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Sony Responds to PS3 Other OS Lawsuit, Requests Dismissal

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223w ago - Update: According to [Register or Login to view links], a federal judge has dismissed all but one of the claims leveled against Sony for dropping Linux support from its PlayStation 3 game console, but gave the plaintiffs permission to refile an amended complaint that fixes the deficiencies.

Previously we reported on a slew of class action lawsuits against Sony due to the PS3 OtherOS removal, and despite a recent Sony victory IGN (linked above) now reports that Sony's attorneys have filed a motion for the court to strike the class allegations and dismiss the case.

To quote: "Sony contends the plaintiffs' claims that the company advertised the Other OS feature the later removed it - depriving PS3 users of software features - is contradicted by the explicit terms stated in SCEA's written express warranty, the System Software License Agreement and the PSN Terms of Service.

"These contracts specifically provide PS3 purchasers with a license, not an ownership interest, in the software and in the use of the PSN, and provide that SCEA has the right to disable or alter software features or terminate or limit access to the PSN, including by issuing firmware updates," the motion reads.

"Plaintiffs therefore cannot succeed in any of their claims because SCEA's alleged alteration/disablement of PS3 features including the Other OS, was entirely proper and authorized."

Sony's motion also said the complaint fails to provide any mass media advertising campaign, statements by SCEA, or PS3 packaging that referenced the 'Other OS' feature.

"Instead, it includes a mix of quotes drawn from obscure articles and unrelated third party publications, and a smattering of out of context and incomplete references to a few pages of SCEA's website and user manual," Sony said.

Sony went on to list several reasons why the court should strike the class allegations from the complaint and pointed to the fact all plaintiffs did not use the Other OS feature in the same manner, if at all.

"One plaintiff never installed Linux during the more than two years he owned his PS3; two plaintiffs used the Other OS feature only to do things equally available through the PS3 native operating system; one plaintiff supposedly also played Linux-specific games; and the last plaintiff used Linux extensively, including for electronic mail, word processing, spreadsheet software, and other 'productivity applications.'"

Sony later referenced various message board postings from PS3 owners admitting they had "no idea that the PS3 even had an Other OS function or Linux functionality."

The company also cited numerous postings from owners who stated they "did not purchase the PS3 because of the Other OS feature and did not use it" and others saying they downloaded the update because "they did not care about the Other OS feature."

Both parties will be heard before a judge on November 4, 2010. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, have requested that Sony turn over internal documents regarding the decision to remove the 'Other OS' feature.

"We are in the process of reviewing Sony's Motions to Dismiss and to Strike," a representative from the interim co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs told IGN. "These types of motions are fairly common at this stage of the litigation and we believe we have strong arguments for why they should be denied."

"We plan on vigorously opposing these motions and we hope to have them decided in November. In the meantime, we have requested that Sony turn over its internal documents about why the 'Other OS' feature was removed and we look forward to reviewing those materials."

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Comments 36 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#36 - PS3 News - 201w ago
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Another update from ArsTechnica: arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/02/otheros-class-action-lawsuit-geohot-sony-now-share-same-charge.ars

"OtherOS" class-action lawsuit: GeoHot, Sony now share same charge

The claims against Sony in the ongoing class-action lawsuit dealing with the removal of the "OtherOS" functionality in the PlayStation 3 hardware have all been dropped, save for one: a claim that Sony violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by removing the ability to run Linux. This is the same law under which Sony is suing George Hotz for hacking the PS3, in fact.

One of Sony's defenses is rather interesting, as the company claims that it had no way of knowing gamers who bought the hardware would want to use these functions for the life of the system, and the multiple warranties and Terms of Service all said that Sony had the right to remove functions from the hardware. From the court documents filed by Sony:

To establish the implied warranty of fitness existed, Plaintiffs must allege that SCEA had "reason to know" of their special purpose, i.e., to use the PS3 in perpetuity for all advertised features and functions including the Other OS; that Plaintiffs relied on SCEA's expertise; and that SCEA had "reason to know" of their reliance on the continued availability of all features and functions.

Plaintiffs have not only failed to allege these requisite facts, they indeed cannot due to the explicit language of SCEA's Warranty, SSLA, and Terms of Service. Specifically, because SCEA had the right to terminate or alter any feature or function, it had no reason to believe that Plaintiffs purchased their PS3s particularly with the expectation and belief that all features, including the Other OS, would be available for the "life" of the PS3.

Sony is arguing that your system needs to keep all the features it was sold with for the length of its warranty, and then after that time, removal of any function is fair game. "I think the problem is that in order to accept the notion that Sony made an unauthorized intrusion onto the plaintiffs' PS3s, you have to start with the assumption that what was 'disabled' was something that the plaintiffs had an ownership interest in..." Sony's laywer argued.

He continued, saying that gamers had a choice. "We're talking about if you are so interested in keeping this one feature, then you're not going to be able to access the PSN anymore. You may not be able to play some games. But that is not hacking into somebody's computer, which is the essence of the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]." This isn't a matter of accepting or declining a software update, it's the problem of Sony placing consumers in a position where they lose functionality no matter what they do. That may be a tough sell to the court.

Groklaw has a great article (groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110218181557455) on the entirety of the court case, and we urge you to read it. The ins and outs of this case deal with much more than gaming consoles and Linux, and go into the idea of a warranty, and what's expected of modern electronics. We'll continue to follow the story as it develops.

#35 - erik98 - 218w ago
erik98's Avatar
i feel they should either allow jailbreaking or give us otheros back

i made my decision to buy a ps3 because it could run open source without modding. Otherwise i would have bought an xbox 360!

#34 - shummyr - 218w ago
shummyr's Avatar
Its a real pain when sony decides to pull stunts and remove features that they promised would be there forever.

#33 - bloodbath101 - 220w ago
bloodbath101's Avatar
wow all this video game stuff, never gets old.

#32 - Sterist - 220w ago
Sterist's Avatar
i sued sony in small claims and they never paid or responded.


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