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Homebrew vs Piracy: Know the Difference

There is a constant negative reaction toward hackers, and the words piracy and hacking becomes synonymous. This hate of hackers and their work becomes more prominent to me as I watch countless videos and articles of hacker-related articles. One of possible reasons could be the result of Sony's lawsuits against numinous hackers. I am here clear up this nonsense by explaining the difference of homebrew and piracy, and how homebrew has played a big influence on today's consoles.

What is homebrew and why do people make them?

Homebrew is a term used to describe any program made by unofficial programmers. These programs can be games or applications. Depending on the popularity of the console, there can be hundreds of programs available that serves different purposes. It can vary from a simple game like Tetris to something complex like an FTP program for transferring files. They can very useful and can actually completely change the console. The PS2 can be hacked to run Linux and become fully-fledged desktop. Sony even released a development kit to allow their console to run a Linux-based operating system.

Can someone use homebrew to play pirated games?

Like I said before, there are many programs with different uses and unfortunately playing pirated games is one of them. Now before you throw a hissy fit and say “that should reason to stop these hackers!” there are still many other homebrew applications that are very useful other than running an Operating System. In fact some of these applications are so good that big gaming companies like Sony and Microsoft have stolen these ideas and they have affected the look and functionality of today’s consoles. In 2003, a development team made a custom dashboard for the Xbox called XBMC. Before the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles were strictly for gaming but this team wanted to change all that. XBMC turned the Xbox into a home media center that introduced a multitude of features, including steaming YouTube videos and viewing pictures and videos. An Xbox with XBMC was light years ahead anything out at the time. Hackers made custom icons and animated boot screens for the PSP.

How can we stop piracy?

There is no remedy to piracy. There will always be ways to get something for free and piracy will always exist. The best way to deal with this situation is embracing it. Steve Jobs noticed the amount of music being illegally downloaded and created iTunes along with the iPod. Now Apple is leading distributor of digital music and media, acquiring millions in revenue. I agree that piracy must be stopped, but striping us the consumers of what we can do with our product and punishing those who genuinely have ideas for awesome applications should not be the answer. A possible solution could be making an app market similar to the Android Market and allow people to post their ideas with some form moderation and clearance.

XBMC for the original Xbox

Custom Michael Jackson Psp Gameboot.

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Emilio_Estevez2362d ago (Edited 2362d ago )

Claiming the idea of the XBMC was "stolen" by Microsoft and Sony and influenced them being media centers is laughable. The PS2 had a DVD player and multiple consoles played music. And guess where the movies and music being played on XBMC was from? Illegal dl's from the net.

"A possible solution could be making an app market similar to the Android Market and allow people to post their ideas with some form moderation and clearance." - They have that, it's the Android marketplace and independent PC developing. If people want to make genius apps, there are places to do that. Forcing their way onto unintended platforms shouldn't be needed and only enforces the stance the big games companies have against it. They are hurting their own cause.

fullmetal2972361d ago

Who said this individual downloaded it illegally from the net? He could rip it from his DVD collection into the his Hard Drive. And further more XBMC with Xbox was the first to allow people to rip their music onto their console with custom cover pictures. XBMC also have something called "script" which contains various programs that allows you to stream your content from another PC, stream youtube videos, watch tv shows, etc. All these ideas are from normal people like you and me, are shunned as evil hackers because these big gaming companies are stealing their ideas and labeling these people as evil hackers.

Emilio_Estevez2361d ago (Edited 2361d ago )

Custom covers? Who cares? And they are shunned b/c they were not permitted to program for those consoles, they wouldn't be shunned if they just made it for something they were permitted to use. Like I said, hurting their own "cause".
BTW, I love XBMC, I have it on my comp right now and have for years.

fullmetal2972361d ago

Who gives leverage over these kinds of things, Sony and Microsoft? There is no law permitting people from making software for any platform. We the consumer have the right to do whatever we want with the product we buy, so long as it isn't illegal like playing a pirated game.