190w ago - Update #4: Forum user phoenixfire425 has posted a response he received from his attorney stating that the Class Action Law Suit has finally been approved in regards to the PS3's OtherOS removal.
Update #3: IGN now reports of a fourth lawsuit (PDF) from Keith Wright of San Diego for removing the "Other OS" feature from the PlayStation 3, a fifth lawsuit (PDF) which demands a jury trial, a sixth lawsuit (PDF) which includes user comments from the US and EU Playstation Blog, IGN, ArsTechnica and Facebook, and even a seventh lawsuit from Michael Trebilcock of Australia.
Update: Rebecca Coll, the attorney from the firm Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz P.C. who filed the suit against Sony has now explained (details below) to IGN what the PS3 Class Action Lawsuit means for the average consumer.
On April 27, 2010 Anthony Ventura of California represented by Rebecca Coll filed a class action lawsuit with the San Francisco office of California's Northern District Court against Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc for the PS3 3.21 Firmware update that removed OtherOS functionality.
Needless to say, this comes as no surprise and isn't the first time Sony has been targeted with a class action suit over their PlayStation 3 entertainment system.
To quote: "This class action seeks redress for Sony's deliberate removal of valuable functions in one, with the availability of the PlayStation 3 video game console was advertised originally.
This distance is only a fraction of the contract between Sony and its customers and a breach of good faith is not it also means an unfair and deceptive trade practices at the expense of millions of unsuspecting consumers."
1. 1st Breach of Contract
2. 2nd Fraction of good faith
3. 3rd Unjust Enrichment
4. 4th Violation of the California Unfair Competition Law
5. 5th Violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act
Coll said it's entirely too early in the case to predict when this might go to trial. But she said everyone who purchased a PS3 can be included.
We are going to ask the court to let us proceed as a nationwide class action. If the court agrees, the court will 'define the class,'" she told IGN. "Right now, our proposed 'class definition' includes everybody in the country who bought the PS3 from the time of launch until March 27, 2010."
"This class definition reflects, in part, that Sony commanded a much higher price for the gaming console based on the functionality of the 'Other OS' feature at the time of its launch and trumpeted the 'Other OS' feature in its subsequent marketing," she explained. "As a result, consumers paid much more for a product than they should otherwise have been charged now that Sony has disabled the 'Other OS' feature."
"If the court adopts this definition, then everyone fitting within that definition would automatically be included in the class action, unless they choose to 'opt out,'" she added.
Coll explained that notifications of the class action will then be sent to PS3 owners through various ways.
"Once the court defines the class, the court will order that the 'class' receive notice of the action," she said. "Notice methods vary. Sometimes notice is by publication in newspapers, by mail, by email, through internet postings, or any combination of those" she said. "The notice will advise class members how long they have to 'opt out' of the class. Sometimes, if there is a settlement at or before the time the class is certified, this 'class notice' also lets people know how they can file a claim, and tells people the deadline to file their claims."
"In other words, people technically do not need to do anything to 'sign on' to the lawsuit–if they fit within the class definition then they are automatically part of it unless they affirmatively ask to be let out of it after the class is certified," she explained.
Jason Baker, Sean Bosquett, Frank Bachman, Paul Graham and Paul Vannatta, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated V Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC successor to Sony Computer Entertainment America, INC filed on April 30, 2010.
Nature Of Action
1. Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC successor to Sony Computer Entertainment America, INC ("Sony") marketed and sold its Playstation3 video games console ("PS3") as including valuable functions, such as the "Other OS feature, unified online gaming service, Playstation Network, multimedia capabilities and Blu-Ray technology. The PS3 could run a Linux operating system that transforms the PS3 into a home computer. Because of such exception features, the PS3 was the most expensive gaming console on the market when launched in 2006.
2. Sony has now intentionally disabled valuable functions of the PS3 for which consumers paid a premium price over other gaming consoles. This retroactive cripplingPS3 functionality breaches the contract between Sony and its PS3 customers, breaches the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violates the California Consumers legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law.
3. Plaintiffs seek to represent a class of all persons in the United States who purchased a PS3 during the period beginning November 17, 2006 through March 27, 2010, and still owned their PS3 as of March 27 2010 ("Class"). Plaintiffs seek to recover for themselves and each Class member compensatory damages, restitution, injunctive relief, attorneys fees and the costs of this suit.
Todd Densmore and Antal Herz V Sony Computer Entertainment America, INC, a Delaware corporation filed on May 5, 2010.
Nature Of Action
1. Since Sony introduced the Playstation 3 ("PS3") in 2006, one of its advertised features included the "Install Other OS" function that allowed users to install and run other operating systems such as Linux.
2. On April 1, 2010 Sony released a PS3 firmware update version 3.21 ("Firmware 3.21") for the specific purpose of disabling the "install Other OS" function, PS3 users who do not install Firmware 3.21 lose the ability to sign on to the Playstation network ("PSN"), play online games, access other online features, and play PS3 games or Blu-Ray discs that require Firmware 3.21 or higher
3. Defendant intentionally accessed PS3 systems and intentionally transmitted Firmware 3.21 with the knowledge and intent of disabling its advertised "Install Other OS" function.
4. Plaintiffs paid for PS3 features and functions that defendant has rendered inoperable as a result of Firmware 3.21.
5. Defendants actions have resulted in injury in fact and lost money or property plaintiffs. Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and the proposed Class (as defined in paragraph 33 below), hereby seek damages and other relief the court deems just.
As expected, Sony representatives told IGN the company does not comment on pending litigation.
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Very interesting news indeed. It had to happen I suppose, but whether the class action suit will succeed in all 5 counts, remains to be seen. $ony would have evaluated all their options carefully before 3.21. But perhaps (if it is possible) we can run a poll on this site.
If you read the PDF of the filing, the reason it is filed in CA is because that is where Sony's main location of business is in the United States. I don't see how it could be filed in another state unless Sony bases it's business there.
I'm all for this. I've played around with Linux a bit on my PS3 and while it doesn't make me hate my PS3 if it can't do Linux anymore, I am still quite upset that Sony felt they could remove something that I paid for. People keep complaining that in the terms of service that sony can change the software all they want, but this effectively is removing hardware features built in to the system (assuming you don't update to the latest firmware).
If you make the choice between Linux over online features (which were also advertised features), you will eventually lose the ability to play newer games and possibly new blu-ray movies which makes the blu-ray drive ineffective. I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly bought my PS3 more for blu-ray playback than games playing, though I happily do both frequently, and this ultimatum Sony has placed on me means that I will certainly be screwed either way. Way to go Sony.
That said, I am currently happy to play my Final Fantasy XIII offline and keep 3.15.