”. The news of Sony’s recent treatment of a paying customer was, to me, far too serious an issue to ignore as someone “wanting something for free”. It’s a ridiculous position to take when most customers, complaining, are those who have purchased goods labeled with Sony.

If you believe this issue is related just to the PS3, you’re sadly mistaken. From TVs, players, and even services, Sony’s name has been tarnished over the years.

And YOU are directly responsible, as CEO.

How you can profess such a statement with a straight face to me, a once-proud Sony product owner (and recommended to friends and family), and expect this will turn me back into a “loyal customer” is insulting.

Here’s an idea: turn these issues around and first become a “loyal business”, because if you think I’m buying anything labeled with Sony again, you’re very clueless to the market who isn’t about “free”.

Sincerely,
Robert
Owner of a recently purchased XBox 360.

PS: I hear Capcom’s got your problems solved if you’re truly worried about IP.

mosaic user says:

insurance and value

insurance is an intrinsic part of security. As the value of your property goes up,the insured value should rise with it to maintain security of the asset value. The Sony CEO had only one audience at that meeting. Shareholders, the people who establish perceived value by buying or selling Sony stock.
By not upgrading their security to match the value (cash flow) of the subscribers to PSN, Sony was deficient in protecting shareholder value. Of course he had to blame someone,otherwise he would have to admit malfeasance in not protecting assets. The IP itself has naught to do with it. People have snuck into circuses and fairs since time began, and yet circuses continue to make money. The hack was not an attempt to “Free the Network!”. Free use is a total red herring. Unauthorized Database Access is a modern version of looting a warehouse. Sony failed to guard the warehouse and upgrade security on a continuous basis, so the got hit. Simple as that. The CEO wants to keep his job,so he tries a old magicians trick,distraction.

Jake says:

Let’s not forget that the “hack” was to restore a feature that was originally offered for the PS3… the ability to change the OS. This was a feature that was prominently advertised for the system when it was introduced up to $599.00 a system.

That would be like someone selling you a home theater system with an mp3 dock and later taking away the mp3 functionality away because people were playing songs downloaded illegally with it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

There servers were like a locked screen door but the security on the console was actually good. Until the pissed off geohot no one had cracked it completely. That is my favorite thing about all of this, if they would have just realized the mistake and added back OtherOS when people first complained Geohot would have never touched it and their games would still be unpiratable.

(Yes there was that brief scare[for sony] with the modified flash drives but after sueing the shit out of those kids and taking all their inventory they reverse engineered a patch, so there was a couple weeks were you could buy a super expensive flash drive from AU to pirate.)

Anonymous Coward says:

I considered purchasing the PS3 as both a new game console and a BluRay player. I hesitated too long, and the available console had already lost its backwards compatibility.

I opted for an Xbox, but what if I had purchased that PS3?

What if Sony had removed the BluRay playback ability instead of the alternate OS?

I’d be pretty peeved. They sold something and made a reason to spend the extra money on PS3 over Xbox or Wii. They took took that reason away and are surprised people aren’t happy. /boggle

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What if I bought a Sony Blue Ray Player and they did a “Firmware Upgrade” that disabled Blue Ray and you could only play DVDs. They could do this and claim that the player has the same basic functionality. (actually anyone could do this though, Samsung, LG … etc.)
Ownership is becoming a nebulous term when it comes to electronic gadgets anymore.

DannyB (profile) says:

Consider this

A company thinks it is okay to install a rootkit on your computer because you are a PAYING customer, who bought their physical CD, and then inserted it into your (non-Linux) computer.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Rootkit#Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

> Sony BMG’s Global Digital Business President,
> told reporter Neda Ulaby,
> “Most people, I think, don’t even know what
> a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”

The local butcher said:
Most people, I think, don’t even know what salmonella is, so why should they care about it?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051108/0117239_F.shtml

Next up, we have Sony suing an individual for modifying his own game console.

There are previous incidents of Sony not understanding basic property ownership concepts — the difference between mine and thine. For instance their Aibo dog.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20011029/0016228_F.shtml

You can google for Sony attacking people modifying their own PSP’s.

So my point.

Consider this.

Since Sony does not seem to understand basic property ownership, and are willing to willfully install a rootkit onto your computer as thanks for buying their audio CD, what lengths might they go to?

Can you be sure that, for example that big screen TV set isn’t spying on you? What about your PC?

Don’t laugh. TV’s are getting smarter and smarter.

See here for just how long Sony has been putting Linux into TV’s and for how long (since 2003). (Click on Television after the link.)

http://products.sel.sony.com/opensource/

Soon, with interactive features, it’s not unthinkable to have a camera.

When a company starts to demonstrate no boundaries to their behavior, how far do you think they could go? Fast forward, say, ten years.

Jon Lawrence (profile) says:

Voting with my (company) wallet

I’ve been very, very disappointed in Sony’s behavior starting back with their CD rootkit, and escalating through this entire episode.

Where you draw the line in treatment of both your audience, and your paying customers is the difference between a company that wins, and company that loses.

And, as a person who specs and buys/leases or rents hundreds of thousands a year in broadcast gear, guess what?

My latest purchasing spec purposefully avoided all Sony products; and we went with JVC and Panasonic instead. Nice work Sony.

That Anonymous Coward says:

So on the one hand we have the refrain of – GeoHot only did it to steal games and cheat at playing them RAWR!
To believe this you need to ignore all previous hacking of the system done by others, and GeoHots direct statement he was NOT going to create a piracy tool. The standard well but he would made it possible, does not hold water any more than if you manufacturer guns your responsible for every shooting.

On the other hand we have the refrain of – Poor Sony! STOP PICKING ON THEM.
Cue up the video of “Leave Britney Alone Guy” and watch it… this is you. Sony is not a poor picked on little kid who needs you defending them.

Sony as a Corporation is broken.
It is very obvious they have little concern for their customers. I provide the huge list of Sony hacks executed with stupidly simple tools as proof.

Sony is more concerned about their rights being protected and if they have to screw you to “protect” themselves so be it.

They made you “sign” a EULA longer than War and Peace to protect them, and then they leave your CC# stuck to a cork board in the hall.

Prashanth (profile) says:

So I actually wrote a paper about this sort of stuff for a class I took last semester about the history of technology in America. The basic premise is just to chronicle how the manufacturers of three modern technologies (compared to one old one) that have become the basis for huge innovation ecosystems (the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360 Kinect, and Arduino, compared to the Ford Model T) have reacted to such third-party innovation. I had to look up a whole bunch of news articles for this, many of which were linked at TechDirt, but it’s pretty clear that the Kinect and Arduino are the winners over the PlayStation 3, because Microsoft and Arduino encourage hacking (well, Microsoft initially didn’t, but it realized the error of its ways), while Sony sues and silences hackers. If anyone’s interested, I might be able to upload it for TechDirt viewing. πŸ˜€

Anonymous Coward says:

By suing GeoHot, Sony elevated him almost to the status of martyr. Sony then continued to put it’s foot in it’s mouth in some of the worst public relations circus fiascoes I’ve seen in a while and continues getting run over by elephants till this day.

At the very least, other companies can learn from Sony’s mistakes on how not to run a business. IE, don’t start suing your customers, then betray their trust by giving out their home address and telephone numbers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Years later, Sony now has to give up money for removing the OS feature on their devices.

All you chucklefucks that spammed the “freetard” line over and over? You can now make an omelette with the egg dribbling down your faces.

Of course, with the exception of average_joe, most of you aren’t even here, because you’re throwaway assholes that were disengaged from your corporate masters phalluses after your sphincters became too loose.

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