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SONY Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 
25th-Feb-2011 10:57 pm
One Graf Chokolo had his house raided by police, and now SONY is apparently seeking to sue him for 1 million Euros.

What exactly do they want from Graf is unclear - at least to me. I'm no lawyer and English is not my primary language so the legal speak confuses me somewhat. The way I understand the issue at hand is that SONY has yet to establish any proof of guilt, and the quoted 1 million is just their estimate of the damages incurred. I think it's been worded like that on purpose, to discourage anyone from helping Graf in any way. Whether or not he will have to pay anything and how much is yet to be seen.

I don't think it's smart of him to continue releasing stuff right now. Sure, most folks see this as the ultimate fuck you directed at SONY, but that's not the real issue here. Problem is, the guy has apparently been court-ordered not to do anything of the sort until the matter is resolved properly. Going against court order is just plain stupid because it's punishable and SONY could even drop the case now and Graf would still have to face charges.

Obviously SONY has the upper hand here. They can hire lawyers and ask for court orders - and this will, in theory at least, shut people up. If the lawyers somehow find a way to sue hackers and win, it's good for SONY. If not, they'll just say "Oh, sorry mate, carry on." - and get away with that. You see, their tactics might simply be to stall, it would take years to clear things up and by that time PS3 will become obsolete. So it's a win for SONY as well, said hackers are unlikely to have the resources to properly fight back and, as I just said, going against a court order is a bit suicidal.

So, we determined that the court order might be just a gag and it's issue unjustified. Don't hate the judge though, he is just doing his job. Sure, these people have their own views as well, and that does affect their actions (even if it's not supposed to), but they are mostly bound by laws. It does take a good knowledge of the law to make a compelling argument and SONY can afford to hire entire teams. A "hacker" will seek the cheapest legal council :) Though, I must say that Geohot has a good lawyer on his side and can sleep better, but SONY is not yet done with him.

Anyway, I think it's now a bit more clear why I decided to stay off SONY's turf and not, for example, release VMU emulator for PS3 system. Call me a chicken, but do understand that it's not just about SONY and their precious "next-gen" console. I could as easily get sued by SEGA. While reverse engineering of owned hardware is legal, it's pretty much impossible without breaking some software anti-piracy laws. I wrote about that in detail some time ago so just to remind you - it's like with DVDs. You can make a backup copy of the media, in case it gets damaged or something. But to make a copy you have to overcome the copy-protection systems and that's illegal. So, in the end, your right to make a lawful copy is just plain dead.

By the way, I had a good laugh at people who got angry with SONY latest PSN licence/TOS. The wording isn't all that different now, you know, most of the nasty stuff has been there since day one. And you take offence now? Well, I suppose now you actually read the terms. Or at least it has been pointed out to you. Maybe this will improve the awerness in general populace that this stuff is legally binding agreement. Don't bitch about your rights being violated, you accepted this willingly. All your base are belong to us, sucka, mwahahaha.
26th-Feb-2011 05:47 am (UTC)
the proof of guilt is right there - he did a disassembly of the firmware. correct me if i am wrong, but it's against the allowed reverse engineering rules which only allow clean room reimplementation.

so this time, sony has (likely) a valid argument against the guy.

i've read PSN TOS long ago, and that stuff was evil from day one.
1st-Mar-2011 06:09 am (UTC) - It will be more costly to sony
I for one welcome our new Sony overlords and anxiously await a rootkit for all my computers.
1st-Mar-2011 11:30 am (UTC) - Re: It will be more costly to sony
That might just happen. I mean we already have laws that forbid bypassing any and all copy protection systems, even those outdated, clearly broken or dangerous, and without any exceptions for lawful personal use or research.

I keep wondering how that came to pass. Do big corporations really have such great influence on governments, or it just that people who came up with these laws are such incompetent fools? Or, perhaps both.
10th-Mar-2011 03:59 pm (UTC) - Re: It will be more costly to sony
I can see them setting precedent with this because the investment for high-powered hardware is in the billions sometimes. I don't know the details of the case, but it seems pretty clear to me that anyone should be able to reverse engineer anything they want short of atomic weapons...unless they plan on nuking Sony.
btw, I'm having trouble sending keystrokes to makaron when running it through wine. I'd love to get this working in linux. Any ideas?
11th-Mar-2011 08:42 pm (UTC) - Re: It will be more costly to sony
Keyboard support is sketchy :) I'll switch to more standard approach of capturing window events for the next version.

BTW, individuals RE atomic weapons would not be much of a threat since getting your hands of sufficient quantity of fissible material is... difficult :) Governments on the other hand couldn't care less about laws when it comes to weapons.
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