A PS3 owner has been awarded a $100 rebate by Amazon on the basis that Sony’s decision to remove Linux support in its latest firmware revision is at odds with EU law.
Reportedly the user invoked EU consumer law which states goods must be “fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase” in order to claim a refund from Amazon.co.uk, in spite of the fact the PS3 in question was actually long out of warranty.
Amazon apparently offered the refund without regard to whether he had actually used the feature.
It is not clear whether Amazon will be offering refunds to all buyers based on decision – most probably with the case being publicised all and sundry will attempt to claim refunds, which could amount to very large amounts considering how many PS3s Amazon is likely to have sold in the EU.
With Sony unlikely to entertain any reimbursements to Amazon without a major legal struggle (as it would represent a catastrophic precedent), it seems any refunds will be coming out of Amazon’s pockets – presumably Amazon will put a quick stop to them.
Angry pirates and the usual noisy handful of Linux fanatics have been busily spinning this lone decision by Amazon customer service into a possible class action violation of EU consumer protection laws by Sony, although this conveniently overlooks the fact that upgrading older units is a voluntary process and that un-upgraded units still run Linux or previously released software without difficulty.
Meanwhile, the cracker responsible for causing Linux support to be revoked in the first place claims to have hacked Linux support back into the latest firmware – naturally he is being widely feted in spite of the rather obvious fact that it was his efforts to bring piracy to the platform which caused Sony’s nerve to crack in the first place.