Friday, April 30, 2010

PO'ed PS3 User Sues Sony for Nixing Linux

"We all knew that a class-action suit was going to happen," Pietro Macchiarella, a research analyst with Parks Associates, told LinuxInsider. "I am sure that Sony knew as well, and I think that they took it into account when removing Linux."

In fact, "the cost of litigation and, potentially, damage compensation might still be lower than the cost of increased piracy, allegedly made possible by Linux functionalities," Macchiarella suggested. "I guess that the net benefit will depend on how effective removing Linux is in fighting piracy on the PS3. Some people have expressed doubts that this will stop hackers from finding their way into the PS3."

Sony's end-user license agreement (EULA) does state that "'(...) automatic updates or upgrades (...) may change your current operating system, cause a loss of data or content or cause a loss of functionalities or utilities,'" he pointed out. "I guess that removing Linux would count as a loss of functionality. On the other hand, I wonder how strong a EULA is from a legal point of view, since it is accepted by users only after purchase."

Either way, "it will be interesting to see who prevails in this lawsuit," Macchiarella concluded.

Considering the growing numbers of connected devices in homes today, "this lawsuit might have consequences beyond this specific case," he added. "Blu-ray players, TVs, etc., will increasingly have regular firmware upgrades over the Internet. Cases like this might happen again for other types of devices."

From the article, "PO'ed PS3 User Sues Sony for Nixing Linux" by Katherine Noyes

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