Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Mar 2011 13:19 UTC
Legal And so Sony's crusade against Playstation 3 hacker George "Geohot" Hotz continues. After Sony getting all of Geohot's computers and access to server logs and personal details from many of his websites and social media accounts, Sony has now been given access to Geohot's PayPal account, and all information within it - including of the people he has had financial dealings with.
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RE[3]: In Sony's corner
by Alfman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: In Sony's corner"
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"You can still use it as a Linux server, you just can't update it. And he was trying to break out of the hypervisor with Linux before OtherOS was disabled."

This is precisely the problem, the users cannot have ALL the features they paid for. Giving them a choice of which features they want is immaterial.

The underlying reason for sony's change of heart was already mentioned earlier: Sony discovered that it was selling a desirable product below cost. They wanted to phase out the minority of customers who used the feature. However it was clearly a legal mistake to revoke the feature on consoles already sold. Sony have no legs to stand on there, if they weren't the 600 pound guerilla in the room they would already found guilty for breach of fair advertising laws.

"Why anyone would think it is a good idea to use a Sony console as a server is beyond me. Sure you might get some good cpu power/price initially but the ram is limited and the parts can't be replaced."

All this means is that you are not and never were the target demographic for either otheros or homebrew apps. So what? Others may want to push the boundaries of what their hardware can do, more power to them.

"It's only logical in your mind based on your own expectations. For the over 1 million PS3 MW2 owners who had their online experience ruined Hotz is an asshead. If PS3 owners could vote they would have him thrown in jail."

I've installed homebrew on the Wii, does that make me an "asshead"? What about people who root their phones? What about TiVos? Home Routers or NAS devices?

All these products have communities of active users who pool together to make their existing hardware do very interesting things. They may not always have the manufacturer's blessing, but doing this to one's own hardware is neither immoral nor illegal.

Copyright infringement and/or cheaters are valid concerns - but not to the exclusion of other legal rights.

As draconian as the DMCA is, it still expressly permits the type of reverse engineering Hotz did:
"This exception permits circumvention, and the development of technological means for such circumvention, by a person who has lawfully obtained a right to use a copy of a computer program for the sole purpose of identifying and analyzing elements of the program necessary to achieve interoperability with other programs, to the extent that such acts are permitted under copyright law."

Hotz would probably fit under the following exception as well:
"An exception for encryption research permits circumvention of access control measures, and the development of the technological means to do so, in order to identify flaws and vulnerabilities of encryption technologies."

One last point is that copyright protection in the form of DRM is inherently flawed. Encryption algorithms are designed to keep information hidden from even the most determined advisories by withholding the keys, however DRM implicitly breaks this encryption model due to the fact that the keys are necessarily distributed on the media and/or in the devices which play the media. DRM is fundamentally flawed and has never withstood scrutiny.

This may be beyond the understanding of politicians and CEOs demanding DRM, but what they're seeking is fundamentally impossible.

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