Sony sues over PS3 hacking - but will 'fair use' argument win the day?

Playstation root constitutes piracy, argues company - letting slip it has sold 41m consoles - but law precedent set last summer may be on the hackers' side

Sony is suing a group of hackers who worked out how to break the Playstation 3's firmware system so that it could be made to run any applications.

The hack could have allowed any sort of program or game - including pirated ones - to run on the console. Sony argues in its lawsuit that that constitutes computer fraud and copyright infringement - and accuses those involved of "distributing software, tools and instructions... that circumvent the technological protection measures in the PS3 system and facilitate the counterfeiting of video games."

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Darkfiber2838d ago

Nope. I hope those kids get their lives ruined by this.

Infernostew2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )

They all better start watching Hbo's OZ and start taking notes so they don't end up becoming prags.

Edit: I know they sell it in England. Saw the complete series DVD in HMV when I was over there in September. If I remember correctly, it runs for about £50.

Kran2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )

I live in the UK... What's OZ? I know what HBO is, but what does OZ look at?

Edit: Do you know if they show it in the UK at all? Sounds interesting.

UnwanteDreamz2838d ago


OZ is an HBO show about prison.

guitarded772838d ago

@ Infernostew
OZ should be shown to kids in the 'Scared Straight' program. I'd hate to hear of anyone getting "spooned".

On Topic: This will not fall under 'fair use'. Fair use is very grey in some places, but the hacking issue is black and white... all they have to do is show intent and there are several arguments as to intent when it comes to hacking. The problem is that the hackers are all over the world and fall under different laws and jurisdiction.

SkyGamer2838d ago

How do you think you are so righteous in condemning someone who never had piracy on their minds? So you want to condemn Nobel for creating dynamite to be as a tool but people use it for nefarious means? Is that Nobel's fault? How about a kitchen knife? Used as a tool and as a weapon but whoever created it be condemned? You are so backwards.

Motion2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )


Piracy on the mind or not, what they did was illegal.

And to the other questions-
Nitroglycerin (used in dynamite)doesn't come with an end user agreement in which you agree to not modify it. And as for the knife... well thats just a totally irrelevant argument. Now, if people were taking their PS3s and smashing other people on the head with them, you might have something.

And one last thing, they are not trying to condemn the people who created the device as in your examples. They are condemning those (as per your examples) whom are doing nefarious things and using the knives as weapons.

hellboy18802838d ago

@ Motion

So you are fluent in all aspects of copyright law?

You state that this person is guilty, that's for the courts to decide.

Not you.

Motion2837d ago (Edited 2837d ago )

I'm not referring to copyright law/game piracy, I'm referring to stealing the PS3 key information. Which yes, was/is illegal. While not everything they are doing is illegal, some of the steps to get there have been.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2837d ago
Infernostew2838d ago

OZ was a popular HBO drama series about a prison and it's inmates. Great show but it was really gritty and shocking.

r1sh122838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )

Im pretty sure that I said the same thing yesterday.
Previous cases were on the hackers side:

"His defence will probably rest on recent cases which have shown that "jailbreaking" items for "fair use" is legitimate under US law. A landmark case last July allowed such jailbreaking – which gives people full access to the file system of the device – under "fair use"

I also dont condone piracy, but its the individuals who used geo hots tools to pirate. Geohot released it for homebrew, yes people will use it for piracy but those are the ones who should be getting caught.
Like I said yesterday there is a good chance this will be thrown out.

Even though this article states Sony have a good chance when it comes to terms of service - Who knows which user accepted the terms of service.
I mean, create an account with fake name, and credentials, Im sure all of these guys will have done that if they did accept the TOS.
Fail0verflow even said in that Chaos video they just wanted other OS back which is why the did it, since Sony removed it illegally while the advertised it thats an argument sony might have a problem with.
But anyway we have to see this after the courts rule on it, everyone is speculating including myself, Im just speaking from the trend of other cases.

Dark_king2838d ago

Nope law is against them its pretty clear.They should of found another way to get the PS3 to run software.Signing it as offical Sony code was a crime.No if ands or buts about it,they forged Sony's digital signature.Sony is not only allowed to have them prosecuted to the fullest but will also be owed for any and all damages the hack brings about to Sony or any third party for that matter.

xCaptainAmazing2837d ago (Edited 2837d ago )

Look it up.

It remains to be seen whether or not they additionally violated some other law in the process (most notably the private keys). You can't own a string of numbers though, so we'll see what the court thinks.

If these guys are pronounced "not guilty" I will be laughing and anyone who thinks they have broken a law can eat it. However, if the reverse happens, I will be more than happy to eat my own words.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2837d ago
Kran2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )


I mean seriously (to the hackers) if you made something so expensive, would you like somebody to hack your item where it could (potentially) be fatal if bugged?

I mean not even the hackers realise their hack could become infected by another hacker.


Don't we have any other news..This hacking thing is getting old now.

Godmars2902838d ago

Yeah, at this point we are only talking about another console that can play pirated games. Though there is the question of older system emulation.

Loner2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )

Dont like it dont read it

MajestieBeast2838d ago

How do trolls like you get the right to publish stories, the mods are really asleep.

Loner2838d ago

Nothing wrong with the stories i put up.
Its legitimate news

koehler832838d ago

As soon as they posted the key online, Fair Use went out the window.

That falls under the category of Trade Secrets.

Big no no.

testerg352838d ago

But is a number something that can be copyrighted? If I post 123253245 and that's someone's pin, can they sue me?

DrillaKid2838d ago

It's not so much a matter of straight copyright law; rather it's based on statutes which exist in the US. Sony are trying to bring their keys/codes within the various definitions used in these statutes.

Whether they can or not we'll have to see. But the hackers better get some good lawyers - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton (Sony's advisers) are heavyweights in IP litigation.

Dark_king2838d ago

If you told someones pin and who that someone was yes they could sue you for damages if they were any.

koehler832838d ago

It's not "a number" it's an algorithm.

Proxy2838d ago (Edited 2838d ago )

They key is a number. The number enters the encryption algorithm and if transformed by the algorithm properly it "unlocks" the system. I've created encryption algorithms myself, and anyone interested should check out this great book on the subject http://www.cacr.math.uwater... .

Court cases on such matters come out all different ways; who knows what will happen. I'll just say that as one who is able to program and hack (not crack, but hack) I appreciate the ability to run my own software on my own hardware.

Armyntt2838d ago

Yawn. Another hacking article. Just stop posting them. The more articles posted the more people learn about it. Just like $ony should have done. Ignore it. The more you talk about it the worse it gets. Keep publicizing what they have done and you only make it worse. My 2 cents on the hackers. $ony is just wasting $$ on this. The hackers will be backed by some electronic liberty group funding their lawyers and by the time this makes it to a real court it wont matter and the hackers won anyways. This is a gaming site not a hacking site. Yes it has to do with gaming but people who care have already heard. We dont need another editorial on the subject. Also dont click on the links. You know what the article is about through the headline.

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