Sony Expands Their Legal Battle Against PS3 Hacks

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’re aware that rather than kicking back and acting like this isn’t even a thang, as some rather naive optimistic readers suggested when news of the PS3 root key hack first broke, Sony has behaved exactly like you’d expect from a giant corporation trying to protect their bottom line. They’ve has gotten down to the business of rooting out and killifying anyone and everyone associated with hacking their machine, even people who aren’t giant jerks, with extreme prejudice.

And now, sh*t just got real. As reported yesterday on Crunch Gear, what we already knew would probably happen is happening: Sony is casting the widest possible net in defense of what they consider to be their rights over the property they have sold to you. PSX-SCENE has obtained the latest court documents associated with their efforts to legally force the hacking community to STFU, and it ain’t pretty.

“court documents reveal that Sony is expanding it’s case beyond Geohot to include other well-known PS3 hackers. They are planning to subpoena various internet sites, including PSX-SCENE, YouTube, Twitter, PayPal and Slashdot in an attempt to locate new defendants such as Cantero, Peter, Bushing, Segher, hermesEOL, kmeaw, Waninkoko, grafchokolo and kakaroto.”

There are currently 22 documents in total associated with this new action, and they can be read in full at PSX-SCENE. We strongly urge you to do so as soon as you can. Lacking a law degree, we can’t offer anything other than base specilation, but here we go anyway: it looks very, very serious, and these guys are looking at a lengthy, and likely very expensive legal situation. The lack of definite resolution to the Matthew Crippen case won’t help matters, since it means that the legal status of people who modify gaming consoles they have legally purchased and, supposedly, own outright, is extremely uncertain.

We’re not the first to make the point that this is the equivalent of Ford suing car modders for aftermarket upgrades, or Dell suing customers for doing anything to make their crummy computers function. The idea that once you buy a machine you can’t do whatever you want with it is absurd. Anything short of that overturns centuries of law and custom regarding the relationship between buyer and seller and effectively establishes monopolies as the law of the land, a chilling concept in the already chilling era of the DMCA.

We obviously do NOT condone piracy in any form, but at some point, the question of whether we own the things we have purchased, or are merely renting them at the pleasure of sellers, has to be answered, and that answer must be in favor of the customer. Until then? Mod at your own risk, in other words, at least until this case makes it way through the courts, or the Library of Congress wakes up and realizes there is absoultely no fundamental difference between modding gaming consoles, and the iPhone jailbreaking they already approved.

We’ll continue staying on this as it develops.

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1 Comment on Sony Expands Their Legal Battle Against PS3 Hacks


On February 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

I own a 3400 Chevy Impala, so if GM were to play by the same rules as Sony some lawyer would sue me for everything I have because I replaced the faulty Nylon LIM gasket with a superior aftermarket product.
This is horse and Sony knows it, but if they can cause the modders to lose everything they have to pay for their legal expenses Sony wins anyways.
Hopefully Sony tries to sue enough people and they get a class action lawsuit filed against them, and gov’t makes an example of them, to anyone else who tries to dictate how people are allowed to use their own property