Sony Issues Ultimatum to PS3 Hackers

By Steve Watts, Feb 16, 2011 1:00pm PST Sony is taking a tough stance on PlayStation 3 hackers, today issuing a stern warning on the PlayStation Blog. The post from social media manager Jeff Rubenstein tells all users currently engaging in hacking or piracy to stop immediately, lest they have their PlayStation Network access revoked:

Notice: Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software. Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the "System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System" and the "Terms of Services and User Agreement" for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.

To avoid this, consumers must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems.

We've seen similar warnings issued for cheating on consoles, and punishment tends to follow. If you've been experimenting with the hacks and pirated games and want to keep your PlayStation Network access, now might be a good time to stop. The blog is unclear on whether the bans will be issued by console or username.

The legal drama between Sony and hacker George Hotz has been unfolding over the last few months. The hacks quickly led to easily pirated games, and Sony took Hotz to court. After District Court Judge Susan Illston expressed confusion regarding jurisdiction, Sony won a small victory with a temporary restraining order. This kept George Hotz and the group fail0verflow from assisting in or distributing the hack information, but by then it had been widely circulated anyway.

Illston ultimately denied Sony's request for expedited discovery, which Sony had planned to use to subpoena companies like Twitter and Google to learn the identities of other hackers. However, Illson also granted permission for Sony to sift through Hotz's computer, and the company could still issue the subpoenas if granted permission next month.

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