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PlayStation 3 'Other OS' lawsuit dismissed

Twenty months after Sony disabled the PlayStation 3's 'Other OS' feature, which allowed users to install and run Linux, a US federal court has dismissed the class action suit filed against Sony in protest.

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Twenty months after Sony disabled the PlayStation 3's 'Other OS' feature, which allowed users to install and run Linux, a US federal court has dismissed the class action suit filed against Sony in protest. The judge dismissed all but one of the suit's claims earlier this year. Although the class had time to amend the suit, a judge ruled that the class has still failed to show "wrongdoing" by Sony.

The lawsuit was originally filed in April 2010, shortly after Sony released a firmware update disabling Other OS on all PlayStation 3s. Users were given the choice to either install it and lose Other OS, or go without, and be unable to use the PlayStation Network.

The lawsuit (via Gamasutra) accused Sony of an "unfair and deceptive business practice," leveling claims against it from "breach of contract" to "unjust enrichment." Naturally, it sought money from Sony, both in damages and refunds.

However, in February 2011, Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed all but one of these claims. Seeborg did permit the claim that Sony "intentionally caused damage without authorization, to a protected computer," saying himself that Sony had not "conclusively established" that the PS3's license allowed it to disable Other OS, or that downloading the update was authorizing the removal.

The plaintiffs were allowed time to amend the suit but, after that, Seeborg approved Sony's motion to dismiss it. He ruled that they couldn't prove they had a right to expect Other OS support beyond the warranty period, or continued access to PSN, the Courthouse News Service explains.

"As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable," Judge Seeborg wrote. "As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable."

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 13, 2011 1:15 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, PlayStation 3 'Other OS' lawsuit dismissed.

    Twenty months after Sony disabled the PlayStation 3's 'Other OS' feature, which allowed users to install and run Linux, a US federal court has dismissed the class action suit filed against Sony in protest.

    • reply
      December 13, 2011 1:30 PM

      makes sense

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        December 13, 2011 1:31 PM

        also, looks like this happened last week

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      December 13, 2011 2:48 PM

      there's a "cyborg" joke around here... somewhere.

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      December 13, 2011 3:19 PM

      That's a bit unsettling... how far does this go? I mean, if all certain PS3 models are outside of warranty how much of an expectation should the average user have of its continued use? Taking this all the way, would Sony be in the clear for just bricking all old enough PS3 consoles so long as they are out of warranty?

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        December 13, 2011 3:23 PM

        the warranty was never broken, and the old PS3s were never bricked. if an owner chose not to download firmware 3.21, the PS3 works the same as it did when he bought it

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          December 13, 2011 3:24 PM

          here's a copy of the actual opinion dismissing the complaint. may be a bit difficult to follow if you're not used to reading judicial writing

          http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/09/PS3.pdf

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            December 13, 2011 4:55 PM

            good read. thanks for sharing.

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            December 13, 2011 5:41 PM

            That's actually a good read. I guess I see where they're coming from, but it's still a pretty shitty thing for Sony to do. I'm not sure I agree with the ruling either. It's basically stating that it's ok for manufacturers to take away features from the product they originally sold, so long as they don't force the update on people.

            You basically either decide to continue using the device just as it was when they stopped supporting the feature you want and get no further updates, or you give up the feature you want.

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              December 13, 2011 6:19 PM

              The key take away I think is that services are not guaranteed. PSN is a service and you don't have a right to access it. The conclusion is quite reasonable:

              " The dismay and frustration at least some PS3 owners likely experienced when Sony made
              the decision to limit access to the PSN service to those who were willing to disable the Other OS
              feature on their machines was no doubt genuine and understandable. As a matter of providing
              customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable. As a legal matter,
              however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or to articulate a theory on which Sony may be held
              liable"

              As you said, arguably shitty and potentially unwise for business reasons, but perfectly legal.

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                December 14, 2011 2:21 PM

                What about Blu-ray playback?
                Some of the new Sony movies out now won't play unless you update the firmware (included on the disc of course).

                If we're not to expect to have access to PSN, shouldn't we expect that our Blu-ray player will continue to play movies without disabling features we paid for?

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          December 13, 2011 4:05 PM

          Except for the ability to connect to PSN.

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            December 13, 2011 4:29 PM

            the opinion discusses that Sony isn't under an obligation to provide access to PSN

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              December 13, 2011 5:30 PM

              What about games that "require" an update? I can understand not allowing access to PSN if you don't update for various reasons, but games? Aren't there games now where if you don't update, you can't play?

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              December 13, 2011 5:35 PM

              What about playing new games? Because to play newer games you are forced to update the firmware. Do they contest that if you intended to use the other OS feature then you wouldn't play games?

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      December 13, 2011 4:12 PM

      hahaha thats awesome!

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      December 13, 2011 5:02 PM

      2011, not the year of Linux :(

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        December 13, 2011 6:39 PM

        Thats ok, 2012 is the year of the linux desktop, i can feel it!

        Unfortunately its also the year of the apocalypse but maybe it will get a month or two in the spotlight.