Sony hit with two more Linux-lockout lawsuits

PS3's loss of Other OS feature spurs an additional set of class-action complaints in Northern California court, alleging breach of contract, false advertisement, more.

In an effort to enhance the security on pre-Slim PlayStation 3 models, Sony removed one of the system's most versatile features, Other OS, as part of firmware v3.21 in April. With the feature, tech-savvy gamers could install the Linux operating system on the PS3, effectively turning the gaming console into a desktop computer.

Linux isn't the most popular OS, but it certainly has an active base.

Sony's decision has not been looked upon kindly by many Other OS proponents, and the move has already sparked one lawsuit seeking class-action status. Now, two other lawsuits have been leveled at Sony over its removal of the feature, and both are seeking to be elevated to class-action complaints.

The first suit, filed on April 30 in the US District Court of Northern California, notes that Sony engaged in a protracted advertisement campaign promoting the PS3's ability to install Linux by way of the Other OS feature. "Each plaintiff purchased a PS3 with the justified expectation that Sony would continue to support the Other OS function and other features and would not deliberately cripple those functions," the suit notes.

Notably, firmware update v3.21 is optional. However, those who opt out of the update will not be able to play new PS3 games, access the PlayStation Network, or play Blu-ray movies that use a BD Live online connection. The first new suit points out that PS3 owners are forced to choose between the Other OS function and other features that they had paid for. Forcing gamers' hands in such a fashion, the suit claims, is a breach of contract.

The complaint also claims that Sony violated California's Unfair Competition Law by advertising features that were subsequently removed. The suit seeks to be classified as a class-action complaint, as well as be awarded damages, restitution of moneys paid for the system, court costs, and other relief deemed suitable by the court.

The second suit largely echoes the first. Filed on May 5 in the SU District Court of Northern California, the complaint points out that after advertising the Other OS feature, Sony gave gamers a "Hobson's Choice, or a 'choice' between two equally undesirable alternatives: Users would either lose the ability to use other operating systems, an advertised and important feature, or lose the ability to access online, Blu-ray, and gaming features."

"On one hand," the suit continues, "installing firmware 3.21 renders the PS3 inoperable for its use as a computer; on the other hand, failure to install firmware 3.21 basically renders a user's PS3 inoperable for its intended purpose as a gaming and Blu-ray Disc console."

As a result, the suit contends that Sony violated breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, false advertising, and other laws. As with the other two suits, the second complaint seeks class-action status, damages, restitution, court costs, and other relief.

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Discussion

280 comments
SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@Skinius_Maximus @fireyhope I see where you both are getting at and what your trying to say to each other and you both have not connected here despite what you's say lol..

Skinius_Maximus
Skinius_Maximus

Idiot @ fireyhope Did you even read it properly or got the link i provided. what I posted was direct copy and paste from the sony web site for FW 3.21 for the PS3. go to the link, it does state that if you do not have FW 3.21 you will not be able to play future blu-ray movies and future games. period! here is the link once again to the FW 3.21 warning on the Sony website. http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps3/ps3_321_update1/index.htm I won't copy and paste it again because obviously you haven't read the whole thing or you are just ignoring the parts that prove you wrong.

fireyhope
fireyhope

lol @ Skinius_Maximus You obviously haven't read my post correctly, as I said not all Blu-Ray's require that update, the Blu-Ray games/movies you buy will tell you if it requires an online network which Sony provides. Most Blu-Ray movies do not even require an update. all those things you have mentioned is about being online. I don't think you know what you are talking about. since the majority of what you said is essentially all online.

Skinius_Maximus
Skinius_Maximus

@ fireyhope I don't think you own a PS3 myself Fireyhope, if you did you would have seen the big ass WARNING that was part of FW 3.21 update that said something like this, this is a direct quote from the Playstation website: "Notice for customers who want to continue using another operating system Do not update the system software if you want to keep using the [Install Other OS] and [Default System] features. If you choose to continue using another operating system, the following features will no longer be available: * The ability to sign in to PlayStation®Network * The ability to use online features that require you to sign in to PlayStation®Network, such as chat. * The ability to use the online features of PlayStation®3 format software * Playback of PlayStation®3 format software or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3™ system software version 3.21 or later * Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under (Settings) > (System Settings) > [Enable DTCP-IP]) * Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3™ system software 3.21 or later" and here is the link to that too: http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps3/ps3_321_update1/index.htm So its more than just not being able to play online, we do know what we are taking about Fireyhope, you are the one who does not know what they are taking about. Stop trolling and get your facts straight!

Skinius_Maximus
Skinius_Maximus

Hazard1976, the geohot exploit was not a way to take away "millions upon millions of dollars" if you actually go to his blog and read what he had to do to perform this exploit you will see that it is not something that can be easily reproduced. he had to rip his ps3 apart and mod the hardware along with software code. Now, Sony had two choices, do what they did by taking away "OtherOS" or keeping ""OtherOS" and fixing what geohot did like every other company! Taking away "OtherOS" did not stop the problem, now what Sony has done has taken legit people like me, who have kept "OtherOS" and turned us into hackers because we want to keep our PS3 the way it was when we bought it. i am waiting for someone to come out with a CFW so I can get backonline, play the newer games and also watch the newer Blu-Rays that will be coming out that require FW 3.21 or above. Sony took the easy way out and in doing so have alienated and pissed off a lot of people. I hope they loose all of the lawsuits and re-instate "OtherOS" myself.

demeor
demeor

I guess this means that Other OS will be coming back...

hazard1976
hazard1976

So to all those who disagree with what sony is doing, I have a question for you. If you were sony and someone basically said to you that we found a way to take millions upon millions of dollars out of your pocket, and all you had to do was disable one feature to do it, you would not do it? Sony is doing what anybody would be doing, protecting the integrity of there product. And since no one knows all the details of the whole situation, argueing about it is pointless.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

I like the fact that these will be class action. Again, I will watch and I am ready to claim everything Sony has to give.

takreem95
takreem95

@Gtoniser Local laws are local, whereas a User Agreement or TOS are international, its their own fault they don't read UA or TOS. Plus, why would you think a Sony/Microsoft product will have an invalid UAor TOS, hunh?

DeadnBuried
DeadnBuried

Really? We're comparing a PS3 to a fridge? Well yeah if you removed a fridge's ability to keep things cool then yeah sue them all you want...Oh wait, as that's the ONLY thing they do, they don't have internet access and can't be updated...Yeah that's a great analogy. Yeah it sucks that Sony took away a feature. But when advertising the PS3 in the beginning, did the TV ads say "YOU CAN USE IT AS A REALLY BAD AND LIMITED COMPUTER THAT WON'T DO VERY MUCH! =D" Answer: no. It was a tiny relatively unknown feature that not many people knew about and even less people actually used. It's not a main feature, or even a key feautre. It's not like they disabled blu-ray movies - rendering a collection of Blu-ray discs completely useless meaning the consumer has wasted hundreds of pounds/dollars. They did this to keep their system secure after a moron deliberately compromised the system. And though he claims his intentions were innocent - there's a whole lot of other people whose intentions are anything but innocent and could cost Sony millions. So yeah, it sucks, but really it affects only a tiny amount of the PS3 userbase and it was for the greater good.

Gtoniser
Gtoniser

@takreem95 TOS are discussable. First of all they always are subject to local laws, so the law is higher then the TOS. Here in The Netherlands even quite some of those User Agreements are invalid cuz they need to be seen _before_ purchase of the product (and no a link on the back of the box to them probably doesn't satisfy that). I'm not with the 'omg i never used the feature but i sue them for removing it anyways' ppl, but I think they do have a chance actually. Hope to see any updates on this soon.

iatowla
iatowla

It's very simple. This is breach of contract, and deserve to get sued. Why would you want to turn a PS3 into a pc anyway? The specs are crap....

takreem95
takreem95

What on Earth are these suing people (I avoid to call them idiots) saying?!! Advertising Other OS feature!! Show me an advertisement and you can put me in jail! About, nearly all lf the PS3 owners didn't knew about the Other OS feature until thd Update! P.S. XBox users, kindly press the backspace button (PC) or L1 button (PS3) and kindly do not post any comment like "I'M WITH THE SUING PEOPLE! YEEEEEAAAAAH!! SUE SONY!!!" or "I'M GLAD THESE PEOPLE ARE SUING!!". And kindly do not press the thumbs down buttons on Anti-lawsuit comments. Thank You for using Air GameSpot! We hope you enjoyed, now GET LOST! Thank You!

takreem95
takreem95

@devildothack What do you mean by 'Then it is removed without competition or any type of refund.'? If not most many people got a refund! Including my cousin, who didn't even use the phat PS3 for Other OS!!! He got the refund money, then sold it!!! And he got a new PS3 Slim from the same money!!! And he still had £23 left!!!

takreem95
takreem95

Or maybe the suing people should sue Developers for withdrawing online play, then going to the developer and being shown the User Agreement, then being shown the exit.

takreem95
takreem95

Whoever suid Sony with the lawsuit is (are) idiot(s) or brainless. Sony clearly said in their TOS or whatever that they have the right to remove any feature without notice. So whoever suid Sony is an immortal fool who doesn't reads TOS and stuff. Its even written on the cover of games tyat they reserve the right to withdraw online play without notice. You suing people should thank Sony that they told you they will remove the Other OS feature. Otherwise you would have wasted a considerable amount of money on a new 'phat' PS3. @fireyhope I'm happy to see that some people actually read TOS and stuff unlike the many people I've seen.

fireyhope
fireyhope

@ocstew Hid what small clause? http://www.scei.co.jp/ps3-eula/psn/e/e_tosua_en.html 9. MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES From time to time, we may want to provide you with new content, services or software to ensure that PSN or your PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system or other authorised hardware devices are functioning properly in accordance with our guidelines. Such content, services or software may be downloaded automatically and without further notice when you sign into PSN, and may include automatic updates or upgrades which may change your current operating system and could cause loss of data or content, or loss of function or utility. Such upgrades or updates may be provided for system software for your PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system unit, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system or other SCE-authorized hardware. Access to or use of any system software is subject to terms and conditions of a separate end user license agreement. Data and content may also be lost during maintenance or repair of your equipment. You must archive your personal photo, music and video content regularly to prevent such loss of data. You hereby authorise us to provide such content, services or software and agree that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, we are not liable for any loss of data, content, function or utility.

Serious
Serious

What about MMORPGs that shut down? Can I sue to have those reopen since I had the understanding that the game company would support that forever? I feel this lawsuit will go the same way we have seen many others in the past few weeks. It will be dropped

ocstew
ocstew

TOS TOS TOS? What is with these so called lawyers trolling gamespot? So you are saying if Sony hid a small clause saying that they own you if you purchase the PS3 that makes it true?

fireyhope
fireyhope

@ devildothack Yes, it is an official document however just like any game or something you read on the box you are subjected to terms of Service when you connect online. Depends what you consider Deceptive practice, it is a no brainer that Microsoft also has terms of service that you have to abide by what they do such as them Banning users for having a last name with gay I do not consider this a Deceptive practice because it doesn't Limit you're Console. It still works 100% What is deceptive? Lying which they have not done. But what is deceptive? You mean like Countless Interviews from Valve stating one thing then doing another? if so I don't hear any law suits for that. As I said I provided links in my previous comments as to why Interviews are made to be deceptive also they are not advertisements nor are people who work there and say one thing but do the other.

dkpunk
dkpunk

@jaredcrazy3232 lol that guy is my new hero.

blackace
blackace

MacenKrace Well... how come the Slim didn't have a linux feature?... As for the lawsuits, Sony' gonna win them... they reserved their rights to modify the content according to security issues. ****************************************************************** They have the right to modify their system as long as it doesn't break the advertising and customer contract laws. They obviously did that. That's like you buying a brand new Lexus and then 6 months later the dealerships takes your Bose stereo speakers and chrome rims off your care because it benefits Toyota for some reason. lol!! That's basically what Sony is doing with the PS3. I don't think the PS3 Slim has the "Other OS" feature advertised on it's box. Even if the Slim could do it, it can't anymore. lol!!

Blaiyan
Blaiyan

@ShawnoftheDeadz I think sony has it in their TOS that somehow you can only take them to court in one part of California or some ridiculousness like that.

grosgrostas
grosgrostas

I never used the Linux option on my '' Fat '' PS3 model But its unacceptable to let Corporations sell us products and later take away certain options on them I mean I bought it in the beginning , at 600$ !! It said you could put an other Os it advertised it I paid for it ..How is this Legal ??

Spike_Cloud
Spike_Cloud

they can get sued simply for lying through their advertising: "PS3, it only does everything".... except Other OS. while its not illegal to just not have the feature in newer PS3 models, you shouldn't be able to get rid of features retroactively in older models. It's crap. I mean, what "hacks" were being done to these PS3's? We need some evidence as to why the feature was taken out.

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

@ ONI5 How do I transfer the license? I have re-downloaded the games already but it still says trial version unless I'm actually online

MacenKrace
MacenKrace

Well... how come the Slim didn't have a linux feature?... As for the lawsuits, Sony' gonna win them... they reserved their rights to modify the content according to security issues.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

It's bogus that a company takes away a feature. Three law suits right now, I doubt those will be the only ones. Gotta support the consumers on this one.

devildothack
devildothack

@fireyhope I didn't say the user manual is advertisement. It is an official Sony document showing a feature that the PS3 is capable of doing. One could argue that you just purchased the device just to install linux and use it as a computer and nothing else. Then it is removed without competition or any type of refund. This is consider misleading the consumer. Regardless if the 1% of the fan base use it. The law: "Both the federal and state laws prohibit a series of specific practices and, in addition, prohibit any other practice that is determined to be unfair or deceptive to the consumer." Again, company X can't sell a product that say and documents that it does feature A, B, and C, regardless if you use it or not, then take away one of the features. It is call a deceptive practice. Agree with it or not, thats how the law works.

Krystyan68
Krystyan68

@ShadowOfKratos : ... Oh ... thanx Dude!! :)

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

[QUOTE="Krystyan68"]I might sound like an idiot for asking this but whats the use of Linux on a PS3 anyway? And how many people use it?[/QUOTE] @Krystyan68, Read my previous post... Few people use it though, a real shame really...

fireyhope
fireyhope

@devildothack sorry but that doesn't mean it's advertisement, so what if it says it in a manual, XBOX says how to use XBOXlive and connect online, they also took it away. Pay for what? a unadvertised feature? and I say so what? less than 1% of the entire userbase does not use Linux. For the people who do, sucks to be you but suing Sony for millions of dollars is just plain stupid. Sony does have the right to do so just as Microsoft and also Valve and other companies. Also the instructions has no meaning to the argument, the feature was there, but they never advertised it. Letalone PSN belongs to Sony. @slqmaster Sony never promised or guaranteed the OS. they promised Blu-Ray, Games, Online play and free online. They have never advertised the OS ever. @ax23000 Wow people are saying that Sony and other video game companies are going to disable features, Sony only disabled 1, and 1 that barely anybody uses and they did it for a reason. With Linux it is very easy to hack plenty of games escpecially ones on the PSN. The disabled feature was never advertised unless you consider Interviews Advertisement. The update only prevents you from going online, people don't know what they are talking about when they say you have to update. You don't, have to update to play Blu-Ray, or even games. You only have to update when the game manufacturer says you have to. This isn't sony's fault, When you sign online you are agreeing to Sony's terms of Service, Patches and updates and the free Feature/Service comes with a price the price is all the free ONLINE services including having to update and patch to be online. You don't have to update the Console it can still play blu-ray movies and games. Don't buy the game if it says you need PSN simple as that.

ax23000
ax23000

I think these could actually be important cases as far as setting precedents going into the future. What should the balance be between console manufacturer and the actual console owner? Does the manufacturer really have the right to deactivate at will features of the system after the point of purchase? I mean either way a person chooses here they're losing something--be it games or linux. Does Sony have the right to force that choice on people who paid them upwards of 500$? I'm not sure if they do. And if they do have the right I'm not sure that they should. It's true that linux isn't a pivotal feature of the PS3, but the implication is that you don't truly own the console.

ONI5
ONI5

@The_Dragon_Born Sounds like your previous 360 died and you are using another system with your hard drive. You need to transfer your license to the new system. This will get rid of that problem.

devildothack
devildothack

@fireyhope You are reading in between the lines. These people aren't suing because the ad says "It only does everything" but because in the user manual on older PS3 it has instructions on installing linux. Now with a firmware update, it basically removes this feature. So a feature that you may or may not use, you essential pay for it and now its been taking away by a mere update and the feature is documented in the user manual (which shows everything what your device is capable of doing). So this law suit is valid and the user manual is your proof.

Krystyan68
Krystyan68

I might sound like an idiot for asking this but whats the use of Linux on a PS3 anyway? And how many people use it?

fireyhope
fireyhope

wow, people really comparing this to a t.v. and a refrigerator? Wow what a bunch of morons, the fact of the matter is, is it doesn't matter the OS was never ever the main feature the PS3 ever had. Sorry but a slogan doesn't = guarantee for everything. Mc Donalds has a Slogan it's called "I'm Lovin It" and i'm not lovin it so does that mean Mc Donalds is using false advertisement? Slogans do not necessarily mean it is 100% true. If the PS3 truly did everything then it will make me some damn bacon every morning for the rest of my life. It aint happening. Sorry what listed feature? Does it say it on a box? if so please provide proof. Because there were no commercials saying that the PS3 has a OS.

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

I love my xbox but its time to get the sue on for Microsoft...talk about gouging. I can't play my arcade games unless I sign into live to prove I own them EVERY time? What kind of garbage is that?

slqmaster
slqmaster

The PS3 is a media center, not just a gaming console. "Its logo is "it only does everything." The PS3 guaranteed these features with such quality of Blu Ray Media, Blu Ray Gaming content, Limited Personal Computer features, BC, Bluetooth, WiFi, And HD Encoders. When I spend $599 for this Media Center with a Larger HDD, I expected every feature to work until the day this unit would die. I would had followed suit, and sued sony for the access for otherOS feature and PSN usability/ online gaming, not Monies!!! I have a feeling, Sony doesn't have to provide free PSN. At any time, Sony could just charge a competing Microsoft pricing. all to make up the cost of these people trying to sue for money.... I don't thing any company has the right to lock out features due to firmware updates. Firmware shouldn't have be mandatory nor change the by the old firmware operates online use when the users doesn't choice to update. I hope something comes good out of one of these case action law suits. i haven't used my BC PlayStation in a month and a half.

pureelite1
pureelite1

I'm glad these guys are standing up, although i do not use linux on my PS3 i was surprised they took the feature out and i support their lawsuit 100%

razu2444
razu2444

Holy crap, Hobsons choice Breach of faith false advertising breach of fair dealing and i thought microsoft were bad!!

atopp399
atopp399

If the fine print argument held up in court no company in the US would ever lose a lawsuit.

ONI5
ONI5

It only does everything......wrong

Lightsyde
Lightsyde

Well, this sucks, though it looks like Sony had a viable, if not good reason for doing this. But it's going to cause much grief when Sony talking about their consoles being multipurpose again.

enoslives7
enoslives7

I normally think these class action lawsuits are a bunch of crap, but I totally agree with this one. This is a clear case of false advertising.

dkpunk
dkpunk

@Phil-teh-Pirate MS never dropped support HD DVD. That would be the movie studios and Toshiba. The player is fully functional on current 360 firmware. The Other OS is a completely different beast.