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PS3 Owner Gets “$100 Rebate” for Loss of Linux Support


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, 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.

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  • When PS3 finally go get cracked and blu-ray writing drives finally get cheaper? Cant wait to play my usual bunch of free games, as I always did with all previous consoles. I say, games should be free or they shouldn exist at all.

  • I forgot to mention earlier that removing OtherOS won’t prevent the PS3 to be hacked. Geohot already said that his custom firmware doesn’t need OtherOS to be installed so people that have 3.21 will be able to install it. This means that any future custom firmware that could enable other things can be installed the same way.

    PS. The only people that need OtherOS for hacking the PS3 are the hackers themselves.

  • Sandalphon says:

    I wonder, if Sony somehow made it so you could choose not to update your PS3 in order to keep the imperative feature that Linux support seems to be, and still run newer games but remove Linux support for those that wish to update, would you PS3 Linux supporters be content with that??

    In this hypothetical scenario, you still would not get pirated games, unless you decide to play offline, which I doubt since you are unwilling to part with PSN as well.

    Would you be happy with that?

  • “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.”

    This would only make the slightest amount of sense if the update was optional and not necessary to run future games. I bought my ps3 for linux AND to play ps3 games.

  • ChaosAngelZero said:
    The fact that no one uses Linux <b>and</b> play games on it doesn't stop Sony's move from qualifying as a perfect example of corporate SWINDLE.
    Also, PlayStation 3 <b>COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM</b>, lolololol, et cetera.

    They can no longer call it the PlayStation computer entertainment system in the EU and likely in the US as well.
    It'll have to be marketed as a game system or information appliance but they can't use the word computer.
    But swindle it is as a lot of people I know who own a fat PS3 have linux on it so they can go do shit without having to go to the computer and to use it as a media center.
    I suspect this actually has little to due with pirated games as some exploits do not make use of linux but instead may have something to do with Sony wanting to roll out a pay media service or just general fear of people exercising fair use rights with the blueray discs.
    Don't give me any shit that ripping would encourage piracy because I can go find HD movies online.
    Sony is not just Sony electronics but there's also Sony BMG and Sony Pictures who are well known for scumtacular stuff.
    The media part often holds back the electronics part.
    It would be as if a car company had a branch that did auto insurance which of course would result in some shitty features being added to vehicles.

    • I’d have to agree on the auto maker auto insurance analogy, as it’s already happening with other things lol.

      (Like my Camera that only takes xD cards made specifically for that brand even though SD was already out at the time)

  • Are Sony really trying to kill themselves?

    First they remove BC, which I would classify as a huge deal.

    (People’re gonna jump in with “Uh, buy a PS2.” … Okay, what if they stop making PS2 and it dies? Then what? I’mma have a lot of games I will never be able to play.)

    And Linux on PS3 might be the only option to play 720p x264 without being forced to transcode it.

    … Can’t even play FFVIII on my PS3. ;_;

    • Sandalphon says:

      It will happen eventually, but that’s still some years into the future. If memory serves me right the last NES ever produced was somewhere between 2001-2005, well past it’s generation’s death.

      If the NES is any indication, you can expect the PS2 to be sold for quite some years to come.

    • You can call them fools for breaking PS2 compatibility, but it was pointed out before that FFVII is one of the top selling games on the PSN in its raw port form – why not sell consumers a game twice if you can get away with it?

  • It figures that piracy ruins it for everyone else. I had thought that Sony yanked Linux support out of fears of piracy, not an actual publicized crack.
    Also, what’s so “fanatical” about Linux users? I wouldn’t call myself a fanatical Linux user… More of a Linux user out of necessity. I work for F5 Networks, and our TMOS architecture is build on Linux, so my day job obviously has me working with it a great deal. Because I’m already familiar with Linux, I think it’s kind of handy to have it loaded onto the PS3 for quick testing of Python or Perl code.

    I also feel rather sorry for the developers out there that built simple Linux-based games that didn’t require access to the RS. In fact Sony originally touted the Linux support as a way to enable no-name devs to actually get their work seen by others. I guess the only alternative is if Sony offers something akin to the XNA Creators Club for developers wanting to create games for the system. Does Sony offer a system for creating games at home?

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    I really hope Sony pays for swindling its fans, but they never did for removing the PS2’s HDD (particularly in Japan, where the add-on had much more support from developers than in the West), so I guess they won’t do so here either.

    Seriously, the EU law is pretty clear on that respect. The fact that updating the system software is mandatory in order to keep playing new games and accessing the PlayStation Network, and simultaneously it robs the consumer from the possibility of using their system in a way explicitly stated in the products’ instruction manual is entirely independent from product warranties and whether the consumer had infact used or would consider using in the future the removed feature. No matter how you look at it, from an objective perspective, Sony’s move was a con.

    • Sony likely will pay for this move.
      They could have kept piracy in check by simply giving every copy of a game a unique ID and if an ID ended up being used multiple times lets say three copies with the same ID appear at once it means this copy was pirated.
      Just yank that ID so it can’t be used on the PSN.
      What Sony does not understand is the simple fact there will always be some piracy.
      Controlling piracy is like controlling pests in crops.
      You just have to accept there always will be some losses.
      You could use a sane level of control and save most of your crops or you could try and kill every single weed, bird,mouse and insect.
      Really you wont succeed in that and you’ll just end up destroying your crops and poisoning the land so nothing else will grow.
      What Sony is doing here is scorching the earth just to get rid of a few grasshoppers.

  • Sony’s new business plan for the PS3 must be knife in guts out.

    The latest Firmware update also runs aground of the US Magnuson Moss Warranty act and will cause legal trouble.

    But then the person who made the decision to kill linux is a fucking moron.
    This is likely from the same idiot who thought it was good idea to put malware on music CDs and thought the PSP no Go was a wise business decision.
    The linux feature actually stopped some pirating as it kept some opensource developers many of which who are some of the brightest coders alive from cracking the unit.
    Amazon should not have to pay for Sony’s stupidity and should instead just help angry customers organize a class action lawsuit.
    It seems now the PS3 will end up like the PSP or the Wii and will end up cracked wide open.

  • This was all the shit storm on many forums when this patch was announced…

    People bought their systems to play games.

    Those that did not buy their systems to play games are…
    Scientific Groups using the processing power in place of a super computer.
    People that wanted to “piddle” with Linux on a PS3.
    People that wanted a game system/BD player (Or just a BD player with added function)
    People that really should have just bought a computer instead.

    I love the comments that are made now and have been made elsewhere then that basically are the same as Anon 21:32 telling people that they don’t know anything… and they themselves don’t know anything.

    Oh but the cracker said he wasn’t going to do it for piracy? What have we learned about people who are obviously pirates, trying to pass off as not being pirates…? They are horrible liars, and anyone can say anything, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Cracking the PS3 only has one reason, to pirate. It has effectively all other functionality pre-patch, and guess what? Our cracker friend was working on cracking it BEFORE the Linux removing patch, thus preserving linux was definitely not his goal.

    QQ moar, those of little brainpower.

    • Why would I QQ when I don’t have own a PS3? It’s an advertised feature for their product and they have arbitrarily decided to remove it, and you don’t feel it warrants some form of outrage? It may have been a feature that the vast majority of PS3 owners probably will never use, but they purchased that unit with said capabilities and expect that unit to maintain those capabilities throughout its life cycle.

      No one can really know all the details about this subject other than those who made this decision, but what we do know is, at least in the UK/EU, that this firmware upgrade is in violation of EU Consumer Laws…hence what this whole article is all about.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t GeoHot state in his blog previously that he had no real plans to release his crack (which at the time was nowhere near usable and the lad had to pretty much turn his PS3 inside out) to the public? It’s not like snapping a solderless modchip into the Wii or however people mod their 360, his method literally had to pick apart the PS3 just so he could run his own code…would be interesting how that can be mass-marketed to the pirating crowd.

      • Too bad Sony doesn’t need to include “user types” as the only user type that matters is the one agreeing to the EULA, otherwise the non-agreeing user has no business using anything PSN related to begin with.

        Torts and Business law for bedtime stories… yay.

    • People have rights, but then there is effective priority of certain rights over others.

      We have the right to bear arms, that doesn’t mean I can rightfully get “butthurt” over being arrested for carrying a gun into a store.

      We have the right to free speech, but if you say something to piss of the guy with a fist bigger than your head, at best he’s going to get a reduced sentence because you aggravated him. (Also screaming fire in a public place is a nono)

      We have the right to an attorney, that doesn’t mean you get a second chance if you deny that right.

      Just because people are stupid and can’t read the contracts they are agreeing to, doesn’t mean corporations have total control, that just means you are too stupid to read something important.

        • If the contract breaks law then yes it will become invalid, a contract that steps on rights, has a reduced chance given good rational.

          And reading the EULA, it isn’t some crazy if you do something we don’t like we’re going to shoot you in the balls kind of contract. It says they are in their own rights to modify their intellectual property… even if you are in possession of the physical property, at least if you want to use their FREE service.
          And before anyone brings up future games, future games utilize that service via Internet/Ranking/Trophies.

  • Solely based on prejudice I hope for sony to be affected by this. In fact I wish for them to suffer to the point of bankruptcy. Well, honestly this is what I wish to anybody opposing piracy. Sadly sony is already on my “to boycott”-list for other reasons.

  • I usually enjoy reading your post story comments for they are usually witty and amusing, but this time it is a gross exaggeration of the facts. I highly suggest you at least read more into the whole fiasco before making such bold claims.

    Funnily enough, Linux support is actually Sony’s best deterrent against pirates for it allows the actual homebrew community to run their own crap…or something since I’m not really that versed in the technicalities of it all.

    I also don’t think “voluntary process” should involve holding your balls in a tight vice grip. You either choose to run Linux or you lose BluRay playback on newer discs and lose access to PSN. Let’s not forget the debacle if/when you have to purchase a new PS3 that has this new firmware loaded into it.

    Anyway I’m not really one to talk given my lack of knowledge on this subject, but please try to avoid making such scathing remarks when you yourself are grossly misinformed (just plain biased).

    • It was the only reason Sony did not have to pay cat and mouse like Microsoft or just accept a certain level of it like Nintendo.

      In the end this will just hurt them.

      Linux is the only way to get a usable browser or a usable media center on the unit.
      XMBC puts the built in media center to complete shame.

    • “Homebrew” and “backups” are just the weaseling way of saying piracy without appearing to. Nobody would care about his hacking at all but for the fact it allows piracy.

      Whether you support or condemn piracy on the platform, engaging in a song and dance of euphemisms just insults people’s intelligence.

      • I have to disagree I have a lot of home brew on my Wii but few pirated games.
        Call me old fashion but I find it morally wrong when a company forgets business rule #1 the customer is always right.
        If the customer is unhappy then they have to make it right.
        If I have to ever use the new broken firmware to play a game the game goes back and the PS3 goes on ebay.
        That or I might take it to the shooting range and introduce it to my 30.06.
        Sony BMG already lost me as a customer forever for the root kits even though I was smart enough to never get it installed.
        CDs were ripped on a Mac or Linux machine or they got the marker treatment.
        The stuff they did on blue ray discs such as down grading unapproved display devices is just criminal and it will cause more pirating.

        • Sandalphon says:

          “…business rule #1 the customer is always right…”

          Partially agree, but when the customer demands “Lemme pirate your console so I no longer have to buy your games” that’s just outright unreasonable, and then it becomes a problem corporate image. You let one customer take advantage of you, you’re gonna let all customers take advantage as well, no other way around it.

          I won’t get too much into Sony’s promises of homebrew in the PS3, as I don’t recall such promise existed but a lot of people here claim otherwise. In any case I didn’t buy my PS3 for that, I’ve got my computer for such purposes.

      • Oh wow you really are full of shit. That completely explains why we have open source mobile phones and gaming devices. Homebrew is bigger than you think it is. I’d hardly touch my PSP if it wasn’t for the amount of homebrew applications available.

        • Anonymous says:

          I personally got it because I’m viciously anti-nintendo, and have been since they sold me a pair of doorstops when everyone else went CD then DVD. I bought one PSP for playing GBA roms, and because I’m too much of a lazy arse to downgrade all the time, after I started enjoying the likes of Dissidia, Dragoneer’s Aria, Ys, Dracula X, Last Regnum, Final Armada, the Playstation1/2 rereleases of things I never played, or never could play like the Persona games, I went and got another so I could keep playing the roms along with whatever games work on the non-upgraded one.
          Also, I sold one and bought another once different colours came out, because black is a hideous colour. Multiple colours at launch, people! If a company as shitty as Apple can do it, then you ought to, as well!

        • ChaosAngelZero says:

          Hell yeah, have you seen the PSP’s software sales? They’re the absolutely lowest of all the currently supported systems, yet its hardware sales are pretty damn high.

          Of course it has to do with pirated games, but it also works as a portable multimedia player and emulation box that can be greatly expanded with at the very least decent emulators thanks to homebrew software. Those are the sole reason the system itself has any popularity at all.

      • Yet you once again display your arrogance by making such bold statements. While it is true that the “homebrew” scene essentially opens up the way for piracy, homebrew ≠ piracy in the slightest.

        Forget about song and dance, you need to get that bit of info through your thick head kind sir. I’ll restate it again just in case you just glanced through it. HOMEBREW ≠ PIRACY

        I’ll expand on your comment since I have obviously insulted someone’s intelligence?

        Linux support is one of the advertised features Sony touted during the PS3’s conception. I shouldn’t say Linux but OTHER OS…which basically translates to a Linux flavor of some kind anyway. OTHER OS is one of the features marketed, but Sony suddenly decides to take that away due to security concerns (or something). That creates a rather worrying precedent of companies crippling their devices by removing features as advertised; which is the focal point of this article to begin with.

        Let’s forget about the fact that OTHER OS support is actually Sony’s best deterrent against would be crackers of the system, but calling such a change a “voluntary process” just insults a person’s intelligence don’t you think so?

        The only reasonable application for Linux on the ps3 (other than mucking around with it) is to use the power of the cell processor. The cell is pretty much an enterprise level processor for a fraction of the price and quite a bit of people use it for such purposes. Your average joe/jane won’t be affected by this (other than losing an advertised feature…I swear there should be consumer protection laws for this), but what about people who make practical application of the OTHER OS feature advertised by Sony?

        They can voluntarily choose NOT to update…but then what? Those ps3s will eventually break down due to natural wear and tear and I hear those cells cost quite a penny…say do you know of a cheap alternative to the ps3 that also utilizes the cell?

        I suggest you get your head out of your ass if you think this is all about piracy. There are legitimate concerns about this and saying otherwise is nothing short of idiocy.

        • Sandalphon says:

          I thumbed him down. His pejorative talk was unnecessary for the message he wanted to deliver, which shows he takes this whole matter a little too personal.

          Also, I agree that Homebrew is not the same as Piracy, but once the former makes itself present, the latter won’t be long to follow. Hence, for practical purposes homebew does mean piracy.

        • Rubbish. 95% of the time when people say things like “it’ll be great to see what the homebrew scene comes up with” what they mean is what dubious products a Chinese lab somewhere is going to start exporting. There simply does not appear to be a great deal of legitimate “homebrew” activity on the PS3.

          Cite your sources if you want to say a lot of people use it for supercomputing. You can find half a dozen instances of press releases talking about using it as a poor man’s blade, which in total seem to point to a few hundred PS3s at best, none of which are affected by the need for updates.

  • I wish that people would stop misplacing the blame and only blaming Geohot for this. What he did wasn’t illegal but what Sony did was illegal and they are almost entirely at fault for this. I think that Sony is going to be sued over this especially since universities and the Air Force use PS3’s with Linux on them.

  • “his efforts to bring piracy to the platform”
    Are you getting paid by Sony? He said himself that he won’t make it possible to play illegal copies. Others might do that but you can’t blame him for that.

    “and that un-upgraded units still run Linux or previously released software without difficulty.”
    Wow. That’s great. It’s like buying a car and 1 year later the manufacturer forces you to remove either the break or the gas pedal.

    • It’s more like buying a car and 1 year later being forced to remove the coffee maker in the dash. It’s a feature most people never used, and the few who did might get upset… but a real coffee-maker probably works better anyway.

      • I personally know the guys that used a 220 PS3 cluster to crack MD5 checksums to manipulate MD5 signed SSL certificates, like the ones issued by RapidSSL back then, pointing out huge security flaws in the entire concept.

        They used PS3s because they offered appreciable bang for the buck using their cell processors.

        This would not have been possible without the Linux support.

        They certainly never used these PS3s for gaming, so they have no reason to update, but given you can no longer use more recently bought PS3s for purposes like this puts a hamper on interesting developments.

      • Most people I know who own a fat PS3 do use the linux feature even my relative non technical brother uses linux for media functions and browsing.
        Your claim is incorrect and is not based on any facts.

      • ChaosAngelZero says:

        The fact that no one uses Linux and play games on it doesn’t stop Sony’s move from qualifying as a perfect example of corporate SWINDLE.

        Also, PlayStation 3 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, lolololol, et cetera.

        • “It doesn’t change the fact that the only ones seriously opposing this are interested in the piracy aspect.”
          Bullshit. The pirates will crack it anyway.
          No, people are complaining because now they can’t use their media playing software for Linux any more and have to use the built-in crap ware that can’t play half their files, and because they paid for Linux support and Sony cannot legally take it away. That they might have known that Sony would do this doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal.

        • Oh really? What about all those who used linux to play mkv files (which sony wont support in its media center)
          There are also really nice encoding programs that fully utilize the cell technology which is far better than standard dual-/quad cores atm)

      • InfiniteNine says:

        Some people in college bought a PS3 as a cheap CELL development kit/game console, so to them Sony pretty much removed future game functionality, unless they want to loose all their work in CELL development.

  • “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.”
    I would say not being able to sign into psn counts as a difficulty. Also newer games released probably(could be pulling this out of my ass) won’t work either.

    • So if I jus Upgrade mi console with another firmware not signed by Sony there not problem, rigth?

      Because it’s a voluntary process I can do as I prefer!

      I think that this will be the basis for piracy on PS3, it looks near now.

    • You are missing the point of hating Linux!

      This is what you must do:
      * Hate Linux
      * Love Internet Explorer
      * Hate China
      * Hate Korea
      * Hate whales
      * Hate Australia, all of it.
      * Hate Sony unless that gets in the way of the above.

      You also must engage in these contradictory beliefs:
      * Claim to hate moe, masturbate to it furiously.
      * Deride any fucktard claiming “2D>3D”. Focus intensely on the 2D girls anyway.

    • You missed my point – games released when the PS3 was advertised as supporting Linux do still work, meaning that the un-upgraded console may, from a legal perspective, be considered to have identical functionality, rendering the legal argument of Sony having removed functionality moot.

      • No it isn’t. You *can’t* remove functionnalities with updates because it’ll be different from the original description that the company brought to the buyer, when he bought the product. Saying “you can’t just not upgrade” isn’t an argument since the gaming capabilities are crippled. The product was sold as *being able to do both : Run other OS and play games*.
        The fact that the OtherOS functionnality was used by a minority of people is completely irrelevant. Remember that some Sony executives said that a PC is irrelevant since there’s Linux on the PS3 ( ).

        Frankly, It’s like selling a web browser advertised as being able to browse *every website of the world* and then release an update makes it unable to consult sankakucomplex but, at the same time, makes it possible to read new generation websites.
        Don’t want to update ? You won’t be able to browse some websites. Do the update ? No sankakucomplex for you.
        Hey, it’s not “every website of the world” anymore.

        Sold products castration is not possible in Europe. This is a powerful pro-consumer law that protects consumers against shady techniques like this one.
        “Well, that car had brakes. ‘Ain’t saying that would still be usable after 3 days…”

        • Anonymous says:

          they don’t print the license agreement on the box either, so what’s your point? that because they do not do so, the LA is not valid on purchase or ownership?

          Linux support wasn’t some big hush up from the get go, and it did influence my decision of purchase.

      • It will not have identical functionality, not even from a legal perspective. Users who don’t upgrade will not be able to log in to PSN, and they will not be able to play network games. The way things are, they’re forced to either lose linux or network functionalities, both of which are a loss of what was offered to them at purchase time.

    • idiots linux support was never advertised anyone who knows about it heard about it by word of mouth also the ps3 slim has never had linux support so amazon are just losing money on something they should have never done